Becca has been a part of GlobeMed for two years now as a ghU coordinator. She has been actively involved in our chapter by assisting the ghU team to put on discussions related to global health in our weekly meetings. On top of that, she went to Summit last year and is very excited to attend it once again next week. She is currently a third year majoring in International Development Studies with a Spanish minor. She is very passionate about global health and aims to enter the field after graduation. Continue reading to find out how Becca’s experiences and GlobeMed have affected her interest in global health!
I have had the incredible privilege of travelling to 17 countries, most of which were developing countries, where I was able to fully immerse myself in each culture while working alongside locals on community service projects and in local schools. These experiences have completely opened my eyes up to the rest of the world and have changed me as a person. I will forever cherish the friendships I formed with many of the local people and the valuable lessons I learned from them, such as the importance of being happy regardless of one’s economic status, and understanding how we are so similar to one another despite language, geographic and socioeconomic barriers. While working in these places, I saw first hand the many effects that poverty has on health as well as many health inequities. In Karatu, Tanzania, the stream water collected for the local school’s well for drinking water contained many disease-causing bacteria that made many locals severely ill, however, it was the community’s only source of water. Many of the young students there were HIV positive with no access to treatment, had severe coughs, and went to school just to ensure their survival by getting one bowl of porridge a day. While working at the Battambang orphanage in Cambodia, I worked with a child who had polio and was not able to receive any treatment for it, and I also witnessed people in the giant Tonle Sap River bathing, going to the bathroom, and using the water for cooking, which often results in many water-borne diseases. In Burma, the many villages I stayed in were surrounded by trash and the local people suffered from many illnesses, however, there was no hospital nearby, and even if there had been, many of the locals would not be able afford it. I even witnessed health inequities while studying abroad in Granada, Spain this past summer and fall quarter. All of these experiences have brought to my attention the widespread health and social injustices that occur all over the world and the crucial need to address them as soon as possible.
My experiences living and volunteering abroad have strongly contributed to my growing passion for global issues and my desire to pursue a career in the field of international development. However, it is GlobeMed that has really helped me confirm that I want to dedicate my education and my life to improving the lives and health of impoverished people around the world by giving them the human rights they deserve. GlobeMed has become such an integral part of my college career that I felt like something big was missing when I was studying abroad in Spain. GlobeMed at UCLA and Summit have taught me about health inequities and social injustices around the world, and also on sustainable, productive ways to help combat them. I come to GlobeMed meeting each week eager to learn more about another health topic presented by GhU and excited to engage in thought-provoking discussions in our small groups and as an entire chapter. I love how close-knit our chapter is, the comfortable, supportive environment it creates for our members to voice their opinions, and the fact that we are all united by our common passion for global health equity. I am more and more impressed and inspired by our members after each meeting, and I feel so grateful to be part of this incredible organization that has such a significant impact on improving the lives of the people of the world.