CMU GMB, founded in 2008, is a student-led organization devoted to empowering rural communities in Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Every year, around 25-30 CMU students participate in CMU GMB. In the past, most of our members have been students in MCS, CIT, and Dietrich, but all students are welcome to participate.
CMU GMB is one of hundreds of student organizations that work with Global Brigades. At CMU, there are three other independent brigade groups: Global Public Health Brigades, Global Water Brigades, and Global Business Brigades. Global Brigades uses a holistic approach to resolve health and economic disparities. This approach aims to help communities in all fronts such that these communities will one day be able to sustain a higher quality of life without external assistance.
Throughout the school year, we prepare for the brigade by collecting medications and hygiene supplies, fundraising, and learning the language and culture of the community we are serving. During spring break, we travel to these communities for a week-long brigade. Typically, the brigade will consist of both a medical brigade and another portion. During the medical brigade, we help run a free medical clinic for underserved communities. We work alongside general practitioners, gynecologists, dentists, and optometrists to provide these communities with medical care. We run the triage station, shadow and assist the doctors, and work in the pharmacy to deliver patients with their prescriptions. For the other portion of the brigade, typically we do a public health project, such as building hygiene stations and laying concrete floors. In the past, we have also finished environmental projects and ran educational sessions about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
CMU GMB was also one of the pioneering groups to implement a vision station to the medical clinic. Starting in 2015, the group collected donated glasses and raised funds to purchase two autorefractors, hand-held tools that can take one's vision prescription. With the inventory and the autorefractors, CMU GMB has distributed thousands of glasses during the brigades.
Our accomplishments speak to the great support of the communities we work with in country, Global Brigades, Carnegie Mellon University, and our sponsors. We thank everyone who has made our brigades possible, and we look forward to many more brigades to come.