Public Health Without Borders hosts holiday fair to support global health projects

By Danielle Kiefer

Public Health Without Borders (PHWB), a student group on campus, hosted a holiday fair Nov. 30 to raise funds and awareness for the School of Public Health.

Public Health Without Borders works to improve global health needs by “reduc[ing] health disparities around the world and increas[ing] awareness about good health practices,” according to their website.

At the holiday fair, students and faculty could purchase crafts, clothing and coffee from the countries where PHWB has ongoing health projects. Traditional food from these countries was offered as well.

“[The holiday fair] is a good way for us to fundraise and get more awareness for our projects, and to bring other departments out to see what we’re doing,” sophomore biology major Kelsey Talarico said.

The funds raised by the holiday fair will go to PHWB’s travel teams, which are currently for India, Sierra Leone and Peru, Talarico said. The money raised will benefit students travelling to these countries, and will also cover expenses of the intervention materials used to improve people’s health.

This year was the second year holding a holiday fair, senior public health science major Katie Lindsey said. It became holiday-themed simply due to the time of year the event was held.

“It was a pretty good success, so we wanted to do it again,” Lindsey said. “It was a nice way to showcase all the stuff we had.”

PHWB also holds a large event to raise awareness in the spring, typically a benefit concert, Talarico said.

Lindsey originally became involved with PHWB during her freshman year after being in the Global Public Health Scholars program.

“I didn’t know anything about public health before that, and just taking that class, I fell in love with it,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey said Dr. Elisabeth Maring, faculty adviser of PHWB, approached her asking her to join the club. She has since served as Project Leader for Sierra Leone, and has travelled there with PHWB, hoping to return this upcoming summer.

Talarico also became involved with the club during her freshman year, and currently serves as the Project Leader for Peru. She led the trip to Peru over the past summer.

For Talarico, the best part of PHWB is learning about other countries and being able to help them.

“I love learning about the different cultures and knowing that we’re impacting a different community in another area besides our immediate area,” Talarico said. “It’s a global impact.”

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