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MPH, NGO Africa, Uganda, Indian

I have been involved for some time in raising funds for a charitable organization called GlobeMed, which has a sister organization in Uganda called ‘Set Her Free’ – a non-profit organization working to provide health, education, and rehabilitative services to young girls in Uganda. I had heard descriptions of the problems suffered by young females in Uganda. Still, the difference between hearing about such issues and witnessing them is, I discovered, a very different thing. My experiences in Uganda over six short weeks as one of four interns from GWU have left an indelible impression on me and a determination to do my part in alleviating at least some of the anguish that I witnessed and to help others to do so.

My team’s remit in Uganda was to undertake a needs assessment project in some matter calling for intervention. We called our project ‘The Sanitary Pad Program.’ One of the major problems we found is that the girls are reduced to using animal skin, rags, or leaves as sanitary pads, which are of minimal effectiveness, resulting in embarrassment and discomfort which often leads girls to absent themselves from school for a week each month and so to suffer a consequent loss of education and later opportunity. This problem was compounded by a lack of soap and a change of underwear; girls often possess just one pair of pants, usually ancient. We arranged, in one village, for the regular provision of a supply of re-usable pads, soap, toilet paper, and underwear. Still, the problem is distressingly widespread throughout Uganda and beyond.

As part of my engagement with GlobeMed, I had the opportunity to explore international collaboration in a public health care context through a sustained partnership with their partner organization in Uganda. It was inspiring to witness GlobeMed expand from a tiny initial community to a massive network of one and a half thousand students from 46 different universities. This has shown me that effective cross-disciplinary collaboration between like-minded individuals can yield tremendous global results. I am currently GlobeMed’s co-president on campus. In the future, I would like to become GlobeMed’s Alumni Advisor to be involved in structuring new educational and fundraising platforms for current alumni.

My objective in making this application is to acquire advanced skills and knowledge in Community Health to enable me to assist in improving the health education and health of rural families in the ‘third world.’ Ultimately, my ambition is to work with an NGO to advance rural populations' public health and to pass on my passion and knowledge to a new generation of Public Health specialists.

I believe that exposure to ‘real, life situations is vital to those studying this specialty to ensure that real people with real problems do not become mere ‘budgetary units’ or statistical data in the minds of those responsible for improving the lives of real people. I intend to seek such ‘real world’ exposure throughout my future studies and career to ensure that I retain my focus on the underlying ‘why’ of my studies and work.

I am also aware that the mere desire to ‘do something is hardly sufficient in becoming a handy professional in this field and that highly developed analytical and planning skills, the ability to evaluate, primarily statistical, data and an understanding of cross-disciplinary cooperation to a common end, are all vital. My Bachelor's degree studies in Biology have called for well-developed analytical and statistical skills, and I have assisted in research projects as a member of an effective team. I consider myself to have good research skills and look forward to being involved in a research project within the program and am particularly interested in problems in the provision of clean water in rural third-world communities, which is a problem that I have personally witnessed.

I am conscious that cultural sensitivity is vital in this field of work and that understanding the culture and attitudes of those one seeks to serve is fundamental to being effective. I am of Indian background and have happily studied, worked, and interacted with people from various cultural and social backgrounds. I happily share knowledge of my own culture and positively seek to acquire knowledge from others. I get along well with others and am blessed with a good sense of humor. In addition to English, I am fluent in Gujarati, Hindi, and Urdu.

I am drawn to the program because of the prestigious faculty, a curriculum and research program that fits my needs well, and the promise of the challenging but supportive academic environment in which I thrive.

While I cannot claim direct professional experience in the specialty, I believe that my voluntary work and the knowledge gained from it, my characteristics, and the relevant skills and knowledge gained and honed in my Bachelor's degree studies will enable me to ‘add value to the program. I promise the reader I will participate in the program with great diligence and enthusiasm.

Thank you for considering my application.

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All of the Statement samples on this web site were written more than 2 years ago and all are anonymous.

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