Two of the characteristics of a Jesuit education, stated under Loyola’s mission, are global awareness and service that promotes justice. In this, many of Loyola’s students are living out this mission in their experiences through Global Brigades.
Global Brigades is a student-led, non-profit organization that empowers communities to reach economic and medical goals with the help of university student volunteers and local teams. Global Brigades has nine different brigades under its holistic model for sustainability: architecture, business, dental, environmental, human rights, medical, micro-finance, public health, and water.
There is no limit to the amount of valuable experience pre-med students can gain from participating in medical brigades that promote justice through service. E-board member of Loyola’s chapter of Global Brigades, Chelsea Sumida, explains, “not only do they experience first-hand clinical care, they also develop crucial caretaker/patient relationships. Student volunteers gain an awareness of global resource gaps and an appreciation of the clinical techniques employed in under-resourced countries to treat patients.”
In promoting global awareness, Sumida also says, “Students can also gain cultural awareness through their experiences and service abroad. It is certainly a wonderful way to broaden student awareness of global issues.”
However, pre-med students should consider going on brigades other than medical to gain a better perspective on Global Brigade’s holistic model. Sumida advocates, “Programs such as the Public Health and Water Brigades employ preventative projects in order to reduce the medical issues encountered on Medical Brigades and are intimately tied to Global Brigades sustainable mission.”
When asked, “why do you go on brigades?” Sumida replies, “I participate on brigades because I am passionate about improving health and economic development globally. The holistic approach Global Brigades takes when collaborating with communities has always resonated with me. The volunteers and community members I have met through participating on brigades have also created some of the most genuine and uplifting relationships I have ever developed in my life.”
To get involved with a brigade, students can attend general information sessions at the beginning of each semester, visit the Loyola Global Brigades Facebook page, or email the chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.