Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Anticipation Leading Up to GROW 2014

With only two and a half weeks left until our GROW internship, we have each been preparing, packing and anxiously awaiting our respective departures. Each of us (there are 5 of us in total) are leaving from different parts of the world to meet up in Tanzania for two weeks of travel before our internship begins. Our pre-GROW travel will include hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, a safari in Serengeti National Park and a visit to the island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania.
         For those who are not familiar with GROW, this stands for Grass Roots On-Site Work and we will be interning for 6 weeks in Mumias, Kenya with the Western Organization of People Living with AIDS/HIV (WOPLAH). WOPLAH and GlobeMed at Colorado College have a unique partnership which allows each organization to mutually benefit from one another. GlobeMed is able to raise money and provide interns for WOPLAH while the ability to work with WOPLAH affords Colorado College students a unique educational opportunity; students learn about the value of a 1 to 1 partnership, how to monitor and evaluate the progress of a global health organization and the ways in which an organization such as WOPLAH can participate in helping to reduce stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and the situation pertaining to other local health issues. Please visit this link to get a better idea of what WOPLAH does: As the 2014 interns, we are very excited to finally meet the Ambassadors of Hope who work for WOPLAH that we've heard so much about and to see the progress our partnership has made in its first two years.
          Last summer, the GROW interns helped WOPLAH with a variety of projects such as writing a grant to obtain seeds for their community gardens, applying for school fees assistance, the creation of a WOPLAH brochure explaining its various goals and projects, and conducting numerous interviews of WOPLAH's beneficiaries in order to monitor and evaluate its progress to date as well as its capacity for the future. This summer, we will be expanding on the work already started by last year's interns in order to create a new "MOU" or Memorandum of Understanding which will outline the terms of agreement, goals and responsibilities for GlobeMed and WOPLAH's partnership during the 2014/2015 year. We are also anxious to learn what new projects WOPLAH has underway as well as their visions for the future and how we can be of assistance in helping them achieve their goals. Please follow our blog to learn more about what we will be doing during our time interning with WOPLAH! Stay tuned!

-Nicole (Colorado College '14, Religion Major, Global Health Minor)