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I hope one day to be a medical practitioner in my home country, Rwanda. And, I feel that the Navajo Nation, and the work currently being done by the Indian Health Services, will offer me a learning and growth opportunity unlike any other. I hope that, through this trip, I can learn to strengthen my resource management skills through hands-on service learning. And, I am also extremely excited to see another part of the United States that most people do not go to.

So, I am dedicating my January to service and need your help to do so. I, along with 8 other students, are traveling to New Mexico to participate in a service project on the Navajo Nation Reservation through Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) at Harvard. Our team, along with an epidemiologist and pediatricians, will provide medical care and health screenings in partnership with local Head Start programs as well as work at food banks and for community outreach programs.

The Navajo Nation experiences extreme poverty. The unemployment rate on the reservation is 45 percent. Over 56 percent of family incomes fall below the federal poverty line. More than half of homes do not have electricity or plumbing. For many residents, competitively priced goods and services are over fifty miles away. What particularly struck me is the reality of healthcare on the Navajo Nation. Access to physicians there is extremely limited. Additionally, many Navajo—especially the elderly—are unable to access resources located miles away in the winter, when heavy snowfall makes travel extremely difficult without a vehicle. During my trip we will be able to directly approach these problems.

But to make this trip possible, I need your help to ensure we have enough materials and supplies. I would appreciate any contribution, no matter the size, to help me make my work this January a reality. Additionally, your gift is fully tax-deductible! Thank you for supporting communities and making this amazing service experience possible for me. Happy Holidays! 

Yours in service, 

 Juliet

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