Friday, September 13, 2013

Community Service Day at Washington University in Saint Louis

The Brown School for Social Work and Public Health at Washington University-Saint Louis hosted a community service day as a part of the first-year student orientation. Volunteers gathered at the school's Commons, got their t-shirts with the slogan “Be a Leaf in the Tree of Change” and then were divided into groups.

I went with my group to Tower Grove Park in Saint Louis to join the “Casa De Salud” booth (one of many booths) in celebration of the ongoing "Festival of Nations." Casa De Salud is a Spanish phrase which translates to "House of Health" which Lorine, the lady pictured in colorful clothes, explained to the group. The organization helps people who have no health insurance get access to healthcare by setting up appointments with physicians and referring them if needed for further assistance accordingly. They also held classes on healthy nutrition, offered Zumba dance classes, and had attendees go for a one mile walk called "Walk the Healthy Mile."

Lorine gave us a brief orientation and handed us a collection of colorful tags to wear on our shirts, and we helped her by introducing people to "Casa De Salud" and distributed cards and brochures to encourage people to start a healthier life.

It was such an enriching experience, not only on the Public Health student level, but also on a personal level. The diversity in this country and yet the peace, mutual respect, and understanding between people is very nice! Witnessing the "Festival of Nations" was an overwhelming experience and I hope that I can witness peace soon in my country.

All volunteers met at the Commons again and after a short speech from the Dean, a member of each group briefed their experience. You may enjoy pictures posted by students in documentation of this nice day on Instagram with the tag #WUSTLBROWNSCHOOL.

Hind Neamah is an Iraqi Fulbright grantee pursuing a Master’s of Public Health at the Washington University in St. Louis.

No comments:

Post a Comment