My name is Jaclyn Williamson and I am a graduate student of the Colorado School of Public Health currently earning my Master's in Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Global Health and Health Disparities.
This summer I was hired as a Global Health Development Intern with the Foundation for Community Development and Empowerment (FCDE) through the ISLA internship program. I was based in the FCDE Office of Kasese, Uganda.
In this position, I provided strategic support in grant preparation, program development and implementation, and NGO capacity building to a network of 4 FCDE local partner organizations (LPOs) combatting global health issues.
I was responsible for creating, conducting, and analyzing the results of multiple needs assessments across varying target populations to assess social, behavioral, environmental, cultural, and biological factors contributing to health outcomes. I also prepared an FCDE Seed Grant Proposal to secure grant funding for multiple projects associated with global health, including HIV/AIDS antiretroviral treatment adherence, mosquito net use and malaria prevention, sexual reproductive health, rights, and services, and Hepatitis B awareness and testing.
I was most drawn to Uganda because I desired to work on global health issues and international development. As a Global Health Development intern, I gained experience in real-world applications of program planning, implementation, and evaluation, in an international setting.
The overarching lesson of my time in Uganda is the importance of utilizing human resources and human capital, and being adaptable to cultures so different from your own. My success in my projects in Uganda relied entirely upon trusting and allowing the influence from the affected and target communities that I hoped to reach. I attribute the success of my projects to the Ugandan natives who welcomed me into their lives and gave me an entirely new perspective on global health issues.