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Project

Promoting Gender Equity & HIV Prevention in Uganda

1215 people from rural communities in the post-conflict region of Northern Uganda will benefit from a community-based approach to preventing HIV and promoting gender equity. Gulu Women's Economic Development and Globalization (GWED-G), a grassroots women's rights organization, will implement this project in partnership with GlobeMed at Columbia University.
About Our Partner

GlobeMed at Columbia University

GlobeMed aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world. GlobeMed is an international community of students and grassroots organizations who form long-term partnerships, the heart of GlobeMed's model. Together, the chapter and partner organization implement specific health and development projects, communicating on every aspect from initial design to monitoring and evaluation. In just four years, GlobeMed established chapters at 46 universities across the United States, inspiring thousands of students to become lifelong advocates for global health equity. We completed projects in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, consisting of everything from water and sanitation initiatives in Nepal to mental health support in Peru. To fund such projects, chapters plan a variety of fundraising events and individual giving campaigns throughout the academic year. Chapters also host a number of educational events such as speaker panels, film screenings, and roundtable discussions to further student awareness of global health. GlobeMed's National Office, headquartered in Evanston, IL, provides ongoing support with regard to these projects; in addition, they help GlobeMed students become passionate, capable leaders. The National Office organizes national and regional events to build the GlobeMed community, develop leadership skills, and facilitate best practice sharing for our international projects. Moreover, the National Office provides a global health curriculum that chapters teach their members throughout the academic year. Through this curriculum, students develop critical thinking skills, discern their roles in global health and poverty, and form the academic foundation necessary to serve as effective partners. Our values serve as a basis for every aspect of our work today. We envision a more just, equitable world in which health is a universal human right. Access to health must be realized through every facet of society, from effectual public systems to proper living conditions. Under the broader scope of this vision, we have defined various core values that guide our day-to-day work. We believe in social justice, pragmatic solidarity, and the value of meaningful human relationships as catalysts for change. Our belief in global health equity translates to a tangible set of goals. Mainly, we wish to expand the global health movement among students worldwide. In addition to strengthening our existing partnerships, we are taking steps to make more meaningful and impactful connections in more areas across the world. We will establish 75 chapters by 2015. In doing so, we hope to develop a robust global health community of change-makers, thinkers, and leaders focused on taking action. We also hope to dispel the myth that students are ineffective actors in the fight for poverty alleviation through our engagement and mutually reinforcing empowerment. Instead, we see young people as powerful assets to the international development and health communities. By training students, we are creating a pipeline leadership for global health that consists of compassionate individuals from a variety of backgrounds and interests. These leaders will know how to mobilize resources, work humbly with others, and effect concrete change with an unwavering commitment to fight injustice.

The Problem

Girls and women in Northern Uganda face the challenges of a widespread HIV epidemic, extreme poverty, and a shortage of health workers to support their needs. Stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS, a lack of education about the disease, and traditional gender norms persist as major barriers to the health and well-being of not only women, but also entire communities in Gulu. A absence of quality healthcare and health workers contributes to unawareness about HIV.

The Solution

GWED-G will 1) increase HIV awareness and sensitization through large-scale education campaigns, voluntary counseling and testing, and male youth involvement 2) conduct training and capacity building of HIV health workers and provide them incentives for their voluntary work, 3) promote maternal and newborn health prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) education and nutritional supplements in the form of livelihood interventions, and 4) support health facilities with safe birth kits.

Sustainability

Increasing HIV sensitization, especially among young males, will reduce the risk of HIV transmission, eliminate stigmatization of HIV positive people, improve men's attitudes and behavior, and mobilize men to advocate for gender equity. Higher quality community health workers will also increase awareness through individual counseling. Giving mothers the tools to have healthy babies and keep them healthy with proper nutrition will enable future generations to be born in good health with no HIV.

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