So, classes are back in session – and the school year is moving along at a rapid pace. But with the new year come new ideas and new projects. One of my posts last year was that I loved KI because the students are passionate – Sergio, Clara, and Sanni founded their own NGO! Their first initiative was to work with a community in Uganda to improve to support them at https://www.facebook.com/so.globalhealth. In the meantime, here are some of Sergio’s thoughts…
How did you get started with SOGH?
We started the organization SOGH without even knowing probably. I had the opportunity to volunteer previously with the Swedish Red Cross (youth section). Through them, I received some support and we were willing to collaborate together and create a new project managed by KI students for the Red Cross. Unfortunately, there have been some misunderstandings and things didn’t go the way they should have with the Red Cross. For this reason, we decided to go ahead with the project we already had in mind in Uganda anyhow, by ourselves, without having the support of any organizations. So we thought that the easiest way to keep on with projects and fundraise would be to create our own organization and here we are.
What do you hope to accomplish in the long term?
In a long term we wish to achieve as much as possible. Firstly, our aim would be the one to get people in Sweden and other organizations in Sweden to know about us and our work. Secondly, the aim of SOGH is the one to provide financial aid to projects and small local organizations in low income countries. Here, we wish to get partner organizations to work together with, in as many low and lower-middle income countries. Thirdly, our aim is the one to get some stable donors that know our projects and our work and that would be willing to donate on a regular basis. Lastly, our final goal would be the one to get projects that would involve the interest of medical, PH and all health sciences related programmes students. In this regard, SOGH would be happy to involve students to become members and to work with us throughout internships and volunteering abroad.
How can students, organisations, businesses get involved?
Students can get involved by doing internships/volunteering work with us in Sweden as well as through us to our projects with the partner organizations in Rwanda and Uganda. Other organization can benefit from a cooperation and collaboration with us through partnership and exchange of ideas, personnel, projects planning etc. Businesses could be involved by being sponsors and donors of a certain project of the organization as a whole.
What are some key concepts in public health that you have learned and applied in this project (one or two examples)?
Many I have to say. However, I also learned considerably by being on the field. healthcare management and the policy implications gave me the background to understand better the health situation in Uganda nowadays for instance. Also politics and the policies of President Museveni today shape also how disease spread. The impact of policy implications on healthcare is immense in Uganda. Evaluating projects, try to make a project plan; throughout the course of healthcare management, it became clear that most of what we put on practice (personally at least) came from that course.
Best of luck you guys! Go on and make a difference!