Our Alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Human Rights
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Public Health
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Learn About Our Programs
Mobile ClinicsMobile medical clinics and preventative health workshops are implemented within partner communities through the utilization of student and health professional volunteers. Community members are provided with pro-bono consultations, pap-smears, dental care and other specialized screenings based on the scope of the health professionals.
Patient ReferralsPatients with severe diagnoses during mobile medical clinics are referred to local health clinics and hospitals for more advanced treatments. In appropriate cases, Global Brigades provides financial assistance for treatments.
Community Health WorkersSelect volunteers living in the community are trained by our staff to become Community Health Workers (CHWs). CHWs provide basic medical care, monitor chronic conditions, and serve as point persons for urgent care cases year-round.
Community PharmacySpecialized doctors conduct regular visits to the community to follow-up with chronic patients, care for acute illnesses and supply a community pharmacy with adequate medicine. The community pharmacy is directly funded by the community.
Community BanksLocal leaders are identified and trained by our staff and volunteers to organize Community-Owned Banks to provide critical financial services to the community. Local governments recognize these banks as legitimate institutions allowing them to provide access to savings and loans.
Access to CapitalCommunity banks provide access to savings, loans and financial literacy. Through regular trainings, our staff and volunteers work to creating a culture of savings in the community alongside the creation of the banks. Saving demonstrates the value of longer term horizons, goal setting, provides for a safety net, and capitalizes local banks with funds available for entrepreneurs to take loans or create micro-enterprises. In addition, access to loans and education on responsible loan usage allows communities to further grow their businesses.
Income GrowthOur staff identify business opportunities and facilitate consulting projects between the volunteers and entrepreneurs to help small businesses grow. Staff and volunteers help entrepreneurs determine the financial return on potential investments and whether loans are a prudent tool for growth.
InvestmentVolunteers and donors contribute the essential funds for community-owned banks to lend to local businesses for their investments. The funds are repaid and recirculated back into the local economy, exponentially growing the accounts. Commonly, our banks start with just a few hundred dollars, but will grow grow within 2-3 years of having more than $10,000 USD. For communities averaging about 100 homes and making less than $2 it can be life-changing.
Clean Water System DesignWater systems are designed, planned, and budgeted with partner communities, international volunteers and the support of our local staff of engineers. Designs take into account accessible water sources and community needs with the goal to provide clean water piped directly to families’ homes.
WASH LeadershipLocal leaders are identified by the community to serve as the community’s Water Council, which collects monthly water fees from households to operate and maintain the constructed water system. This locally empowered team ensures the future sustainability of the project once construction is complete and receives regular follow-up from our local staff. A Basic Sanitation Committee is also trained to carry out in-home assessments of Public Health projects, such as latrines, clean burning stoves, and water storage units.
Clean Water System ConstructionOnce designed, clean water systems are constructed with local community members working alongside volunteers and local engineers. Systems include the collaboration between community members, government and Global Brigades. Construction may take several months to complete and can include several large scale components, such as dams and storage tanks.
Healthy HouseholdsVolunteers, masons and families work together to implement four projects to improve health, hygiene and sanitation. Eco-stoves to target respiratory diseases, latrines to decrease the spread of infectious diseases and parasites, water storage units to improve hand washing and hygiene, and concrete floors to prevent skin diseases. Through collaboration with Community Banks, families are investing in their own health.
How We Fund Our Model
Global Brigades is almost entirely funded through our volunteer’s fundraising. We empower more than 500 chapters worldwide to mobilize their peers to participate in week-long Brigades to assist in implementing our programs alongside full-time local staff. Volunteers fundraise their Program Contribution, which funds the project, as well as covers our year round work.
A few passionate donors have donated directly to our holistic model. Since all of our overhead is covered through funds raised for Brigades, we are able to utilize 100% of these funds for healthcare, economic development or WASH.
In 2015, Global Brigades was awarded its first grant from the Inter-American Development Bank. Over three years, $1 Million will be granted to assist us in scaling our Public Health products to communities in Honduras through a full cost recovery model.