Comparing Charity and Non-Profit Models

by: Ciara McGillivray

The following is a recap of the ghU session from November 9, 2014. For more information about ghU, please click here.

This week’s ghU session focused on non-governmental organization (NGO) models, and comparing and contrasting them to the model of GlobeMed. We watched short promotional videos explaining the missions and models of Students Helping Honduras and of Room to Read. We also watched a part of a TedTalk that discussed the importance of NGOs admitting to and accepting failure.

The activity was a silent one- after watching each video, a ghU coordinator presented the group with a series of prompts or questions by typing on a laptop that was projected onto a screen. GlobeMed members could then come up to the laptop and type their responses, thoughts, and opinions about the videos, NGOs, and prompted questions. The silent nature of this activity drew attention to the “listening” aspect of ghU activities; members had nothing else to focus on but the thoughts being typed on the screen.

After discussing the different NGO models and watching the video discussing NGO failure, the group was prompted to think about and discuss some of GlobeMed’s failures, and how they impact the work we do and the message we send to students on campus and to our partner community in Peru. Many different issues and shortcomings were brought up, and we then discussed whether anything brought up has changed our opinion of GlobeMed.

Following the activity, some members expressed a dislike for the silent nature of the activity, saying that it was too awkward to have to approach the laptop to type something, and stating that it did not foster the kind of conversation they would have liked to have. Some pros to the activity were brought up, though, such as the fact that the typed document produced during the discussion would be a written transcript of the things that were discussed.

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