Global Brigades makes a world of difference


Global Brigades proves that one mission and one week can make all the difference. 

Each year, the Central Michigan University organization travels to developing nations over spring break in an effort to create sustainable living conditions.

The registered student organization president, Greenville senior Seth Barker met with an academic adviser his freshmen year to plan a spring break trip. 

He was advised to Global Brigade with Michigan State University in Honduras.

“It's cliché, but to be able to travel abroad and first-hand see the difference in culture and lack of resources in these areas is life changing,” he said. “I think people don’t realize what they have and take for granted the environment we live in compared to the rest of the world.”

Four years ago, after embarking in his first brigade, Barker was motivated to bring the movement to CMU.

“It nice to look back at the initiatives that you and some of your peers started. You share your life changing in country experiences," Barker said. 

Each brigade includes four service categories: Medical, dental, public health and water. The student-led groups have a primary goal of global health sustainability in Honduras, Ghana, Panama and Nicaragua. Over the past three years, nearly 200 students have brigaded.

Global Brigades Secretary, Westland senior Angeline Sawaya, is one of the founding executive board members who has participated in the CMU brigade for the past three years.

“I have a passion for global health and helping others and I felt a connection with the sustainability aspect,” she said. “It is a life-changing experience that has made me appreciate how much more I have in comparison to how little they have. Global Brigades has empowered me to want to do more.”

Any student can join the RSO at anytime throughout the school year. Students can travel alongside the organization over spring break even if they are not in the RSO.

“Global Brigades allows you to have an impact on the lives of others, while learning for yourself,” said Westland junior, Organization PR Chair Louise Sawaya. “You are helping others and yourself. It is a great feeling to know that what you have done for the week will continue to make an impact for years and years to come, rather than just that week you are there.” 

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