In March, 13 West Virginia University School of Public Health students traveled to the mountainous region of Honduras to participate in the Global Brigades movement. An international non-profit organization, Global Brigades aims to improve equality of life by empowering communities to resolve global health and economic disparities through student volunteers and local teams.
“As an undergraduate student, I was looking for something that would give me first-hand experience in the public health field while also benefitting other communities,” said Ms. Fiona Galley, president of WVU’s Public Health Global Brigades. “Global Brigades stuck out to me because not only was I able to get that hands-on experience, but I was also able to immerse myself in a new culture while helping communities achieve sustainable development.”
Operating across four countries – Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Ghana – Global Brigades provides student-led public health, medical, dental, engineering, water, business and legal empowerment programs to meet a community’s development goals. West Virginia University provides opportunities for students to be involved with public health, medical and dental service projects.
Throughout the week, the students learned about the community’s challenges and needs and constructed sanitation stations for two families.
“During this trip, we built sanitation stations consisting of a toilet, shower and sink that connected to the main water source in the community,” said Ms. Galley. “By providing the families with a clean place to use the restroom, as well as a sink with clean water to wash their hands or clean food items, we can help prevent illness and the spread of disease within the community through basic hygiene practices.”
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