Learn about Global Brigades!


Brigades (def'n): Groups of passionate volunteers

who mobilize toward positive social change.


Chapters of Global Brigades:

ArchitectureBusiness, DentalEnvironmentalEngineeringHuman RightsMedicalMicrofinancePublic Health, Water





Global Brigades is the world's largest student-led Global health and sustainable development organization. Global Brigades first began in 2004 in Honduras with Medical brigades being its first chapter. Since 2004 over 40,000 student volunteers and professionals have worked diligently alongside over 400,000 community members in ten skill-based service programs to improve the quality of life in under resourced rural communities of Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Ghana. 












You may be wondering how a one-week brigade with students can remainsustainable. The fact is that it's not sustainable in itself;  in order to achieve the model of sustainability Global brigades utilizes its thousands of students, ten programs with local technicians and keeps a strong focus by working in one community at a time. It's important to know that each brigade works off the work of a previous group's work in order to achieve a larger development and health goal. In a sense, chapters worldwide are working as one big team in order to accomplish one common goal-helping to improve the lives of people living in under resourced communities. For instance, it takes several architecture brigades to finish an entire intrastructure within one community. Sustainability is achieved throughcontinually educating community members of proper health practices and providing education to improve their economic practices. Within medical brigades sustainability remains achieveable through charlas, a patient referral program and training of community health workers who ensure that patients receive adequate follow-up between medical brigades and help to prevent potential health complications in the communities. It's important to realize that as students we are working alongside community members to improve the quality of life within these communities. Brigades are a cultural exchange that allow students to learn more about local cultures and for community members to learn from students about their cultures. 

What impact does Global Medical Brigades have in communities?


In these communities, clinics are scarce, and when they do exist they are often without sufficient medicine or are severely under staffed, leaving families with ailments both untreated and undiagnosed, sometimes for an entire lifetime.  To help resolve the ongoing health disparity, Global Brigades has worked with local government, international and local doctors, and student leaders to develop a Medical program  with the goal to provide consistent access to healthcare using an economically sustainable model. Our Medical program has three complimentary initiatives: mobile clinics (medical brigades), resident community health workers, and a patient referral program with local specialists. Through these efforts approximately 150,000 patients per year are able to receive access to health care.

Educational Workshops (Charlas) 


The educational workshops (charlas) are completed throughout the medical/dental brigade in order to help increase awareness of ways that community members can work to live healthier lifestyles. The charlas are one way in which medical and dental brigades can achieve sustainability. There are two types of charlas that are provided: the adult charla and the children's charla. Each charla is taught separately and occur after the community members see a physician. Adult charla topics include: ways to sanitize water, exercise, nutrition, sexual health and personal hygiene. Children charla topics include: oral hygiene, personal hygiene, hand washing and nutrition.

Volunteer Resources:

    • Features all of the Global Brigades pre-brigade curriculum 

    • Download this smartphone app for iPhones and Droids 

  • Volunteer Resource Page

    • Click here for information from the Global Brigades volunteer resource site 

  • Pre-brigade curriculum

    • Click here for information about educational topics that should be covered prior to brigade departure.