On January 18th, 2019, we posted our very first blog and started an incredible journey with all of you. Our blog has allowed us to find new and creative ways to communicate what we are all about here at WHEF. Throughout the last two years, we’ve explore a variety of topics from global health to the history of healthcare and even the social determinants of health. We’ve also had the opportunity to give insights into the different organizations we partner with and provide different perspectives on some of the most important issues in the healthcare field.
Today marks our 50th blog and to celebrate, we want to take a trip down memory lane and look back on 5 moments that defined us as an organization.
1. “Welcome to HLH!”
As many of you know, not too long ago, we were known as “Hearing the Little Heartbeats”. In our very first blog, titled, “Welcome to HLH!”, we introduced ourselves as a student-run, Canadian Nonprofit Organization. At the time, we were comprised entirely of university students, and we wanted our team to exemplify student leadership in global health. We sought to find our place and do our part to combat the effects of the ongoing drug shortage in Guatemala by partnering with local organizations to increase accessibility to medications and medical supplies. Our goal was advocation, education, and leadership. Its been over two years now, and although most of us are no longer students, we are still working with organizations in Guatemala and putting in just as much dedication to advocate for change.
Our partnerships have grown immensely and we have learned so much in our journey. We have found better and more effective ways to work alongside local organizations, and our ability to provide medications and medical supplies has doubled since then.
2. “50,000 Children’s Vitamins Were Sent to Guatemala”
In 2019, we sent two big shipments to Guatemala. We were able to purchase two packages of 25,000 children’s vitamins from Blessings International and shipped them to Guatemala through Vine International. Through the generous donations of sponsors, supporters, and the early community we built during our first year as a nonprofit, we were able to mark this milestone and provide a vitamin a day for multiple classrooms throughout the entire school year. Our team worked even harder in the next year to ship more vitamins to Guatemala as well as essential medications and medical supplies.
Although this part of the journey was not easy, we learned a lot about the importance of partnerships and how working alongside a variety of communities with like minded goals, allows work to be done effectively and in a manner that brings change and not harm. We were also able to bring many of you along on this journey by using our blog to provide education on the importance of vitamins and the dangers of malnutrition.
Our partnership with Impact ministries is still ongoing and we hope to continue our work in Guatemala for many more years to come!
3. “The First Annual HLH Soccer Tournament: Match for Meds”
On July 28th, 2019, we held our first ever annual soccer tournament. It was day filled with fun, fierce competition, and great food. Over 40 players gathered at Duke of Sutherland Park, and played intensely for the grand prize of $150. Teams were composed of adults, teenagers, and children, each playing in their respective league. The team that won the final round ended up donating their grand prize to the our organization, and their generosity really warmed our hearts! We were blessed to have three sponsors for this event! They each made donations of gift cards, prizes, and cash donations to further support our mission.
This was the first large event that we put together as an organization. It took a lot of planning and hard work. We encountered multiple roadblocks on the way, but despite all the challenges, our team was able to push through and ensure that the tournament ran smoothly and that everyone had a great time. The success of this event gave us the courage to dream bigger and work towards having more events. It also taught us about the importance of team work and the great help that often comes from the communities around us.
We look forward to having another soccer tournament later this year, and we hope to see you all there!
4. ” Welcome to WHEF!”
In the summer of 2020, we took a very big step as an organization and expanded our work in Guatemala to the Caribbean country of Grenada. In an effort to continue our mission to address health inequities, we partnered with the local Grenadian organization, Proactive Nation Builders. This new partnership allowed us to start providing supplies for under stocked pharmacies, and providing supplements and resources for a vulnerable elderly population.
With this new expansion, we strongly believed that it was important for us to start addressing many of the pressing healthcare issues and topics affecting many across the globe. In addition to our original mission statement, we wanted to raise awareness and provide education on a wide range of topics in healthcare inequity. And in order to fully reflect this new path, we became the World Healthcare Equity Foundation. An organization determined to fight for worldwide healthcare equity by partnering with local communities, providing resources, and providing education to our peers.
It has been over a year since our rebranding, but it has been a year of tremendous growth and new opportunities. Through this blog, we’ve been able to explore and breakdown multifaceted, and sometimes complex, issues that contribute to healthcare inequities around the world, as well as their solutions.
5. “The Bridging the Gap Conference”
One of our biggest goals on this blog during the last half of 2021, was to highlight the importance of diversity in healthcare. We learned about how increasing diversity among healthcare providers is essential to increasing equity in healthcare provision. We talked about the need for more racial and ethnic minorities in the field of healthcare, and how their presence can form bridges to patient populations that have been historically underserved and ignored.
This theme of diversity in the healthcare was at the center of the conference we held last August, Bridging the Gap Conference, 2021. After months of preparation, we were so delighted to gather a large group of incredible speakers and eager participants. Speakers and attendants alike came from different backgrounds in the health field, and provided great insight into what it means to truly work in healthcare and how we can equip future leaders for a more diverse healthcare system.
We hope to hold another conference this year and reach out to even more communities and young individuals who may want to know about journeying through the field of health.
Together we can make an impact on the health of the nations and the generations to come.
The mission of WHEF is to increase accessibility to medications and supplies for healthcare facilities in Guatemala and Grenada. If you are interested in hearing more about the work we are doing, or in connecting with us, you can visit our website, check out our instagram or facebook, or sign up to receive our newletters. If you would like to support us in our work, please donate here.