Dear Friends of NDI,
Welcome to our family. We hope you make the decision to get involved with NDI and help us change health care. We are a collaborative, interprofessional organization that is bringing natural medicine to global health through three main avenues - Service, Education and Policy & Research. But more than that, NDI is about building relationships, community and action. We are about reaching out, sharing and collaborating, promoting volunteerism and service.
Phase one in our development was to establish a naturopathic health care clinic to show the efficacy of naturopathic medicine in a developing country public healthcare setting. Since 2005, our clinic on the Island of Ometepe has provided over 25,000+ patients free naturopathic medical care by volunteer naturopathic physicians and nearly $500,000 USD of medicines. Now that we have successfully implemented this demonstration clinic, we will continue our global policy work and expansion of NDI. Our policy work over the last 10 years with the World Health Organization has helped in the recent formation of the World Naturopathic Federation. Our Nicaraguan psychologist, Lilliam Zacharias, has improved and expanded our work in domestic violence and sexual abuse response for victims in coordination with the national police force, the Comisaria de Mujeres, and the local government.
If your interested in helping to develop a interprofessional global health clinic - you have come to the right place! If service is your passion, our volunteer opportunities for doctors and students are growing. If you are wanting to work in global health policy or global health research, you have also found the right home. We challenge volunteers to step into another culture and experience from within by building personal relationships and walking a mile in another person’s shoes. This direct experience of the often harsh economic imbalances present in the developing world allows our volunteers to serve and act – not from afar, but in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world. Through cultural immersion and collaboration, volunteers gain first hand experience of global disparity, giving participants an understanding of how their own personal choices impact the larger global community.
On a global policy level, we are doing work for the naturopathic profession that no other organization is involved in. We believe that the only way for our profession to participate fully in global health is by formalizing our work and gaining offiical relations status with the WHO and fully participating in global health policy. To that end, every organization in naturopathic medicine working in global health must strive to have the highest standards, follow international law and protect thier volunteers by gaining permission from governments to allow our work to happen. NDI IS THE ONLY ORGANIZATION THAT DOES THIS in the naturopathic community. Do not risk your medical license by going on illegal health brigades! Doing so not only risks you and patients - it reinforces a imperialistic model that does not respect local cultures.
NDI encourages you to come and walk with us. We need you to continue our work - do not for a second think that we can do this without you. If you're considering, then you're half way there - take the plunge. Give more than just your skills – give a piece of your heart back to the world!
Dr. Tabatha Parker
Board President, NDI
Naturopathic Physician and Global Activist