Global Brigades is an organization focused on the establishment of a holistic model for sustainability and improvement in global health. In order to attain this model, each chapter including the one at UC Berkeley has created architecture, medical, microfinance, public health, and water brigades. The UC Berkeley chapter of Global Brigades particularly focuses on attaining its goals in communities in Honduras.
This process begins with the mobilization of student volunteers that wish to offer the means and resources to improve the quality of life in these communities while respecting local cultures. Rather than entering a community and having the mindset of changing a culture, Global Brigades prioritizes moving a community towards development. The Berkeley chapter has chosen to send its eager students to Honduras because it is one of the four poorest and indebted countries in the Americas. Cal's program informs students about Honduras' culture though a DeCal, which also prepares the students for what they will be doing on the brigade. While immersing students in Honduran culture, students join a variety of projects that all contribute to the holistic model idealized by both the community and the organization.
The Architecture Brigades designs and constructs a variety of projects for Honduras. Recently, they developed a think tank design to promote communication between the community and the students conducting independent research. The Medical Brigade provides healthcare services to these communities that do not have regular access to a hospital. Volunteers bring doctors and dentists to treat patients and host public health workshops. The Microfinance Brigade organizes financial services for low-income clients who wish to be involved with projects in Global Brigades. It offers low interest loans and lending transactions for investments into the clients' futures. The Public Health Brigade partners with community leaders to concrete floors, build septic tanks and hygiene stations, and teach an education workshop about an assigned health topic. Finally, the Water Brigade implements clean water and sanitation solutions by bringing fresh water to communities by building a dam. All of these specific brigades contribute to the holistic model to better the community as a whole.
1."About." Global Brigades at Berkeley. 22 Feb. 2014 <http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~gmbberk/ site/?page_id=149>.
2."About / Vision & Mission «." Vision & Mission. 26 Feb. 2014 <http://www.globalbrigades.org/vision-mission>.
3. "Global Brigades at University of California Berkeley | Global Brigades." Global Brigades at University of California Berkeley | Global Brigades. 24 Feb. 2014 <http://www.globalbrigades.org/chapters/university/university-of-california-berkeley>.