Each week we bring you the story and perspective of one of our outstanding Brigaders. This week, meet Laura Collier, a Medical Brigades volunteer from Oakland Univeristy in Rochester, MI, who recently participated in a Medical Brigade in Honduras.
Why did you chose to volunteer for Global Brigades? How did it impact you?
Passion. This word sparked my initiative to implement a positive change in today’s world. Inevitably, in combination with my passion for medicine, this initiative paved my journey towards health equity; I strove to help aid the billion people suffering in destitute poverty with little, or no access to healthcare. As a product of passion, I launched a chapter of Global Medical Brigades at Oakland University. Together, as a group of Oakland University students, we worked to organize and plan a medical brigade. Our goal was to provide free healthcare to as many people as possible in a rural Honduran community.
Global Brigades launched with the insight of this powerful idea; that, as students, we have the capability of changing our world, and empowering our collegiate communities. As students we stand as influential advocates for global health, and socioeconomic development in the Developing World.
In December 2011, with the help of Honduran licensed medical professionals, our mobile clinic provided free healthcare to 600 rural community members in Hoya Grande! In addition to volunteering in the clinic, I was able to witness the local culture in the community.
In the company of Global Brigades’ staff, I walked down the roads of the community. The community lifestyle of Hoya Grande was incredibly inspiring. In American ideology, our happiness is dependent on materialism. This materialistic ideology is completely polar to the representation of the Hoya Grande community. The community members exhibited incredible happiness in respect to their impoverished conditions. Their optimistic attitude concealed any hardship. For me, witnessing their culture was both humbling and inspiring.
After returning to the United States, Oakland University brigaders launched additional Global Brigade programs, including Public Health Brigades and Architecture Brigades. We hope to eventually launch all nine Global Brigades programs on campus as an attempt to further our impact.
Global Brigades has provided me with so many incredible opportunities. My Honduran experiences reaffirmed my passion for humanitarianism, as well as, medicine. Not only have I grown as a person, but the skills I have acquired as a Global Brigades’ student leader are priceless. Thank you, Global Brigades and all the wonderful student leaders Global Brigades encompasses. Keep up the great work!