Sunday, July 30, 2017

First Ever Medical Student Internship at GPM

Standing inside the Sharvan Health Clinic
For the first time ever, GPM welcomes three fourth year medical students from the United Kingdom. Lucy Lewis, Sally Maryosh and Elkie Ben Hur have arrived in India and their work has already begun. During their four weeks in India they will be working at the GPM Sharvan Health Center  in the Kalwa slums, in the villages with the GPM mobile clinic and with  Doctors for You, in Mankhurd - central Mumbai. 

Sally and Lucy are completing their medical studies at the University of East Anglia while Elkie is attending the medical school at Liverpool University.

Sally says she is excited to learn more about how the health care system works in developing countries, “It is amazing work that the doctors and volunteers do here and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to truly understand India’s culture and health system and the diversity of life here.” 

Students learn about health
The medical interns learn about the differences between urban slum health and rural village health and the challenges that Indian doctors face on a daily basis.  They will be working to establish protocols for various infections and sicknesses that will greatly benefit the Sharvan Health Center and Doctors for You. They also get the privilege of working alongside Dr. Pravin Rathod during their time in the villages.  

Lucy Lewis explains how she knew she wanted to have an enriching medical experience for her internship, “ I was really hoping to go to India; I wanted to do something different, and I did not want to spend my month in a hospital. I wanted to throw myself in at the deep end and have a once in a lifetime opportunity to utilize my medical skills in a helpful and productive way. I am also particularly interested in community medicine, especially the care of women and children.”

The three interns have just completed teaching several classes of children in kalwa about good health and hygiene.  

"We feel very fortunate that Lucy, Elkie, and Sally chose GPM as their elective internship, says Samantha Klazkin, GPM Associate Director, "and we hope that this experience stays with them throughout their medical careers."

Performing health-checkups for pre-school children at GPM pre-school

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Samantha Klazkin joins GPM as Associate Director

We are so excited that Samantha Klazkin, 25, has joined GPM as its Associate Director. Currently living in Jerusalem, Samantha graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 with a degree in International Studies and Communications and later was a volunteer with GPM during the summer of 2013, and as she says, “loved every moment of it.”

Samantha in 2013 as a GPM Fellow
After graduating from University, Samantha moved back to South Florida to work for AIPAC and then followed in her parents’ footsteps by moving to Israel.

At GPM Samantha’s role is in programming, communications, partner relations and supporting innovative development work in the field.

Samantha’s favorite memories from volunteering are: “walking into the classrooms each morning and being greeted by so many smiling children, exploring India, and being immersed in Indian culture. “

Speaking about her new role at GPM, Samantha says, “I am so happy that I am part of this incredible organization.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New GPM Village Kitchen Feeds over 500 Children

As part of the GPM Love2Learn Program in under-served tribal rural villages in India, a new central kitchen was opened in the village of Ashte, Palghar. The kitchen serves 20 surrounding villages (over 500 children) with healthy meals on a daily basis. During the months of January to June, the villages suffer with a severe drought, making food very scarce. Consequently, many of the village residents are malnourished. The children are especially vulnerable to malnutrition, so it is vital that the village has a stable supply of food for the young students.
Children eating the meals that the women prepared for them

Women preparing the food for the young students
The central kitchen in the village was modeled after the GPM central kitchen in the Kalwa slums in Mumbai.The Ashte kitchen provides employment to women who live in the village by hiring them to cook the meals for the children. This kitchen is a place where women can come to talk, laugh, and prepare meals all while receiving a stable salary for the first time. It brings a sense of pride and empowerment to these special women who know that their hard work will keep the village children in school.

The nutrition program supplied by the women in the Ashte kitchen and distributed to 20 village GPM classes is an important way to maintain overall health, increase attendance and cut down of child labor.

A big thanks to our partners Sundara and Humble Smile who support an overall hygiene program for the children in the GPM Love2Learn system; quality nutrition and good hygiene go hand-in-hand to foster good health for 500 children.