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Global Brigades – Help For Everyone By Everyone

Loyola’s mission is derived from our Jesuit foundation promoting the idea of service and the Global Brigades are a perfect example of just that. It is very common for students looking to pursue a career in the medical field to take part in a Global Brigade at least once during their time as an undergraduate at Loyola. More recently however, students from a variety of different majors have started to participate in brigades as well.

Students ventured to Panama for a dental and human rights brigade as well as Nicaragua for a public health brigade at the start of the new year.

In Nicaragua, students spent time providing the people of the community with access to necessary health care they otherwise wouldn’t receive. In addition to providing medical aid, students also helped improve sanitation conditions through the construction of a latrine, shower, septic tank, and by replacing dirt floors with cement.

“I gained a new perspective on my life as well as theirs,” said Sean Barrett, senior pre-med student who led the public health brigade to Nicaragua. “It’s easy to forget that there are people in the world that do not have access to health care or even basic sanitary facilities like a shower or cement floors. Although the people we served did not have a lot of money, they were rich in other things such as community and family.”

 

While students were providing aid in public health related services in Nicaragua, other Loyola students were providing people with legal support in Panama. Students shadowed lawyers at free legal clinics as well as helping document specific cases. Students also learned more about the history of human rights, domestic violence and were able to work alongside the environmental brigade to help build latrines.

“I realized that there are people in the world who are completely unaware of their basic legal rights,” said Joanna Kluzowska a senior political science and finance double major. “It’s important to educate those people and it can go a long way because we empower them to make the changes they would like to see.”

Global Brigades is a student run organization that was founded in 2004 and their mission is “to empower volunteers and under-resourced communities to resolve global health and economic disparities and inspire all involved to collaboratively work towards an equal world.” Loyola’s Global Brigade chapter was honored with a Damen award last spring for their hard work and dedication to improving the lives of those less fortunate.

To learn more information about what the students of Loyola have provided through their charitable work with Global Brigades or how to get involved visit the Facebook page.

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