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Global Brigades Ramping Up For 2018 Trip

Western University’s Health Science chapter of Global Brigades, an international non-profit, is recruiting brigaders and ambassadors for their upcoming trip to Nicaragua in May 2018.

Photo provided by Global Brigades Western

The ambassadors of the team plan the trip details and raise awareness throughout the school year, providing an opportunity for students to contribute to the cause without committing to the trip.

Ambassadors can help out with the many fundraisers the organization hosts. Some of them include charity bar nights and Bootcamp for Brigades, an engaging experience in which fitness levels are tested with a professional trainer.

Brigaders go with the entire team to accompany physicians, dentists and rural leaders to provide aid in health care services. Their journey consists of seven days packed with many activities.

“A typical day would look like us waking up, eating breakfast, and then we would travel by bus for an hour to an hour and a half…to the mobile clinics that we have set up with different stations. The students would shadow and also help out the professionals,” said Bethany Yam, president of Global Brigades Western.

The question of student intentions when participating in such a trip has been a topic of debate, but Yam believes these trips have a mutually beneficial impact.

“I personally think volunteer trips help me, the volunteer, more than I can help them, the village patients. It sounds selfish, but it changes your goals, your values, and what you want to do in life, so you go into this experience with one mindset and you leave with another,” said Yam.

In addition to the Medical and Dental Brigade, there are public health and business brigades that are provided to maintain village sustainability once the brigade leaves.

For the first time this year Western is introducing the Public Health Brigade, which will go to Nicaragua alongside the Medical and Dental teams. The public health team focuses on issues such as proper water sanitation and hygiene awareness.

Applications for the Ambassador position will be available by mid October. More information can be found on the organization’s facebook page!

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Saloni Pandya has graduated from the University of Western Ontario, with a double major in Health Sciences and Globalization.Currently, Saloni is pursuing an MSc in interdisciplinary sciences all the while editing news articles for fellow reporters. She enjoys learning, from biology to issues on the global scale. However, when Saloni is not caught up in her work, you can find her reading a good John Green book or binge watching a show on Netflix.
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