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Devin Williams ?13 travels to Togo with GlobeMed at MIT

June 25, 2014
Williams captured this image of a midwife weighing a newborn at the clinic.

As a member of GlobeMed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Devin Williams ’13 was granted the a spot on a summer experiential learning trip to the West African country of Togo. She was asked to join the effort in part because she had the film production skills and could acquire the equipment required to shoot footage for a documentary that will share the powerful stories and groundbreaking work being done in clinics supported by the organization. 

According to her GlobeMed profile, Williams joined the organization because she was intrigued by the long-term partnership MIT has had with Hope Through Health, an organization that provides affordable healthcare to individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Togo. GlobeMed at MIT members work on-site to design and implement projects. In addition to onsite work, they run multiple campaigns throughout the year to raise money for the clinic in Togo, helping them to re-stock prescriptions and continue to provide a high level of care to the region.  Williams is excited to help end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS while providing support and assistance to GlobeMed’s partner community in Togo. After MIT, Williams hopes to develop prosthetics better fit for those living in the developing world.

While at Madeira, Williams learned about videography from being in and assisting with her classmates’ films. Though she never took a film production class, and her aspirations of developing prosthetics for the developing world have little to do with film making, the knowledge stuck with her and has paid off. 

From June 10 through July 12, Williams is collecting footage and interviewing staff at the clinic in Kara, Togo. “Although our members are dedicated to global health, we recognize that as college students, we do not have the medical skills necessary to diagnose and treat patients,” she explained. “Therefore, we use technical and problem-solving skills to advance the clinics technologically.”

During her spring semester at MIT, Williams worked with Madeira film teacher, Krista Cowan and a group of GlobeMed students to write interview scripts, borrow the necessary equipment from Madeira, and prepare for the trip.

She explained that her role of filming and documenting the trip contributes to the larger fight toward global health equity. “I see film as a powerful medium for change because it assaults the senses in a unique way with a combination of images, sound and narrative. I want to maximize on film’s potential to reach out to others to promote the idea that health is a human right.”

Learn more about the GlobeMed at MIT project on their 2014 summer blog.