Thursday, July 28, 2011

From the Beginning....

I know that I haven't posted anything in a while, but I have a good reason.  The last few weeks have been extremely hectic as I prepare to wrap up my fellowship. However, I wrote a couple of blogs for the Pfizer GHF website, reflecting on my fellowship experience in Rwanda. You can read a portion of my blog entry below: 

RWANDA?” I blinked a couple of times as I looked at the email. The Pfizer Global Health Fellows Program had recommended me to the Access Project, based in Kigali, Rwanda, and they wanted me to interview at their New York office at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I was in utter shock at the location of the assignment since I knew very little about Rwanda except the genocide that took place in 1994, which led to the death of close to one million people. So I was less than thrilled at the prospect of working there for close to six months. Continue reading here

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Somalia - The Horn of Africa

PHOTO: US: Somalia Food Crisis One of Biggest in Decades
Picture courtesy of ABC News

“If we don’t act now, famine will spread to all eight regions of southern Somalia,” said Mark Bowden, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator for Somalia. “Every day of delay in assistance is literally a matter of life or death.”

The United Nations has declared the ongoing food-crisis in Somalia as a famine. What began as a drought in 2009 has escalated into a severe humanitarian crisis in recent months. From the beginning of the year, UN Under-Secretary General Valery Amos reported that Somalia "is again teetering on the brink of a much larger scale disaster due to the threat of a countrywide drought. Two million people, about 27% of the population, are in crisis." Now approximately eight months later, the world is taking notice and international relief organizations like CARE, have issued an Emergency Alert. Please donate what you can, to help the millions of people in Somalia address their food shortage and gain access to healthcare and other necessities. 


International Rescue Committee (IRC)

World Vision

World Vision ACT:S


Save the Children

Additional Resources: Poverty Matters 


Friday, July 1, 2011

Independence Day and Liberation Day

Today, Friday July 1st is Independence Day in Rwanda. It marks the end of Belgian rule on July 1, 1962, after 50 years in power.  Liberation Day, is celebrated three days later on July 4th, and marks the end of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Ironically, Independence Day did not free Rwanda from conflict, it opened the door for further bigotry and hate. It wasn't until 32 years later when the genocide ended, that freedom was granted to all Rwandans.  Here's to many more years of peace and progress in Rwanda. Happy Liberation Day Rwanda!