Dr. Casey Duffy was once a pre-med student, but after attending a medical mission in Honduras and a partnership with SAN (Sociedad Amigos de los Niño’s), he was on his way to co-founding a great organization; The Global Brigades. By creating an example of what a brigade should be like, many universities across United States began to organize long-term brigades with licensed medical professionals. It was a group of students from Marquette University that was the first group to successfully form a brigade and help a large amount of people at once. Dr. Shital Chauhan was one of the original members of that group and is currently the CEO of the organization. Over the years the program has become prolific, now having many different types of brigades such as water, micro-finance, environmental and others. They all have specific missions and do great work for impoverished communities.

They inspire me because they are able to drastically change lives within a few months. I myself had the opportunity to go on a water brigade and develop a self-sustaining water solution for a struggling village in Honduras called La Concepcion. It was just recently complete one month ago. The work was completed in three months and there was a left a lasting impact on a great community. To be able to witness the effect of your hard work instantly was a great motivator as well.

They show strong ethical impetus because they are focused on helping as many communities as possible and then simply moving on to another one in need. They definitely work quietly, I did not know that they had existed until last year and there wasn’t much publicity about their work, but nonetheless the difference they make is enormous. They self-correct themselves, this was especially true during the water brigade that I was part of. It was clear that compromises had to be made due to lack of resources, but instead of cutting anybody out they worked out a way to get cheaper piping for the whole village. Lastly, they definitely share credit, not just with supervisors, but with hundreds of students across many campuses from the U.S. There are hundreds that visit the site monthly and they make sure they include and thank every single one for their contribution. This group in my opinion best exhibits these qualities of the six.

Naman Upadhyay

http://www.globalbrigades.org/

http://globalbrigades.org/wp-content/themes/Bridge/images//GLOBAL-BRIGADES-USA-FY09-ANNUAL-REPORT.pdf

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