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Child Family Health International

About

Child Family Health International (CFHI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that conducts socially responsible global health service-learning programs for medical, pre-medical, nursing, PA, MPH, and other health science students. CFHI's 35+ programs in 11 countries connect students with local health professionals -transforming perspectives about self, global health and healing. CFHI supports local communities worldwide through these global health education programs and community health initiatives. CFHI is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations.

Website
www.cfhi.org
Founded
1992

Reviews

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Nayana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Child Family Health International (CFHI) Virtual Global and Public Health Internship was an enriching and valuable learning experience for me. The sessions were very well organised, and it enabled me to gain a better understanding of the public healthcare system in India and the local and national public health programs. The sessions on personal and professional development, as well as cultural sensitivity, were very insightful. Thank you CFHI for this amazing and excellent internship experience and I highly recommend the CFHI Internships to students interested in Global Health and Public Health.

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Maryam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As an adult graduate student with school-aged children, I was always looking for internship and practicum opportunities to participate. The internships that I came across were good but the timing was always an issue. I was looking for a specific internship that will give me the flexibility to work around my family's schedule.

So, when CFHI announced last May that it was opening the doors of virtual internship opportunities, I was all over the place! It was a dream come true for me. Even though it was a virtual one, as far as I am concerned, an internship is an internship. Of course, the face-to-face, in-person internship in a global setting has its perks and advantages. No doubt about that. Without the COVID-19 pandemic, I would have opted for an in-person internship abroad as well. However, due to the pandemic, the CFHI staff was strategic enough to think beyond the traditional internship format and bring forth an innovative virtual one that will suit many adult students like me, including much younger students. It is a matter of opportunity and such opportunities never last. So, if one appears, just grab it!

And that is exactly what I did. I grabbed the opportunity and participated in my first-ever (virtual) internship with CFHI.

It was an amazing, eye-opening experience. From our Ghana preceptor to my cohort colleagues, and all the lessons learned and videos shared with us about the healthcare systems, food, history, and cultural traditions in Ghana, everything in between was enriching, enlightening, and exciting.

I concluded my one-month CFHI'S global public health internship (Ghana) just last week and I am already thinking of when to enroll for another CFHI internship in another part of the world. This is how fulfilled I am with my CFHI experience!

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Anjali
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I did my first virtual internship with CFHI in August 2020. As a Master of Public Health student from India, it was a great learning opportunity for Public Health management in low resource settings of Uganda. Though it was completely online, Dr. Geoffrey literally walked me through the health burdens, health systems, pandemic management, and cultural aspects of Uganda. I developed a well informed critical thinking mindset to approach Global Health and Public Health from the grassroots/community level.
The entire CFHI team immensely helped to bridge the possible gap of cross-cultural differences. The quality of the internship teaching materials is so superior that I delved into multiple features of Public Health. Thankyou CFHI and the partner organization KIHEFO, Uganda, for that awesome Internship experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
This is a great opportunity to learn in a cross-cultural arena and use it for developing a more integrated world view.
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Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I interned with CFHI this summer, and although it was virtual, I learned a lot about global health, cultural competencies, and Ugandan culture. A great experience with Dr. G! It was great to learn more about other cultures and delve into that aspect. Dr. G was very peaceful and created a welcoming and happy environment which was great since the entire internship experience was done online. Child Family Health International is a great organization that cares a lot about teaching the interns! Great!

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Elise
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I participated in the Remote Island Medicine program in Quezon, Philippines. The entire process leading up to the trip was smooth and informative. I also appreciated that my capstone project topic was selected by the local hosts themselves and not by CFHI.

My experience in the Philippines went just as smoothly as the trip preparation. The hosts I was working with were excellent mentors, super ambitious and successful in their fields, and well connected as well. This meant that besides the rich knowledge and context they provided us, they were also able to provide additional experiences, like a visit to the WHO HQ. The experience helped me to begin to build an international professional network.

Besides the professional connections I made, I continue to cherish the personal ones I made even 2 years later. My host "family" and neighborhood friends, as well as the medical student traveling with me, enriched my experience and really helped push me into the culture. The time we had off to explore our surroundings and connect with the community provided just as much growth as our time working.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose participate in CFHI’s Maternal and Child Health Program in India because it allows me to experience the challenges expecting mothers face in the developing world. On top of that, I have always been fascinated by the vibrant and colorful culture of India. Hence, this program is the perfect fit for me!

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The website of Child Family Health International (CFHI) has very clear instructions on the entire application process and how to proceed after being accepted into the program. The staff at CFHI were very helpful and knowledgeable. They provided me with all the information needed (contacts both locally and abroad, reading material on the traditions and culture of India, as well as the healthcare system, options for travel insurance and the outline of the program and accommodation details). I only had to search and purchase my flight ticket, apply for my traveling visa and get necessary vaccinations.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

There is free time during the weekends, so it would be great to research on the places/ attractions that you would like to visit beforehand so you are able to make full use of your time in India. Most importantly, go and experience with an open mindset! You are abroad with two identities - a tourist and a student.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

We would start our day with breakfast (traditional Indian food) at the medical director's house and move on with shadowing rotations at different pediatric and obstetric hospitals and small rural clinics in and around Pune, under the supervision of local preceptors. We attended optional yoga classes once every week before breakfast. During the weekends, we would explore around the nearby cities in Maharashtra State to learn more about the history and culture of India. Also, jamming to Bollywood music is part of our daily routine when we were on the road.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was a little worried about not being able to adapt the living conditions and the issue of obtaining clean drinking water. However, the accommodation was fine and we have easy access to clean drinking water. I realized that sometimes worrying does not help to solve the problem. The best thing that you can do is to stay positive, accept whatever comes your way and you will be surprised that you can adapt and be just as fine! Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is the way to allow yourself to grow and learn from others!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Nick Penco

Job Title
Associate Director for Latin America and New Partnerships
Nick Penco, a native of Argentina, joined Child Family Health International in 2005. His natural ability to communicate across cultures and his ability to fluently speak Spanish and French are an asset in working with CFHI partners from Africa, India, Latin American and Asia. His passion for international education and travel were sparked by a year spent in Germany as a foreign exchange student during his teenage years.

What is your favorite travel memory?

The first time I traveled to the Philippines. It was a country I knew little about prior to arriving. I was taken aback by the hospitality and friendliness of its people and awestruck by the majestic beauty of its landscape, the intricate flavors of its cuisine, and mesmerized by a culture that encapsulate the best qualities of East and West, Spanish, Asian, and American.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

My role has allowed me to travel to locations and meet people that you normally would not see on a top 10 travel destinations vide on the Travel Channel.

This has allowed me to grow as a person on so many levels, increasing my cultural competency and making me a more humble and patient person, I have also met and worked with people who devote their entire lives to the service of others, this has made me more self-reflective as to how I live my daily life.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

That is a very difficult questions to answer! I would pick all of course if I could! I would say "Remote Island Medicine in the Philippines" - the country has so much to offer and I feel I barely scratched the surface with my time there. The program offers a perfect balance between public health activities, academic rigor and fun in the sun.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I believe that the people that make up the organization, our partners abroad as well as our staff in San Francisco, our passion and commitment to providing quality programs. There are plenty of organizations that offers health related programs, but what we offer is a boutique experience - with a group of individuals that we call the CFHI Family.

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