The Melbourne University Global Health Society (MUGHS), formally known as Community Based Health Projects (CBHP) was at the centre of a thriving community of passionate people concerned with addressing health injustices both in Australia and India.
In September 2010, inspired by the success of the Jamkhed model for rural transformation in India, Dr Moses Kharat decided to return to his native town of Buldana to dedicate his energies to working with the rural poor. The project eventually became known as the CBHP and previously operated in eight project villages in Buldhana. Over the past decade, CBHP and Dr Moses made great strides in improving both awareness and health outcomes in rural India.
After much deliberation, CBHP became its own entity in India, and CBHP Australia’s University of Melbourne student team founded MUGHS, with the aim of fostering greater engagement and awareness of health issues globally. We strongly believe that our spirit should continue as a new and separate organisation that focuses on the strengths of what we, the students, traditionally have - that is: delivering workshops and running awareness events. MUGHS will continue its lasting relationship with CBHP by integrating our knowledge and expertise to deliver lasting impact in our domestic community and beyond.
The education team delivers fun interactive workshops to raise awareness of important global health issues. We hope that by providing a foundational knowledge of these problems and how they affect people locally we can empower participants to engage with them further and identify the potential for change in their own community.
Workshops take place at the University of Melbourne as well as Nossal High School and may cover topics such as maternal health, gender inequity and homelessness.
The University of Melbourne workshops are open to all students regardless of their field of study, and are a great opportunity to learn more about key health issues and discuss them with peers, while taking the time to unwind from classes and enjoy a catered meal.
The Nossal High School workshops are part of an annual program for year 9 and 10 students at the school which aims to provide an engaging means of learning about global health and to encourage dialogue in this area among the leaders of tomorrow.
As the outreach team, we engage with local partner organisations related to the global health issue at focus and through this we undertake volunteering opportunities and fundraising initiatives. We aim to not only spread awareness for these issues, but to also connect with our community and integrate learning with hands-on experience for participants in promoting global health.
We organize workshops for our partner organizations where they can share their story and impact on the community through the work they do and, along with them, we partake in “one day volunteering excursions” so we can provide university students the chance to become involved in community volunteering projects.
Finally, we organize fundraising events at the university for our partner organizations and their work. This gives students the opportunity to support their local community through donations as well as to be able to exercise their knowledge and skills in raising awareness on these issues and advocate for global health within the university community.
HOW WE MAKE AN IMPACT
Our 4 Step Action Plan
To carry out our aim in providing a holistic approach for students to understand and advocate for global health issues, MUGHS follows a 4 steps action plan on one chosen topic each year by presenting various educational and volunteering opportunities. With our chosen topic, we select a Partner Organisation from our community that is related to our chosen global health topic. MUGHS works together with them to provide a hands on experience for our participants to engage with and advocate for global health.
Each step intends to build on the experience from the previous event, allowing students to experience a continuous interaction with the chosen topic and partner organisation. However, there is also a flexibility in this program in that students are able to participate at any time as they wish as we will provide the relevant background information at each step.
Our template for the annual 4 steps action plan include:
AWARENESS: EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP
Interactive workshop from our education team to provide relevant background information on the chosen global health issue/theme of the year
Purpose is to raise awareness, trigger discussion and interest
ENGAGEMENT: PARTNER ORGANISATION WORKSHOP
Partner organisation presents about their group, visions and share their impacts and projects in the community
Purpose is to inspire and engage students with their stories and journeys, as well as demonstrating some practical ways to help with a global issue of interest
ACTION: VOLUNTEERING EXCURSION WITH PARTNER ORGANISATION
A “one day volunteering trip” with our partner organisation, allowing university students to engage with a local volunteering project
Purpose is to provide a practical approach for students to contribute to a local organisation after learning more about the global health topic at hand
Further contribution by students to the partner organisation by raising funds via events planned by our Outreach team at university
Purpose is to allow students to now raise awareness and actively advocate for the global health topic in the university community as well as contribute to our local society by donation
In addition to our 4 steps action plan, we also run special one-off events without a partner organisation or single theme, such as case competitions and other interactive events. MUGHS is also partnered with Nossal High School where we run interactive workshops for high school students on various global health issues such as gender equity, resource distribution etc. We also mentor and work with a student team at Nossal to come up with their own fundraisers and events.