Jodie Moon, Linguistics, Class of 2013

Moon will spend the summer working for the Korean NGO Healthcare and Hope Alliance (HHA) as a coordinator of an empowerment project for patients of thalassemia and their families in Laos. Thalassemia, a hereditary and chronic blood disorder that causes malfunctioning in hemoglobin molecules, has a relatively high incidence rate in Southeast Asia but remains largely unknown to the Laotian public. By creating a booklet written in Lao including a basic definition of the illness, its treatment strategies, dietary recommendations, and suggested physical exercises, HHA’s project aims to “to efficiently communicate the methods of patient monitoring and care at home, address the toll that thalassemia has taken on the patients’ self-esteem, and compile relevant information for future patients”. The patients and their families will play an integral role as crucial partners whose ideas and evaluations will guide the project throughout its duration. By directly engaging the children and their families in a partnership Moon hopes to ensure that the booklet reflects their needs and help the patients come to an awareness of the value of their voices. Moon writes, “I plan to return to Reed with an “improved set of communication and organizational skills with which I can contribute to the ongoing campus initiatives on diversity and social justice.”

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