21st Feb, 2013

CFHI: Asset-Based Community Engagement

Child Family Health International (CFHI) at 20 years old continues to be the gold-standard in forward thinking and innovative frameworks in global health education.  CFHI provides community-basedsmall-logo2_png education alongside local professionals via clinical and public health experiences for students and those interested in learning more about medicine and health-related fields, with more than 20 programs in 6 countries.  Programs cover a variety of topics from maternal health to palliative care.

What Makes CFHI Different?

After all these years CFHI remains unique, continuing to challenge paradigms in global health and advocating for local communities. CFHI partners with communities that are considered low-resource and underserved by global financial standards.  Rather than focusing on what is lacking, however, CFHI helps to identify community strengths, ingenuity, and passion.  In close collaboration with local teams, CFHI creates programs and funds community health projects identified and carried out by local teams. This practice is based on the asset-based community development approach, formalized at Northwestern University.  The CFHI approach positions local health practitioners and patients as the ‘local experts’—presenting global health realities through authentic experiences that help shape and transform young people who are interested in global health, equity, and global citizenship.

CFHI Student with Dr. Paul, Rural Urban Himalayan Rotation

CFHI Student with Dr. Paul, Rural Urban Himalayan Rotation

Not Just Talking the Talk, But Walking the Walk

Importantly, CFHI is a staunch proponent of compensation for local community contributions and practicing financial justice.  Uniquely CFHI, 50% or more of student program fees go directly to the communities they will be visiting, benefiting the local economy at large and specifically undeserved health systems.  CFHI is an active affiliate of Consortium of Universities for Global Health, United Nations ECOSOC and has authored literature about global health educational curriculum development at undergraduate and graduate levels.   CFHI encourages students to “Let the World Change You” in preparation for being a part of socially responsible, sustainable change they wish to see in the world.

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Responses

[...] Colleagues from Ghana, Serbia, Philippines, Nigeria, and beyond approached me with gratitude for CFHIs important advocacy voice in the global health education [...]

[...] on the pulse of global health at the grassroots level and so we have much to share, especially the CFHI model of empowering local communities.  Of those more than 3,000 organizations, only about 800 are really active.  Work is going on to [...]

[...] Association demonstrate the fundamental ability to embrace the complexity of global health, and not unlike CFHI persevere with programming and partnerships that give social justice its due attention–both as a [...]

[...] Child Family Health International (CFHI) is a nonprofit that offers socially responsible Global Health Education Programs for students of all levels interested in health or medicine. Through CFHI participants go on 4-16 week placements alongside local healthcare professionals in underserved communities.  Participants rotate through clinics and hospitals, attend medical lectures, and become immersed in the healthcare system of the community.Over 50% of CFHI program fees go back to underserved communities abroad. [...]

[...] attend medical lectures, and become immersed in the healthcare system of the community. CFHI supports underserved communities abroad and is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United [...]

[...] the article CFHI’s model was held up as providing students a more holistic understanding of medicine and health care [...]

[...] 50% or more of each CFHI program fee supports underserved communities abroad [...]

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