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Rima Sheehab – Students of CSSH

rima sheehab

“Going to Zambia on Lori’s Dialogue ‘Driving Social Change’ was the first time that I traveled abroad with Northeastern and it’s been one of my most defining experiences. I was able to do service-learning with a non-profit organization in Lusaka where I learned how the organization functions, how they drive sustainable change, and how we could implement a project that would go on and have a lasting impact after our time there. I worked on a project to create reusable sanitary pads because that was a big health issue and a big economic issue for the organization since they had 30 residents, all young women and girls. I taught public health and basic hygiene, which was a really neat combination of human services and health science. The trip as a whole was very interdisciplinary because we were able to study things spanning from HIV/AIDS to the history of the country to LGBTQI issues.”

“I’m very passionate about health disparities and being able to mitigate them because I believe that health is a human right. It should be something that all people should have equal access to, no matter their socioeconomic status, no matter how much money they make or their occupation, and no matter where they live. I would like to try to figure out ways to establish health equity around the world and I feel like human services and the combination of public health and community health is a good way to start. I feel like I actually wouldn’t have even realized that there are so many health disparities if I wasn’t at Northeastern. And now I’m part of the Health Disparities Student Collaborative and also END7, which is a public health organization on campus. These have given me solid foundations and the connections to talk to in order to get my foot in the door and to start having these conversations with people inside and outside of Northeastern.”

“My dialogue to Lusaka, Zambia was truly an eye-opening experience that challenged what I believed international volunteerism and ‘doing good’ to be. It allowed me to venture beyond what I knew and was comfortable within our American ‘bubble.’ My experience in Zambia forced me to do a lot of self-reflecting; upon returning to the states, I was able to view my own life and experiences through a new lens and appreciate the small things that we take for granted, such as electricity, clean water, and basic access to reproductive healthcare. The women and girls that I became friends with at my service-learning organization, Vision of Hope, exemplified the reality of living through extreme poverty and gender-based violence. They greatly impacted my trip and were some of the friendliest, most inquisitive, resilient, and positive people I have met in a long time.” – Rima Sheehab, fourth year HS major

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