GlobeMed at Lawrence University partners with Health Development Initiative in Kigali, Rwanda to increase access to sexual health education.
GlobeMed at Lawrence University + Health Development Initiative
GlobeMed at Lawrence University | Appleton, Wisconsin
Health Development Initiative (HDI) | Kigali, Rwanda
The founders of Health Development Initiative were born and raised in remote areas of Eastern and Central Africa, where simple, preventable diseases claimed many lives, especially those of women and children. This inspired them to become health care professionals and work towards improving the health and well-being of their communities.
“All the words in Webster’s dictionary could never explain the impact the GROW Internship had on me. There are a handful of events you go through in life that truly change you as a person down to your core. This was one for me. I was faced with realities completely out of my comfort zone, to the point where I look back and sometimes wonder how I got through it. The memories I made with the things I experienced and the people I was with will be with me forever. ”
– Gaelen Lombard-Knapp, Lawrence University ’13
About the Partnership
Health Development Initiative (HDI)-Rwanda is a non-governmental, non-profit organization based in Kigali, Rwanda. It was founded in 2005 by a dedicated group of Rwandan physicians who were united by a shared vision to improve the health of disadvantaged communities. Today, they strive to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare for all Rwandans through advocacy, education, and training in an attempt to bridge the gap between communities and the healthcare system. HDI as an organization prides itself on several key competencies including extensive understanding of the Rwandan health system, the promotion of health and human rights, and innovation in community health development.
This year, GlobeMed at Lawrence University and HDI have raised over $4,000 to fund the Sexual Health and Reproductive Education (SHARE) Project. This project will empower secondary school students to educate their peers, providing the youth of Rwanda with valuable information about sexual and reproductive health, as well as STI and HIV/AIDS prevention methods.
The SHARE project hopes to educate students about ways to prevent STIs and unwanted pregnancies so that they can make educated decisions about their sexual lives and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDs in the region. Recent advocacy by HDI on behalf of the SHARE program led to the availability of condoms in Rwandan secondary schools in order to promote safer sexual behaviors among adolescents.