Make a Birthday Wish Come True!

By Rohini Bhatia

I can confidently say that April is by far my favorite month. Besides the fact that it is when Spring fully blossoms, I am also slightly swayed by the selfish notion that my birthday falls during the month. This year, April has taken on yet another meaning. It is GlobeMed at the University of Rochester’s Global Giving challenge –a charge to raise $5000 in a month for our partner Kallpa Iquitos, located in Iquitos, Peru.
So along with day dreaming about flowers, spring dresses, sandals, birthday cakes, and dinners, I’m also beginning to reflect on what it means to donate to GlobeMed. Is it just another charity you send money to? Oh goodness no. Am I buying books for students in Peru? Well, yes, but there is oh so much more! On this month of global giving, we can think about giving through two different lenses. The first lens is through the youth of Kallpa in Iquitos.  Through funding, Kallpa Iquitos can expand the flexibility and breadth of the activities of the youth center. The second, perhaps more tangible one to those of us not in constant contact with Kallpa is the impact that this project and participation in GlobeMed has on us, students here at Rochester.  
The culture of student non profits on colleges has blossomed into something more than just asking for money for a far-away project. Yes, we have incredible campaign fundraisers, but we are also motivated to learn about global health, ask critical questions about funding, and investigate the impact that the programs we help fund. We are students as well, and we continue to learn from the students and youth-driven initiatives in Iquitos.  I’ve learned about addressing an audience through theater to learn about scary sometimes unapproachable topics, about the impact of sexual health education and how engaging students in decision making processes allows for increased accountability
When we give, it’s not just for a book or for a program, it’s to strengthen the relationship we have to our fellow youth in Iquitos. It’s to broaden their ideas of the opportunities that can exist, and open our own minds to understanding health from a different culture’s perspective.
This month, I will ring in Spring with all the vigor of my last semester of undergrad. But I will also continue to reflect on the passionate group of individuals that continue to challenge standard notions of global health delivery, both here at Rochester and in Iquitos, Peru. Join me in furthering this expansive learning opportunity? Happy April!

No comments:

Post a Comment