News

Global Business Brigades traveling to Honduras to create positive change

March 2014

At the end of May, a dedicated group of students is journeying to Honduras for a week. The Global Business Brigades (GBB) will visit developing communities and provide consulting and investment guidance designed to create sustainable economic initiatives as part of a larger, national effort to help these communities.

GBB is part of Global Brigades, a national organization that strives to improve conditions in underdeveloped communities throughout the world. The organization connects volunteers, university students, and professionals with these under-resourced regions in order to improve quality of life. The nine programs maintained by Global Brigades include architecture, business, dental, environmental, human rights, medical, microfinance, public health and water initiatives. Global Brigades strives to develop programs that follow the guidelines of the theory of holistic development, "a system of collectively implementing health, economic, and education initiatives to strategically meet a community's development goals."

The Miami chapter of GBB began in 2011 as a way for the students to join this national organization in their quest to help people in underserved communities. The group travels to countries where the national organization has set up command posts and started programs; Miami's chapter helps establish and maintain those programs. For instance, they help maintain a community bank, host loan workshops and savings workshops and continue the conversation about business and fiscal responsibility started by the national chapter.

Miami organization president and sophomore ISA major Zach Tarbill stresses that involvement in GBB is a one-of-a-kind opportunity. Students not only get experience setting up and stabilizing business programs, but they also get hands-on exposure to international business practices-something they're not going to get in a classroom environment.

The most important part of membership in this organization is the service trip that takes place at the end of each school year. In the past, Miami's chapter has visited Honduras, Panama and Ghana, and Zach has high goals for this year's trip to Honduras. He sees the mission of Global Brigades as a sustainable, honorable goal."We're not just taking them capital," he said. "We're taking them knowledge that they can use to build their own capital."

The Miami chapter of Global Business Brigades is seeking Farmer School students to participate. The group is planning a service trip to Honduras May 19-25 and has spots available. Contact Zach Tarbill at tarbilza@miamioh.edu for more information, attend one of the GBB's weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in FSB 14.