For Oregon State student-athletes Seth Thomas (wrestling) and Hannah Russo (soccer) this summer will be filled with an enlightening adventure. The duo, along with several other OSU students, is traveling to Nicaragua as part of Global Brigades. Global Brigades is the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization.
The team will leave in mid-June for nine days in the Central American country to provide health related services and construct buildings.
“I thought this would be really great to take advantage of a little bit of free time that I have and experience something out of my comfort zone,” Thomas said. “Choosing to do Global Brigades over another program has really benefited me in the fact that it truly relates to what I want to do the rest of my life.
“Not only that, but I've had the opportunity to go out of my way and meet some incredible people through the Club that I probably would have never crossed paths with. Each day I’m more anxious to go on the trip and have my eyes opened to the atmosphere of health care in a country that maybe isn't as fortunate as we are here in the U.S.”
Global Medical Brigades develops sustainable health initiatives and provides relief where there is limited access to healthcare for many Central American countries. Each community receives a brigade every three to four months where hundreds of patients are treated and volunteers deliver public health workshops.
“I stumbled upon the Global Brigades after questioning some of the advisers around campus and decided to go to a meeting,” Russo said. “I felt like it was a good fit for me and what I wanted to do. I've already made a ton of friends and had a ton of fun preparing for the trip.
“I'm looking forward to going to the village and helping in any way I can. I've done some shadowing in my home community, but I’m eager to see how different medicine is in a less fortunate country like Nicaragua. I hope to learn things about medicine and most importantly about myself on the trip. I want to really go out of my way to help somebody in need.”
The trip will cost each volunteer approximately $2,000 which includes airfare, ground transportation, clean water, food and secured lodging.
Global Medical Brigades places a great deal of emphasis on fundraising, as this is a collegiate organization. To learn more or how you can help go to the Oregon State Global Brigades website by following this link.