Timmy Global Health at IU is dedicated to expanding access to health care for people in rural Guatemala. More than that, TGH also empowers students to make real changes for good and further develop their passion for service. The money we raise goes directly to our partner organization, Pop Wuj, a Spanish school in Guatemala that also runs a free health clinic. The yearlong efforts from our students help fund the clinic and provide it the necessary resources it needs to maintain itself, including pharmaceuticals, a doctor's salary, and an infant malnutition program. We are excited to continue our work here at Indiana University for Timmy Global Health and our community both at home and abroad.
Locally, I and many of my fellow Timmy members volunteer at the local food bank (Hoosier Hills Food Bank), the Salvation Army, the Buddy Walk, the hospital, an afterschool healthy living program for elementary school kids, and advocate for Timmy's projects in Guatemala.
I was fortunate enough to be chosen to go on the brigade to Xela, Guatemala this past spring. One of my main takeaways from the trip was that the conditions that made over half of our group sick are the conditions that the Guatemalans have to live in everyday. Our group suffered digestive upset, headaches, altitude sickness, and asthma flare ups largely due to the environment. We were able to pack our bags, go home, wash our clothes, and empty our lungs and sinus of the black and grey smog, dirt, and dust that had lodged itself there. The Guatemalans lack a government, leaders, and resources to ameliorate their situation. There is a stark lack of social mobility for them and for many, everyday is a struggle. I saw how our efforts help them. We are able to bring them medications and basic care that they otherwise could not afford. When a room of adults and children are caught up in rapt attention by a tooth brushing demonstration, because they’ve never been educated on what to do with dental care, it just shows how little emphasis there is on public health and wellness.
The efforts of Timmy Global Health to provide sustainable, primary health care, an infant malnutrition program, safe stoves, and clean water to a population in need are paramount to the future of the Guatemalan people. We can’t come in and “fix” all of their society’s problems in a week, month, or year, but we can come in and help, guide, and offer support and resources as they desire to grow and better their situation as is best for their country and culture.