Visiting partners in Africa: A big step toward GlobeMed’s future
“Where is GlobeMed going?” is a question I’m often asked by people all over the world. While the end result is sometimes hard to define, we’ve developed an understanding of how we’ll get there that I’d like to share with you.
Last September, only one and a half months after I began my work at the GlobeMed National Office, our Executive Director Maya Cohen (who was a BRAND new ED at the time) laid out a vision at the 2011 Leadership Institute for where our network could go in the next ten years. Three things she noted stand out to me today as the guiding vision for my daily work.
1. HUNDREDS of students participating in safe, highly productive GROW Internships
2. A Strategic Plan that guides our organizational priorities for the next 3-5 years
3. A Hilltop in Kampala that brings partners together
“Wow!” “Ya!” and “Awesome!” were some of the responses we got, and so we proceeded. Today I have exciting news to share that will guide us in achieving the objectives Maya laid out last September.
This Sunday night, November 4, I will land in Accra, Ghana to kick off six weeks of partner visits to 13 communities across six African countries. Three weeks later, Maya will land in Kampala, Uganda, to visit four more partner organizations and three potential partners. These visits will have three primary goals:
1. Observe the safety, security, and infrastructure of partner communities to ensure safe, highly productive GROW Internships for nearly 200 students in summer 2013.
2. Engage in strategic planning discussions that will allow some of our oldest partners (and some of the newest) to share how GlobeMed has impacted their work and how they would like us to build upon that impact going forward.
3. Conduct in-depth capacity assessmentsthat will reveal partner organizations’ strengths and opportunities for growth. The results of these assessments will inform GlobeMed’s first ever EAST AFRICA FORUM, to be hosted in Kampala, Uganda in July 2013.
Thanks to the generosity of Public Health Institute, USAID, and Segal Family Foundation, not only are we able to bring our partners and student leaders together next summer; we are able to lay the groundwork early on and understand the attending organizations on a deep, personal level. I could not be more grateful to be given the task of visiting our incredible partners. I believe more than anything that the students and organizations engaged in GlobeMed partnerships are making an impact on the world that few people get the opportunity to make. Furthermore, I believe that they are part of an interconnected global action network that is on the brink of a powerful movement.
So, where is GlobeMed going? First, we are going to Africa! After that, I think we should let the stories and data guide us. And we would love for you to contribute to this journey. Follow our Africa visits blog here, and email us if you are interested in sharing a story about how GlobeMed has impacted your life. Our strategy and vision can’t be achieved without you.
With love and gratitude,
Alyssa Smaldino is the Director of Partnerships at the GlobeMed National Office.