Throughout January, we’ve been reflecting MEDLIFE’s core values and how we can all put them into practice to create moments of empowerment this year. We’ve compiled these ‘resolutions’ into a blog post so that you can, track your progress, keep them in mind, and maximize your impact throughout the year!

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MED Resolution 1: Listen to others 

At MEDLIFE, we believe that no one knows the needs of our partner communities better than the community members themselves! Through listening to the community’s self-identified needs, we create moments of empowerment that make a meaningful and sustainable difference. 

We put this into practice by spending many hours, usually at night, meeting with the communities. When the working day is over, the entire community can attend and we can make sure everyone’s points of view are heard!

In 2020, we encourage you to join us in empowering others by listening with an open heart and mind during your SLT and at home!

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MED Resolution 2: Address root causes 

One of the ways that MEDLIFE empowers communities is by creating sustainable solutions that target the root causes of poverty. 

We’re putting this into action right now by supporting the community of Union Santa Fe on their journey to obtaining Land Title. Throughout our many years of working with Union Santa Fe, we realized that lack of Land Title is one of the root causes that keep the community living in poverty. 

Without Land Title, they are unable to access municipal services (like running water) and financial services (like loans for family businesses). By empowering them to overcome this problem, we aim to create a pathway out of poverty.

In 2020, we encourage you to create moments of empowerment by supporting projects that focus on the root causes of poverty. You can do this by donating to our #WallsThatUnify project.

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MED Resolution 3: Create sustainable change 

Even after our volunteers return home, MEDLIFE’s in-country staff continue empowering low-income communities all year-round. 

When our Mobile Clinic doctors identify a patient who requires ongoing treatment, they are enrolled in our Patient Follow-Up Program. After the clinic ends, our field nurses make sure that the patient continues to receive medical treatment via the local health system.

You can empower others and create sustainable change by joining a Service Learning Trip in 2020! With just one week of your time, you support the work we do creating moments of empowerment 365 days a year.

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MED Resolution 4: Be a community organizer

When you set out to build a global Movement, you learn to create connections, strengthen relationships, and nurture a worldwide community. We aim to show every person that comes into contact with MEDLIFE, from our volunteers to our patients, that there is a place for them in our Movement.

Our in-country staff put this into practice everyday by working with low-income communities to build trust and organize projects and Mobile Clinics. Meanwhile, our amazing Chapters and Societies work to spread the Movement back home so we can grow our impact. 

From starting a Chapter to organizing a Service Learning Trip, you can put your community organizing skills into action with MEDLIFE. Let’s make 2020 a year of coming together to create moments of empowerment across the globe!

For more resources on how to be a fantastic community organizer, check out our YouTube channel!

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MED Resolution 5: Work hand in hand with others

We’re striving to create a world free from the constraints of poverty, but we know that we can only achieve this by working together! That’s why we work with local health systems and build partnerships to increase our impact in low-income communities. 

In Cusco, our team regularly collaborates with the Peruvian Government’s PAÍS program to bring basic services to rural communities in the region. In Tena, our team works hand in hand with Sumak Kawsay Wasi - an organization that supports communities throughout Napo Province. 

Your MEDLIFE Chapter or Society can put this resolution into practice by organizing events with other Chapters (shout out to MEDLIFE King’s College London and MEDLIFE University College London for their inter-chapter basketball comp!) or by forging volunteering partnerships with local organizations (check out MEDLIFE Northern Virginia’s partnership with INMED). 

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MED Resolution 6: Solve problems through creativity and innovation 

Over 15 years ago, Dr. Nick Ellis encountered a problem while volunteering as a translator for short-term medical mission trips: The medical clinics were only in town for one week and couldn’t provide seriously ill patients with the ongoing medical care they needed.  

This experience inspired Nick to create the MEDLIFE model. With local medical staff providing high-quality healthcare year-round in low-income communities, we have disrupted and improved upon the traditional medical mission model. By thinking innovatively and creatively, we can maximize our impact and facilitate sustainable change!

You can learn more about MEDLIFE’s origins and develop your own creative problem-solving skills by joining us on Leadership Corps 2020. Apply via today via Campus Labs!


MED Resolution 7: Be a passionate advocate for the poor 

Our hope is that that your Service Learning Trip inspires you to become a passionate advocate for equal access to healthcare, education, and a safe home. After personally witnessing poverty and working hand in hand with community members, we encourage you to take on their struggles as your own,  amplify their voices, and join our global Movement for a world free from the constraints of poverty. 

You can be a passionate advocate for change and empower others by spreading the MEDLIFE Movement on your campus and beyond. Bring your friend on an SLT, get involved in your local MEDLIFE Chapter/Society, or start a Chapter at your university!

Every year, dedicated MEDLIFE Chapter leaders have the opportunity to apply for the 7-week MEDLIFE Internship based out of our headquarters in Lima, Peru. 

Our 2019 interns worked closely with the MED International Team and helped run summer Service Learning Trips in Lima. They also shadowed our nurses on patient follow-up visits, community night meetings, and health workshops. Our interns also joined our annual 2-week Leadership Corps retreat with founder Dr. Nick Ellis and Chapter leaders from across the globe. They journeyed through Ecuador and Peru, visited our partner communities, and learned about the social issues that inspired the creation of MEDLIFE.

The MEDLIFE Internship is a fantastic opportunity to learn in a dynamic non-profit environment, experience professional and personal growth, and gain unique hands-on experience in the community development sector.

Read on to find out what our 2019 interns had to say about the experience!

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Andrea Hernandez

As a person who is constantly studying, I feel that experiences can teach way more than books or school ever would. 

Before coming on the MEDLIFE Internship I was passionate about many things, but I always knew being part of something important and big was something my heart desired. Being part of the MEDLIFE family was something that made me feel whole. Every bus ride, every early morning or long hike, was so worth it because it made me realize how big we can be when we have a passion and drive to do what we love. 

These are the types of experiences that you learn from and can benefit a person’s growth in many ways. I am thankful I got to be a part of the MEDLIFE family this summer and I can’t wait to keep spreading the Movement everywhere I go.

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Talya Grecu 

This past summer I had the opportunity to participate in the MEDLIFE Internship program. This has been an amazing learning experience during which I have learned lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. One of the most impactful lessons learned is the importance of fully comprehending the past in order to better understand the present. 

Understanding the history of Peru puts into context why we see the issues we see today. This causal understanding is a crucial part of MEDLIFE’s work as MEDLIFE seeks to address the root causes of poverty. Moreover, an awareness of the history and motivations driving people to migrate to the cities is key to providing culturally sensitive and locally appropriate help, which is another key aspect of MEDLIFE’s work.

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Amanda Burgess

During my summer internship with MEDLIFE, I was eager to learn about global health in the field. Sitting in a library at school, reading about water scarcity in Peru is a different experience than hiking through the muddy hillside of the urban settlements, or pueblos jóvenes, outside of Lima and seeing the old chemical containers that are the source of water for some houses. 

Through the MEDLIFE Internship, I have been able to enhance my perspective on global health issues that I would never have learned in a classroom in Ohio. I believe that traveling and experiencing the world is crucial to anyone studying global health and I am immensely grateful for this opportunity to intern with MEDLIFE this summer.

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Kate Byars

You wouldn’t think that hiking for hours on a steep, muddy, high elevation path to sleep on the floor of an unheated school with over a dozen strangers would be one of the most meaningful experiences in my life. As my mom so eloquently put it: it sounds a lot more like boot camp than the beginning of an internship.  

Throughout my MEDLIFE Internship, I realized that discomfort is a good thing. It pushed me to understand that global poverty is not a simple thing that you can understand in a Kentucky classroom. You can’t just look at abstract academic factors, but must address the on-the-ground situation of a child that needs stitches too. Discomfort helps you to see the reality of the situation and feel desperately passionate about doing something to change it. Our place in the MEDLIFE movement, no matter who we are or what we do, is to take that passion and use our home communities and different skill sets to support people in improving their own communities.


2020 MEDLIFE Internships

Are you interested in becoming a MEDLIFE Summer Intern? 

Applications are open until 24 January! Apply now via Campus Labs.

Meet Roy. 

Roy is a playful 3-year-old boy living with his family in Ongoto Bajo, an impoverished community on the outskirts of Tena. Read Roy’s story to learn about how MEDLIFE fights against unequal access to high quality medical care every day. 

Access to high quality medical care in Roy’s community 

We first met Roy at one of our Mobile Clinics where we bring free, high quality medical care directly to communities who lack basic health services. Students from Universidad de Puerto Rico-Aguadilla, University of North Dakota, and Georgia State University joined us at this clinic as part of a Service Learning Trip and helped to make the clinic possible. Roy was suffering from a high fever and extreme pain in his hip at the slightest movement or touch. The pain left him unable to play, walk, or go to school and learn. 

The conditions in Roy’s community added to the challenges his family faced. Roy’s father worked hard on the farm every day to provide for his family. To make matters worse, there was limited access to high quality medical care in their community. The constraints of poverty meant that Roy’s condition continued to deteriorate, until he found MEDLIFE at one of our Mobile Clinics. 

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How MEDLIFE bridged the gap

When Roy arrived at our Mobile Clinic, our team of local nurses took immediate action and rushed him to the local hospital. After running some tests, the local medical professionals discovered that he had a critical bacterial infection in his hip. The infection had spread to his blood and was approaching his bones. Roy needed urgent surgery. Left untreated, the infection could have threatened his life. 

With the support of MEDLIFE working hand-in-hand with local medical professionals, Roy received life-changing surgery within a week. The successful surgery transformed Roy’s daily life. He is now back at school and able to enjoy being a happy, healthy kid. 

It is not uncommon for our in-country staff to face life-and-death situations like Roy’s at our Mobile Clinics. By connecting students, local services, and impoverished families, our team works to empower communities like Roy’s to overcome the constraints of poverty that make high quality medical care inaccessible. In Roy’s case, MEDLIFE bridged the gap between local medical professionals and the families of Ongoto Bajo. 

Join a Service Learning Trip to support our worldwide Movement to create a world free from the constraints of poverty, with access to high quality medical care for all! 

We’d like to thank the students from Universidad de Puerto Rico-Aguadilla, University of North Dakota, and Georgia State University for their hard work and dedication at the M40 Clinic in Tena. 

‘Tis the season to be jolly! Spread the holiday cheer with MEDLIFE this year by creating moments of empowerment. Here are 6 ideas to get you started: 

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1. Donate to our Walls That Unify project 

This year, we’re raising funds to build retention walls in the community of Union Santa Fe as part of our Walls That Unify project. These families live in a human settlement on a precarious hillside in one of the world’s major earthquake zones. Without retention walls to protect their homes, they live under the constant threat of disaster.

Would you consider donating $50 to help bring a safer home to Union Santa Fe this holiday season? You can even donate in honor of your loved ones to say thank you for providing you with a safe home for the holidays! Donate here.

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2. Organize a fundraiser

Gather your friends, organize a fun activity, AND raise funds for a good cause! What better way could there possibly be to embrace the holiday spirit?!! To make things even easier for you, we’ve put together this list of creative fundraiser ideas to get you inspired! 

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3. Sign up for a Service Learning Trip 

Service Learning Trips give you the opportunity to travel to Peru, Ecuador, or Tanzania, and work hand in hand with the local community on development projects and mobile medical clinics. These trips are designed to enhance your understanding of extreme poverty, personally connect you with low-income communities, and (hopefully) inspire you to join us in creating a world free from the constraints of poverty! Register here.

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4. Refer a friend  

Have you been personally impacted by your MEDLIFE experience? Did you learn something new during your Service Learning Trip? Do you feel empowered by empowering others? Do you even just think our t-shirts are really cool?

Spread the cheer and MEDLIFE love by telling all your friends to come on a Service Learning Trip! Not only does this give you the chance to travel with your friends, but it also grows our impact in low-income communities across the globe. The more the merrier!⠀

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5. Travel with Good Life Expeditions

Did you know that we have a partner travel agency? Whether you’re traveling as a volunteer or just looking for a Latin American/African getaway, every trip booked through Good Life Expeditions supports MEDLIFE’s work. Start ticking places off your travel bucket list by booking a trip for 2020!

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6. Shop for gear that gives back

In the age of minimalism and Marie Kondo, we all know that we’re only allowed to own things that ‘spark joy.’ This holiday season, you can spark joy for yourself and others by going for a guilt-free shopping spree on our online store. Not only is our merch actually adorable, but it also helps us build retention walls in Union Santa Fe.

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7. FOR BONUS POINTS: Apply to intern with us 

(if you made it this far in our post, you deserve a BONUS so here’s number 7)

Are you a passionate MEDLIFE Chapter leader interested in public health, international development, community organizing, and NGO communications? Our internship applications are opening very soon! Watch this space for more info very soon. 

Compiled by two ex-Chapter Presidents-turned-MEDLIFE staff (Emma from New York and Sophia from London) this list of student fundraiser ideas is guaranteed to earn you the big bucks (or pounds!). With our Walls That Unify campaign in full swing, we decided to put our linguistic differences aside for the good of the Movement and give you 15 student fundraiser ideas that will work on both sides of the pond!

1. Power Hour

We borrowed this idea from the amazing Indiana University Chapter (check out their MED Week Fundraiser here!) Get your Chapter or Society to dedicate one intense hour to calling anyone and everyone they can think of and try to raise as much money as possible. Set up as if you were a trading floor, play upbeat music and get someone to emcee the hour to create an electric atmosphere! Indiana had a screen with everyone’s fundraising totals to get members competing for the most donations!


2. Water Pong Tournament

Encourage your Chapter/Society members to partake in some friendly competition AND stay hydrated with a water pong tournament. Set up a bracket and have teams pay to enter. The winning team receives a prize of your choice - get creative, you know your universities better than we do!


3. Puppy Kissing Booth

Enlist the help of your furry friends and set up a kissing booth in a public area of your university. Charge students to get some puppy lovin’ and destress from a hectic week!


4. Sports Tournament

Use your student fundraiser to get competitive! Take advantage of your University’s sports facilities to organize a sports tournament of your choice, this can be a standard 5-a-side football (yes, the original type) tournament or go for the full Dodgeball-esque experience. Get people to enter their teams, and each team pays a fee to enter! Organize a prize for the champions and a participation prize for the teams who actually believe that ‘it’s just the taking part that counts’ (also known as LOSERS).


5. Gaming for Good

Hold a gaming night at your university where students can enter to play their favoUrite (go UK) video games for charity. Whether you do it in the form of a 24-hour marathon or a tournament is completely up to you but this is a great way to get more people involved in your fundraising!


6. Casino Royale

Host a Casino themed night - either a whole night of black-tie (in true Daniel Craig style) or a simple poker tournament where a portion (or all!) of the winnings go to MEDLIFE.


7. Dine and Donate

Partner with a local restaurant to have a delicious fundraiser! Encourage your students and their friends to eat at your chosen restaurant and collect a portion of the profit. Eating good food for charity… where do we sign up!?


8. 5k/Fun Run

A little less creative student fundraiser idea but a tried and tested way to raise some money! Consider doing it as a Chapter for force in numbers and encourage more members to get involved! Use your MyMovement campaign page to receive donations from friends and family.


9. Krispy Kreme Sale

Krispy Kreme sell glazed donuts at a special price to be used in fundraisers! Pre-order your donuts, work out how much profit you want to make per donut, and get selling on campus! Students cramming for deadlines love donuts (especially if the proceeds go to charity!)


10. Pub Quiz

Get your students to come down to a local bar or diner for a night of trivia! Students pay to enter in teams and answer the rounds of questions you set - make sure you have a charismatic quiz master to keep teams engaged. Coordinate with the pub to see if they’ll offer the winning team a free round of drinks!


11. Late Night Food Stand/ Delivery

Post night-out food is a given, whichever continent you may be in, so set up a stand or offer delivery to students to satisfy those late-night cravings! Pizza, chips, and grilled cheese would all work well!


12. Spin-A-Thon

Get your sweat on in a spin-a-thon! Ask your University gym to donate some spin bikes for the day so that teams can take on a Tour-de-MEDLIFE. Doing it in a public place on campus will draw more attention and people can donate on their way to class!


13. Raffles

Ask local businesses to donate a prize for your raffle, charge $1/£1 for a ticket and winners will receive a prize. Make sure you vary the items so you have a range of small and larger prizes!


14. Charity Fashion Show

Raise some money, but make it fashion by hosting a charity fashion show at your university! Charge an entrance fee and enlist the help of different cultural student organizations that would be interested in showcasing traditional clothing, or introduce fun categories and really get the party started. Regardless of the type of fashion, this is both a great way to raise money and an opportunity to interact and recruit students from all over campus.


15. Late Night Shuttle Service

Fill your tank with gas (or petrol) and crank the tunes, it’s time to be the best designated driver your university has ever seen. Offer rides to and from parties/bars for your friends and charge them a fee for your generosity. For an extra fee maybe you can even stop at the drive-thru to satisfy those late-night cravings.



We hope this compilation of student fundraiser ideas is useful and helps you put the FUN in fundraising for 2020! As we strive towards our goal of raising $350,000 for Walls That Unify in Union Santa Fe, we need your help more than ever! Fundraising can be intimidating, but remember that you have an entire Movement of world-changers here to support you.

As always, please share your events with MEDLIFE (@medlifemovement) so we can brag about all the good stuff our Chapters/Societies are doing. Every fundraiser makes a difference no matter how big or small!

For more useful resources, check out our fundraising and donations page on Campus Labs. Good luck fundraising!!

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