09 Sep Meet A Backpacktivist! Sarindi’s Story
Sarindi first traveled to West Africa with Operation Groundswell in 2012 after yearning to step outside of the classroom and into the world to see first hand the issues she was learning about in books. The program reaffirmed her commitment to catalyzing change in the global health sphere and she’s never looked back.
Just last year, in fact, Sarindi returned to work with Health Protection and Environmental Sanitation (HEPENS), an NGO in Cape Coast that has been on the forefront of public and environmental health promotion in Ghana’s central region. Reinvigorated to continue developing innovative solutions, Sarindi applied for and won a grant from Operation Groundswell’s Alumni Project Fund to support HEPENS’ Palm Oil Project, a unique opportunity to provide women of the area a source of income. HEPENS previously conducted community outreach programs and found that various social determinants of health were preventing vulnerable groups, particularly women, from seeking healthcare and achieving good health. Many women in this community are unemployed, economically marginalized, and unable to provide for their families. Sarindi, in partnership with HEPENS, are working to change that with the expansion of the Palm Oil Project.
On top of all this, Sarindi spent the summer in Ghana leading the very OG program that first sparked her passion for global health and love for Ghana. We’re exceptionally proud to have her show a new generation of backpacktivists the way to cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration!
“The Global Health program allowed me to really find my niche: primary health care, women’s health, and the social determinants of health. I was eager to return to Ghana and explore those topics more fully by conducting academic research and taking part in an internship in Cape Coast.” – Sarindi Aryasinghe, 2012 West Africa Global Health