From Anaka, Uganda to Evanston, Illinois: Caroline reflects on GlobeMed’s influence

This week, to wrap up summer thoughts and renew our passion for GlobeMed and our partner, Caroline the external Co-President has some thoughts to share! The past summer for Caroline was filled with GlobeMed activities, from going on the GROW Internship to Anaka, Uganda (where the Nwoya Youth Center is located) and then coming back only to head to the east coast for some more adventures at GlobeMed’s National Office in Illinois. With so much to reflect on, Caroline brings a unique perspective on GlobeMed on a national and global scale. But enough summary… read for yourself how GlobeMed made Caroline’s summer the most unforgettable yet.

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It’s hard to explain what has happened over the last three months. Two vastly different experiences have produced such similar feelings, thoughts, ideas, and questions

While I still (and may always) have trouble articulating all that I have seen and experienced, I am walking away from the summer knowing that I have gained an incredible amount. As a GlobeMedder, I have come to understand what partnership truly entails, from the necessary moments of frustration and confusion to the overwhelming and fulfilling moments of awe and love that are born from the most simple and open conversations. As a student, I have seen how we can harness our power and passion to create change on a global level. And as a human being, I have been astounded and encouraged by the care and compassion of others.

I could write pages and pages about how transformative this summer has been. From the Nwoya Youth Center in Anaka, Uganda to the GlobeMed National Office in Evanston, Illinois, I feel so lucky and grateful to have been surrounded by such considerate friends and empowering mentors throughout the last three months.

I experienced partnership on the grassroots level and at the national office level, giving me a unique and well-rounded perspective on what GlobeMed is all about. Here are just a few of the lessons I have learned from these wonderful experiences and these wonderful people!

Humanity (in terms of kindness, warmth, and unity) exists.            

In Anaka, people opened up their homes and hearts to us, welcoming us with open arms and endless love. Walking down the roads, we could expect (and reciprocate) a wave or a greeting of “Apwoyo” (which means pretty much everything — hi, bye, thank you). In the villages, we were invited to eat at every house we came across, whether we had given them forewarning of our arrival or not. Everywhere that we traveled, we were treated with sincere kindness and unfailing love. When we left, it felt like we were leaving our home and our family.

Partnership is based in respect, trust, honesty, and friendship.

Partnership is a continuous effort that has its foundations in mutual effort and appreciation. We came to understand the Nwoya Youth Center and the Anaka community much better through open and honest conversations with community members and staff. We learned so much through having simple conversations and connecting personally as well as professionally. Our activities

and our work became largely based upon the friendships we developed and the trust that we formed.

The work that we do is necessary and irreplaceable.

The Nwoya Youth Center does truly incredible work. Having seen the community and the resources and knowledge that the residents have (or lack), it was clear to me that the outreaches to schools and condom awareness sessions, among all of the other programs, serve an important purpose. In a country where the HIV+ rate is actually increasing, education may be everything. And education is exactly what the Nwoya Youth Center provides.

When you look at the broader network, you see how this impact, the power of partnership utilized to fill necessary voids in the community, has affects thousands of lives across the world. Every partnership is doing something different; every partnership is doing something amazing. Every time that I get overwhelmed by the injustices of the world and the fact there is so much left to be done, I remind myself that we, our partners and us together, are doing something powerful.

While there are many more conversationsto be had and much more work to be done, we must relish in the fact that bettering the life of one person is a magnificently powerful thing. We should be incredibly proud of what our partnerships have done and what we will do in the future.

All the people involved in GlobeMed rock.

We are a part of a truly beautiful and strong network. I have never learned so much or been loved so much as I have been this summer. Every person that I have interacted with (on GROW, at NatO,

Check out Caroline (far right) with interns at the National Office!

and at LI) has reinvigorated my love of life and reaffirmed my belief that our network is composed of some of the most wonderful people in the world. While money helps us do our work, the time, efforts, and love that people contribute to the movement is astounding, encouraging, and continually pushes this movement forwards.

I love me some NatO.

The National Office, on their part, are doing an incredible job supporting us. They give us the resources and knowledge that empower us to keep working, to keep thinking, to keep the dialogue going about what can happen next. These five amazing women and the amazing student staff fuel our movement. They give us the tools that allow our partnerships to thrive and in essence, allow our communities to thrive.

GlobeMed is going BIG places and I feel so lucky to be a part of it all.

From a huge USAID grant that will help us improve and expand to a conference in KAMPALA for African partners (how did life possibly get this good??), GlobeMed is growing at an incredible rate. Within only six years, we’re going to hit (and surpass) the million dollar mark and fulfill some of our craziest dreams. We have so many ambitions for the near and far future and I have no doubt that we will achieve them all. The good times surely are rolling.

I had the most GlobeMed filled summer I think anyone could possibly have. I learned so much, loved so much, ate so much, and really just had a blast. It was an incredibly enlightening and empowering time and I could not be more grateful for all of the people that I met and all of the lessons that they taught me. I have been significantly and forever changed in the absolute best way possible.

My experiences over the last three months were like a dream unfolding in real life. I have enjoyed every second of it and can’t wait for the dream to continue for GlobeMed at UCLA in to the next year and beyond.

With so much love and gratitude,

- C

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