Introducing GROW 2014

by Maddy Selby

It’s officially less than 100 days until the end of the school year, which means our G.R.O.W. team is getting geared up to head back to Iquitos, Peru! We have been working together since decisions were released in January to prepare for G.R.O.W. 2014, which will be from May 20th to June 20th this year. With four returning interns and two newbies, our G.R.O.W. team has GROWn (ok, terrible pun) to its largest yet at U of R—good thing, too, since this year’s G.R.O.W. is shaping up to be one of the busiest and most productive internships yet!
Currently, Kallpa Iquitos has begun work on a water safety and sanitation project to educate community members about safe practices for drinking water as well as the potential dangers of flood waters that often inundate the area of Pampachica during this time of year (rainy season). They are also sponsoring a friendly competition amongst neighborhoods next month to encourage each neighborhood group to come up with a plan to implement safe water practices in their communities, with cash prizes going to the neighborhoods with the best-laid plans, so that they might implement them.
Partnerships and G.R.O.W. committees have continued to Skype with Manuel and Frida on a weekly basis throughout this semester, and we will be basing our working plans for what we plan to accomplish on this year’s internship on the information we have discussed in these meetings. Also, Manuel is setting Rhett up with a Mexican University of Guadalajara student (jk, I think… but maybe not).
Manuel and Frida are adamant that this year, Kallpa wants to focus more on sexual and reproductive health, specifically raising awareness of the availability of the sexual and reproductive health consultory in the main cultural center in El Porvenir.
Due to Kallpa’s desire to focus on sexual and reproductive health in the coming year, we are planning to focus our research project for this year on the issue of educating youth in Pampachica about safe sex, preventing pregnancy, acting with self-respect, accepting responsibility for their sexuality and reproductive abilities, and instruction in the proper use of contraceptives, amongst other topics. We will be employing the model of community-based participatory research, which we hope will be especially helpful in gauging the current situation of sexual and reproductive health education amongst youth in the community. We will be working closely with Kallpa to plan and develop this research proposal and to implement the research plan. As a side note that almost made my heart explode from happiness, the pamphlets feature logos of the local government, bureau of health, Kallpa Iquitos, and… GlobeMed! This is an amazing reflection of how far our partnership has come in the last three years.
Meanwhile, members of the youth network in Pampachica acting as community health workers have been going door-to-door in the neighborhoods and distributing pamphlets and giving small chats about sexual and reproductive habits and health, as well as encouraging local youth to take responsibility for their own actions in preventing unplanned pregnancies. We hope to be able to follow them on their rounds during our time on G.R.O.W. to learn more about the effectiveness of this program.
We will continue to post updates about G.R.O.W. 2014 planning until head out to Peru.
Or get in touch with our G.R.O.W. coordinator at

CHAPTER MEMBERS: We have an open GoogleDoc for any specific questions you want us to get answers to on Skype calls:

Get informed, get involved, get EXCITED for GROW 2014!!

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