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Local helpers, international help – UNB Global Brigades

UNB Global Brigades has been lending a helping hand in Honduras for the past two years, with no signs of slowing down.

With a new chapter this year, UNB Global Brigades is a student-led health and sustainable development organization, using a holistic development approach, collectively implementing health, economic and education initiatives to strategically meet a community’s development goals.

“A common phrase used by volunteers is ‘volunteers empowering communities, communities empowering volunteers,’ ” said Megan Poulin, president of the UNB Global Brigades health and dental chapter.

“I truly believe that as volunteers, we gain just as much as we provide to the communities we work in. There are so many things you learn on a brigade, from cultural awareness to hands-on experience – there is nothing else quite like it.”

In the first year, UNB Global Brigades recruited 25 students to go to Honduras in May of 2013 with the medical and dental chapter. They set up a mobile medical and dental clinic in the rural community of Cofradia, Honduras and saw 655 patients over their week there.

“This is the second year for Global Brigades on campus but first for the water and public health chapter,” said Chantelle McMullin, the president of the UNB Global Brigades water and public health chapter.

“In September 2012, Megan [Poulin] started the [UNB Global Brigades medical and dental] chapter on campus after hearing about the experience from the President of Acadia’s chapter.”

The UNB Global Brigades is currently planning two trips to Honduras this year. One will be in May to set up a mobile medical and dental clinic in a rural area with little or no access to healthcare services. The other will be in August to work on providing access to clean drinking water and improve home infrastructure to prevent many of the diseases seen on the medical brigade.

“We would love to see Global Brigades’s presence on campus grow, with more students participating, more types of brigades being offered and groups travelling to the four different countries,” said McMullin. “We have talked about getting a microfinance and business chapter started to work on setting up a community bank, providing business advice and ultimately, improving Honduran economy one community at a time.”

The UNB Brigades will be having two events this month. The water and public health chapter will be hosting a movie night on Wednesday. They will be showing “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” in Carleton Hall Room 139. Tickets will be $5.

The medical and public health chapter will also be hosting a “Beach Party” at the Hilltop on Friday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets will be $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

If interested to get involve with the group or to find out more information on events, you can drop by room 210 of Marshall d’Avray Hall on Sundays at 7 p.m., or email them at Globalbrigadesunb@gmail.com.

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