Tag Archives: Service World

CFHI Featured in Everyday Ambassador Blog

Everyday Ambassador Blog

Everyday Ambassador Blog

We at Child Family Health International (CFHI) are deeply honored to be featured in the Everyday Ambassador blog post by Kate Otto.  Kate’s own accomplishments in global citizenship and smart diplomacy are considerable for anyone, especially for someone at such an early point in her career. She is a great example for students today who are interested in global service.

CFHI is equally proud to be a member of the International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA), also featured in the blog post.

Many CFHI alumni are already doing their part in the Global Health field.  With over 6,000 alumni now, we have a wonderful, growing family of everyday ambassadors who advocate and educate through their everyday activities.  Through their first-hand accounts of shadowing local healthcare workers in underserved and low-resourced settings, they can speak with conviction and in compelling stories about the similarities and the differences of healthcare systems, and about important global health issues.  Whether they do it in a professional capacity as a lecturer or professor, or in the informal setting of a party or a dinner, they can be equally effective in telling the story and enlightening people about global realities, thereby each doing his or her own part to bring us all closer together as the human family and improve the health of the world community.

You don’t have to be abroad to be making a difference.  Visit our Facebook and LinkedIn pages and join in the conversations that are happening with people all around the globe.  Follow #GlobalHealth on Twitter and keep yourself current on issues and causes.  Share all of this with your own social networks and you will be surprised how much influence you can have as an individual.  Our world is, in so many ways, becoming a ‘smaller place’.  Be a part of it; participate!

Celebrate 50 Years of Peace Corps –Sign the Service World Declaration

Service WorldCFHI is happy to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the start of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961.  As  a member organization of the Building Bridges Coalition and the International Volunteer Programs Association, CFHI joins with other member organizations in issuing the following letter inviting you to sign the Service World Declaration.  You can see previous postings on this Blog about service world here.


Dear Friends;

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced the creation of the United States Peace Corps.  This Tuesday, March 1, 2011 is the 50th Anniversary of that historic occasion.  We at Child Family Health International are asking you to honor that event by signing the ServiceWorld International Volunteer Service Declaration.  It is a simple pledge to encourage expansion of such efforts and that you stand ready to be of service.  We and our colleagues in other organizations hope to have 100,000 Americans or more make such a commitment.

The Peace Corps was the first national organization in the world dedicated to international volunteer service.  In the past 50 years, the Peace Corps has engaged millions of people from all cultures and nationalities in the search for common ground, and has inspired countless organizations of every type, foreign and domestic, all over the world.  We at CFHI are a part of this legacy and whether you have served or are thinking of doing so, you are as well.

You can make a difference today.  All you need to do is to join us in signing the International Volunteer Service Declaration.  For more information about ServiceWorld and to sign this Declaration on this important date, please visit the Service World Website.

President Kennedy and the first Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver envisioned 100,000 Americans serving abroad every year.  Imagine the impact this would have had on the world if such an effort had been realized 50 years ago and replicated by other nations.   ServiceWorld is ambitious, as it seeks to make this vision come true today.

While the current budget crisis makes this moment a challenging time to promote new initiatives, please remember that it is often during such occasions that old paradigms are changed, when necessity and creativity generate needed innovation, and when a “quantum leap” forward is truly possible.  Now is such a time for citizen diplomacy and international volunteer service.  Help us all become part of those new solutions.  After you sign the Declaration, please forward this request to your friends and ask them to join you in this effort, as well.


Child Family Health International

A Spark Was Struck Again in Ann Arbor -Celebrating 50 Years of Peace Corps and Launch of ServiceWorld

As people gathered from different parts of our country and our world last week at the University of Michigan to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the spark that started the Peace Corps, at least some of us experienced a new spark.

It is a rich and storied history of how presidential candidate John F. Kennedy , weary from the long day and the long campaign, reached the University of Michigan campus at about 2:00 AM on October 14, 1960. JFK at U of M October 14 1960Despite nothing being scheduled to mark his arrival, Kennedy was amazed to find a growing crowd of thousands of students who had gathered to show their support.  Moved by this spontaneous crowd, Kennedy went to the front steps of the student union to address them extemporaneously. The young senator was in a very tight race against then Vice President Richard Nixon, and with only three weeks until the election, no plan had been made for speaking to the students perhaps because the vast majority of them were under 21, the voting age in 1960. But there they were. In a cold drizzle, there they were in the wee hours of the morning; there they were.  . The press had gone to bed; none of these kids could influence the election. It should have been a throw away moment -a simple expression of kindness and cordiality, but it was not.

We were so fortunate last week that many of those who stood in that drizzle fifty years ago came back. They remember it as a special moment, a moment when they felt a challenge, an invitation, a call …a spark!  The history is now recorded, thanks in large part to the University of Michigan, and a wonderful recounting of it is now available in a documentary called A Passing of the Torch. Do yourself a favor and find a way to see it. (It will air on public television in the coming months.)

It was cold and wet in the wee hours this past Thursday, much as it reportedly was at that moment fifty years earlier.  While this was anything but a spontaneous gathering, it was a purposeful gathering. Crowd at UofM 2AM 14 October2010 There was a sense of anticipation which felt strange because we were merely commemorating a historical event.  I’m not sure what we were expecting to see …a ghost… I don’t know, but we were drawn there for something.  Thomas Hayden, the editor of the student newspaper in 1960, and now 70 years old, said later at a speaking event on Thursday night that he had not planned on attending the 2 AM commemoration because he had an early meeting that morning.  As the night approached, however, he said he could not help but go, even if only to see if one can really relive a moment of their life –he said he was not disappointed.  He also asked rhetorically and jokingly, “Where is that damn torch any way? Can someone find me that torch?”

As I sat listening to Tom Hayden in a hall filled to overflowing, I realized that was it –the torch.  That is what we were looking for last week.  Whatever the torch is, it has inspired many over the years, and I think we saw it many times last week in Ann Arbor.  And as I listened to Tom Hayden that night, I realized that his words, his memories, his passion for service and fairness, dedication to participatory government and global understanding, -these are the torch.  They are the torch that Kennedy took up and ran with, inviting all to join him.  They are the torch that was passed to that crowd of students fifty years ago by an impromptu speech.  A torch taken up by Al and Judy Guskin (part of the audience for Kennedy’s speech who responded by starting a student movement that led to the Peace Corps –again, wonderful history that you will love) and by every Peace Corps volunteer who has walked in their steps since.  A torch taken up by many of us who have volunteered internationally through a myriad of other organizations.

I think that is what we were drawn to see last week in the early hours of October 14th –the torch.  And see it we did, in the nostalgic eyes of hundreds of returned Peace Corps Volunteers, in the wide eyes of U of M Students eager to make a difference, in the stories of fifty years ago that felt like they could happen again.  And indeed they were happening. Michigan Daily October 14 2010 We were given a renewed challenge and invitation.  We were invited to join a new initiative called Service World (www.ourserviceworld.org) with the aim of achieving JFK’s goal of having 100,000 U. S. citizens doing international service annually.  Just as a petition was drawn up by Al and Judy Guskin in 1960, signed by over a thousand U of M students, and led to the establishment of the Peace Corps, Service World has a declaration that is now being circulated globally.  Fifty years later, international service has become a global ideal. Thanks in large part to the model and the success of the Peace Corps.

It only makes sense in today’s world that a call to globalize Kennedy’s great challenge would arise.  Those of us who were in Ann Arbor this time felt a quiver deep inside us that was something other than just a reaction to the damp and cold around us.  Was it a spark?  Was there a torch that was being offered to be taken up?  I know that no torch can be seen in any of the photos or video that everyone recorded, but I also know that it will be seen in  all the renewed efforts for international service, and in the hearts of all those who go to the Service World website to virtually sign the scroll in support of the ideals that have spanned many years and lives and are still alive inside us today.  Anyone can participate.  Here is the text of the Service World Delcaration:

We envision a world in which volunteer service is a common strategy by people of all nations in meeting pressing challenges in education, health, the environment, agriculture, and more. We seek to foster an international culture of service and a heightened sense of compassion across borders that will bring volunteers of different countries, cultures, races, ethnicities and religious beliefs together for common purpose. We encourage individuals and organizations to engage in volunteer service in order to increase prosperity, strengthen economies, implement more informed foreign policies in all nations, and lay a foundation on which governments and civil society can build a more peaceful, healthy and secure world.

We stand ready to serve and support Service World’s bold agenda to expand volunteer opportunities for individuals internationally — at every age and among all socio-economic groups — to learn about global problems and help find more effective ways to solve them.

If these words resonate deep inside you, then please add your name to the scroll and pledge your support for a renewed call to international service that can transform all who are touched by it. If you know others who share this vision, invite them to add their name.  Every supporter we can get will help us convince policy makers that international service is important, needs to be nurtured, and will pay dividends for us all.

CFHI Joins in Support of Service World

ServiceWorldCFHI is very excited to support the launch of OurServiceWorld.org and the ServiceWorld International Service Declaration. Those of us involved in Global Health are deeply committed to international service.  The ServiceWorld Initiative is an effort to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps by realizing President Kennedy’s original vision of sending 100,000 volunteers to serve abroad each year. Please join us in supporting the future of international service by signing the ServiceWorld International Service Declaration and endorsing ServiceWorld.

As a proud member of the Building Bridges Coalition and the International Volunteer Programs Association, CFHI is happy to join a groundswell of international  organizations in support of this effort.  Please join with us.

Compassion Across Borders -Letter to Huffington Post

John Bridgeland, CEO of Civic Enterprises, sent a letter that has been published in the Huffington Post  about the benefits of the Service World Initiative –an effort to increase the international volunteering on all levels.  John explains, “Volunteer service by people of all nations should become a common strategy in meeting pressing challenges in education, health, the environment, agriculture and more.”  You can read John’s article at this link.  See also the June 30th  post on this Blog about Service World.  CFHI is part of a broader coalition of over 300 NGOs and Universities, and other organizations supporting Service World.  More information about Service World will be coming soon.

Service World -A Bold New Initiative in International Volunteering and Service

On June 23, 2010, the Brookings Institute hosted a forum on international volunteering and service and the launch of Service World: Strategies for the Future of International Volunteer Service.

Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley at Brookings 23 June 2010

Ambassador Bagley at Launch of Service World Effort

CFHI is proud to be one of the organizations endorsing this effort that is a call for increased international cooperation at all levels.  We know that as the world effectively grows smaller, the health of the world’s population will depend more and more on our ability to share knowledge, understanding and efforts across boarders and continents.  Improved understanding of how culture impacts health and the global sharing of current best practices along with traditional proven interventions will benefit all of our efforts at improved health for all populations.  This is the intersection of modern medicine, that builds on science and technology, and the cumulative wisdom of ancient cultures that builds on a deeper knowledge of the earth and  the human mind, body, and spirit.  CFHI students experience this today in the Amazon jungle and the foothills of Himalayas.  To increase the ability of future health professionals to to have these transformational experiences in a manner that is socially responsible to the host communities, can only improve the health of the world community, and our progress as people toward global citizenship.

Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Special Representative for Global Partnerships in the Office of the Secretary of State, gave the keynote, inspiring those present to work collectively toward the goal of increased opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life to volunteer service internationally.  2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the idea of the Peace Corps.  As the celebratory events for this anniversary happen this coming October, our nation will have the opportunity to reflect on this great idea and the great accomplishments that have come from it.  Service World recognizes that the positive impacts have come not only from the government sponsored Peace Corps but also from the many private and nonprofit organizations that have taken up this global vision and provided opportunities for so many people from the United States and many other countries.

CFHI’s Founder and President, Dr. Evaleen Jones, has often recounted that the Peace Corps was an inspiration for her as a young medical student at Stanford University,when she began the creation of CFHI .  More information on Service World will be posted on the Blog over the coming months.