The SHU Global Medical Brigades (GMB) is a student-led organization that unites students from different colleges and majors, forming a family with the goal of giving back.
GMB aims to resolve global health and economic disparities. According to club members, GMB inspires them to work together toward an equal world. The group often goes on mission trips to under-privileged communities.
Natalie Miranda, a sophomore biology major and GMB’s PR chair, said the club’s mission is to “implement a holistic model to meet a community’s health goals.”
GMB is planning two mission trips this year. While the group usually travels as a whole, 10 volunteers are taking a rare opportunity to visit Ghana and learn about the countries healthcare system. The rest of the organization will be heading to Nicaragua. The GMB had previously gone to Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama.
President Amanda Baier, a junior biology pre-dental major, recalled an instance from a mission in Honduras. A little girl had brought them to the village’s water source. It turned out to be a green and brown pond, surrounded by mosquitoes. While taking in the horrifying scene before her, she saw some girls from another brigade saying things like “this is so sad” and “this is terrible,” while unabashedly taking pictures.
“I remember just feeling this anger and embarrassment of how insensitive and unaware that was,” Baier said.
Baier said she sees the need for the society to be more empathetic, humble and respectful. She added that this is her personal mission, as a member of this organization. She said it is also something she hopes members would learn through their commitment to GMB.
Students have many reasons for joining GMB. However, members expressed a driving desire to help their community.
Liem Pham, a freshman biology major, echoed this sentiment in explaining why she would recommend other students join GMB.
“It is such a fun, laid-back club that is really directed at serving others.” Pham said.
GMB continues to grow on campus and members, as well as interested students, are invited to participate in the club’s game nights. These game nights are on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. in A&S Room 109.
The organization is also planning a Valentine’s Day fundraiser. Updates and information on this initiative can be found on GMB’s Instagram page.
Valerie Qiu Wen Ong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.