Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
We work in two very seprate communities: Vietnam and Oberlin. We are trying to bridge the gap between the two areas and communities as much as possible. In Vietnam, CHP works with men who have sex with men (MSM), intravenous drug users, their partners, orphans, and other vulnerable children, all groups at high risk of contracting HIV. Most of the demographics listed above connote poor living conditions, minimal income, minimal power in Vietnamese cultural activities, and a history of oppression. On the flip side of the coin, Oberlin College boasts almost 3,000 undergraduate liberal art students, many of whom hail from affluent families in New York, California, Massachusetts, or New Jersey. While the two populations we work with could hardly be more different, both seem excited to cooperate and learn about the other. We have an incredibly exiting opportunity in front of us, to begin bringing these two groups together.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
Julie Christensen is an Oberlin College student studying anthropology while fulfilling her pre-medical requirements. She is incredibly passionate about global health and human rights. In late 2010 she had heard about GlobeMed but was looking for other people to support her efforts to bring global health awareness to Oberlin. As the chair of the American Medical Student's Association's (AMSA's) Oberlin chapter, Julie coordinated efforts to raise money and awareness for victims of Haiti's 2010 earthquake. While fundraising for earthquake survivors, Julie met Aaron Krupp, an Oberlin first-year, also passionate about global health accessibility. Aaron has experience working with global health research and program implementation in Haiti. With the support of Aaron and a few other dedicated Oberlin students, Julie applied to become a GlobeMed chapter founder at Oberlin. The application was approved and GlobeMed at Oberlin was born. This past July, we were paired with CHP and have been working actively with them since then. Julie and Aaron are currently the co-presidents of the organization and we have received significant interest from students across all of Oberlin's disciplines.