Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving is just around the corner...

Hello GM members and supporters :)

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means, after a few more days, we'll finally be able to relax and unwind with family and friends while counting all of our blessings~

But before that, let's not forget all that we did in our past staff meeting!

We began our meeting by breaking off into our houses and competing with each other by seeing which group had the best elevator pitch! The catch was, however, the whole team had to collectively give their elevator pitch in 1 minute, and each member was allowed to say only one sentence during his/her turn. Nonetheless, it was fun to see how each member gave his/her own spin on an aspect of GlobeMed. Without a doubt, every single one of us had gotten closer to becoming seasoned veterans at giving GM-worthy elevator pitches after the activity! 

Thereafter, Courage, one of our ghU coordinators, led us in a discussion on the documentary, A Place at the Table (check out last week's blog to learn more!). Many of our members articulated great points about the documentary and also raised a few remarkable questions. Some of the main ideas were:

  • We realized that, after watching this documentary, we become more aware of our own eating habits and tendencies and the privileges we often take for granted here at Amherst College.
  • There is the ironic reality that people are sometimes worse off being employed at a workplace that pays minimum wage than being unemployed, because they no longer qualify for food stamp programs but still do not earn enough money to buy healthy foods for their families.
  • Many children, who perform poorly at school because they are hungry or malnourished, are often overlooked and considered to be "problem students" by teachers who fail to recognize the actual problem. 
  • The government, instead of charities or NGOs, need to be responsible for its citizens and re-start programs that were successful in tackling food insecurity in the past.
  • There's a correlation between obesity and food insecurity in the States that needs to be recognized.
  • Most of the time, the voices of people who suffer from food insecurity are not heard by the general public.
In Partnership, Imani showed us a short YouTube clip that provided a very human look into gang violence in El Salvador. BBC interviewed a man named Duke, a member of the gang called "Calle 18." The largest gangs that exist in El Salvador, including Calle 18, actually originated from Los Angeles, CA. The video portrayed the camaraderie and support that exist between gang members. These qualities may help explain why many members join gangs in the first place. Many of the members are recruited at a very young age and are led to believe that the gang is their family. What was most shocking was the open, unashamed attitude many of the members held. This implies just how much gang life is integrated into Salvadoran society and reveals how difficult it will be to stop gang activity, especially when the present infrastructure lacks the necessary resources or authority to effectively combat the issue.

On a brighter note, El Pastoral de la Salud has also shared with us plans for the new upcoming project! The project aims to create a system which will allow local volunteers to be trained in very specialized ways to better their own communities in a 2-year program. Also, 10 volunteers will be chosen to become new leaders in their communities by joining the local parish. We are very excited for this project and pumped up to start campaigning to make this project become a reality! This will be the perfect incentive for us to start raising funds via individual givings and business outreach.

Last but not least, here is a rundown of house points:
Team (Paul) Farmer: 30
Team (Florence) Nightingale: 27
Team (John) Snow: 24
Team (Clara) Barton: 19

Until next time! 

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