The Gift of Giving

Sheliza Aman is a second year physiological science major. Originally from Memphis, TN, She is in the Community Building committee this year.

Her words to live by: “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” -Gordon A. Eadie

Ever since I was a child, my father always reminded me, “no matter how tough you think your life, is, there is always someone who is facing challenges far tougher than yours.” My father comes from a small village in northern Pakistan called Chitral. Growing up, he didn’t have basic amenities, such as electricity or clothing, and his parents struggled to feed their four sons and one daughter. He worked so hard just to make sure his own family would not have to go through the same struggles that he did, and I am so grateful for that. However, for people like us in developed countries, it’s hard to even imagine a day without internet access or a coffee from Starbucks. Anything we want is at our footsteps, whether it’s some brand new clothes from the local boutique or a steak from our favorite steakhouse. We don’t know a life without these things, which is why it took me so long to wrap my head around the concept of poverty.

When I was young, I always expected something in return after giving to someone. I have been extremely fortunate to fall into a group like GlobeMed, where I am constantly reminded that the biggest reward from giving is the realization that you’ve made a significant change in someone’s life; that you, personally, are helping to alleviate global poverty one step at a time so that people can attain a better standard of living. When considering poverty in the developing world, many people feel deep sorrow, but end up concluding that there is nothing we can do because the scale of poverty is immense and we seem powerless to stop it. However, it is easy to forget just how many people there are in the developed world, and how powerful we can be if we each give back.

In GlobeMed, we each participate in the individual giving campaign, which allows each member of the chapter to raise a certain amount of money each quarter by micro-fundraising through friends, family, and colleagues. I believe that this is a great initiative because it allows me to educate my friends and family back home on the mission and importance of GlobeMed and its partner. Our partner is the Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS initiative in Uganda and we are currently working on the Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) project in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of clean water sources and allow the communities to take ownership of their future by educating them on proper sanitation practices. I also believe that individual giving empowers me to make a difference and it’s such a humbling feeling knowing that every penny I raise is directly benefiting our partner.

There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe the significance of giving back, and I thank GlobeMed for opening my eyes to the reality of global health inequity and for giving me the opportunity to support a cause that I am passionate about.

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