The title of Paul Farmer’s 2011 commencement OP-ED instantly caught my eye as I am reflecting on my experience in Ghana this summer. Because my time in Ghana (and my passion for learning more about global health) is more than just a vacation/tourist adventure/hobby, but a meaningful experience that will hopefully lead into a career in international development..
I am currently finishing my last Berkeley course that consists of critically reviewing my experience in the Global Poverty and Practice minor, especially after gaining fieldwork experience in Ghana. In this last course I am examining my thoughts and assumptions concerning international development and poverty alleviation, but also, thinking of the future and what my role can be in working to change the disparities between the Global North and the Global South.
Farmer discusses how global health research and programs need to be more than “just a hobby” but a collaborative effort to improve knowledge and health care in the Global South. “More than Just a Hobby”
On Friday, April 1st through Saturday, April 2nd, thousands of UC Berkeley students shook their groove thangs at the annual Dance Marathon. As co-chair this year, I not only had an up-close and personal relationship with the planning process for DM, but I was able to meet a few people who work for the foundation DM benefits – the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. I visited family in Washington, DC during spring break and had time to stop by the Foundation’s DC office. The atmosphere of the office – filled with pictures of African children and landscapes from all over the world – reflected the focus of all the people who work there. They all have a passion for fighting pediatric AIDS and working to institute changes in global health. Talking with several people from the Elizabeth Glaser team gave me an even bigger motivational boost to make this year’s Dance Marathon a huge success. And let me tell you, it most definitely was!
Dance Marathon 2011 - Oh the Places We'll Go!
This year we raised over $53,000 for the Foundation! Dancers enjoyed great music, food, entertainment (even aerial circus performers!), and guest speakers talking about the Foundation’s work around the world. Check out the DailyCal’s Article about DM this year. And to all the Berkeley DM Dancers out there – thank you for all your hard work and dedication to fighting pediatric AIDS. This year we exceeded our fundraising goal! DM shows the power of a youth movement to make global change – and it doesn’t mean you have to have a ton of money, it is all about spreading awareness and telling your network of family and friends that it only takes $15 to give a women the necessary treatment she needs to prevent transmission of HIV to her baby – yep only $15 (thats might be your Starbucks allowance for the work week).
We raised $53,478 this year! Way to go UC Berkeley DM!