Child Family Health International

Rating: 4.58 stars   96 reviews

Issues: Education, Health, International

Location: 995 Market St Ste 1104 San Francisco CA 94103 USA

Mission: Founded in 1992, Child Family Health International is a global family of committed professionals and students who work to strengthen communities at the grassroots level. We are united by a vision of advancing quality healthcare for all by creating global health education programs that are socially responsible and financially just. We are recognized by the United Nations.
Results: -->Established in 1992 -->20+ sites in 7 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, South Africa, Uganda) -->8,000+ volunteers have completed programs to date -->Supports & works with 250+ medical professionals around the world -->Donated over $10 million in medical supplies/equipment -->Offers professional development opportunities to global medical partners -->Academic Partners include UC Davis, Northwestern University, Northeastern University, etc. -->Awarded Special Consultative Status with the United Nations (ECOSOC) Economic and Social Council, July 2008
Target demographics: Our students explore what health care and public health are like in developing countries while experiencing local culture and issues. Our program fees help support the local underserved communities where we work. We have enrolled 8,000+ students to date.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 700+ students and 250+ CFHI community partners (doctors and businesses, NGOs)
Geographic areas served: Worldwide, with a focus on the US, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, South Africa, Uganda, and India.
Programs: GLOBAL HEALTH INTERNSHIPS : Experience global health through 4 to 16 week programs in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Uganda & South Africa. Open to all with an interest in global health/medicine. INTERNATIONAL GRANTS: CFHI indirectly provides critical medical services to our partners abroad. Support CFHI's efforts in bringing village-based health care to underserved areas. HEALTH PROMOTER TRAINING: CFHI trains community-based health workers and teaches local members about preventive medicine and public health issues. Equipped with medicines and supplies physicians often see over 400 patients in a month.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-3145385
415.957.9000
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This was an amazing experience for me. I had never flown to another country before, so I really did not know what to expect. CFHI really took care of me when I was there, placing me in an excellent homestay and checking in with me regularly. They also answered all questions that I had before the program began very promptly and were very accomadating to my schedule (I went outside of the recommended program start and end dates and did not have any problems). It is hard to offer points of improvement for constructive feedback. The program is a bit expensive, combined with the cost of flights to the country. However the cost is well worth it, and CFHI provides fundraising suggestions for you. As for the program itself, I had much freedom to do what I was comfortable with. Perhaps this could very with each preceptor at the locations, which would be outside of CFHI's control, but their medical director allows flexibility in scheduling to change rotations if you are unsatisfied (the same with your host stay as well). I got more clinical exposure than in Med1 back in the states, doing physicals on children with things like pneumonia, hip displasia, and meningitis. I have my strongest recommendations for the program.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

When I had initially embarked on this trip I had low expectations of the future while in South Africa. By this I mean I knew that life would have been different from the United States but how different was something I could paint in my mind. I was also a bit perplexed at the idea of living with perfect strangers as my home stay family. However this trip ended up being a learning experience as well as a sense of connection with others whom I had previously never encountered in life. During my stay I was able to appreciate the community life and family life that is shared among each South African citizens. Everyone is different but very alike as they tied with the past, present and promising future. Although life was very different to a great extent to life in the United States we are somehow very alike. We share the same stress and common goals in life. There was no difference in the heart of a person unless one chose to look at the color of their skins. I had very friendly neighbors that made my trip worth while. My daily activities after the hospital were varied and always fun. At times it always felt as if there was so much to do and so little time to do it. I was very please with how amicable the atmosphere was in the hospital among professionals. Although there was a great amount of stress applied to the work and seriousness there was also a sense of ease that helped to make the work easy. I learned a lot about the Zulu culture as well as the Zulu language. I admire their prairies and vast landscape that are almost never ending. The tourism in the country was something that we were all driven to achieve. I learned about strength and courage as I watched people around me deal with daily struggle of life with great optimism. The struggle of a family for clean water and electricity was something I was familiar with through the stories of my country of birth the Democratic Republic of Congo. I was able to share with the people of South Africa my life experience as well as give hope by showing them that their struggles although significant are somewhat better in certain areas than the struggles of other African nations.. In the Cape, I was able to see the both the similarity and difference the socio-economic lifestyle of its citizens. For instance, there were parts of the cities in which you will find only a certain culture which was mainly influence by the race that lives in that community. I remember going out one night in the sea point neighborhood and it was beyond belief the lifestyle that I saw there. I must say there was absolutely no difference between the city of Los Angeles and some part of the cape. One strange thing that did strike me the most was the lack of crime. I was almost always expecting the worst because we hear stories but truthfully I got to realize that all stories are a bit exaggerated. In short, this trip gave me a mirror image to myself. I was able to enter another world and see how intricate and similar it is from the one I know, but it also allow me to look into myself and appreciate as well as compare certain things I have in my world.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've not yet to experience the results of this organization in my community or place of work but I am confident that sometime soon I will see these results.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would perhaps increase the time and different field students are exposed to.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Time spent at the hospital and various places

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Absolutely, profound effect.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

My volunteer experience made me feel rewarded because I felt as if I made an impact in people lives every second of the time I spent volunteering.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been a board member for 10 years, 2 of which were as Chair. I do this because I love the organization, its passion, its relentless pursuit of what its belief systems are, its values, and the friendships build over the years. That time represents 25% of my lifetime, so it should say for something about CFHI. Ajoy Mallik

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This past November I went with Child Family Health International (CFHI) on their Healthcare Challenges in Cape Town, South Africa program. I worked at a public hospital called GH Jooste in Manenberg, a township located right outside Cape Town. I experienced first hand how doctors and nurses had taken care of patients while the hospital was understaffed, overworked and had limited supplies. However, during my time there, the doctors still took time out of their busy days to teach me about a wide variety of tasks including reading ECG graphs, taking blood, interpreting patient histories and lab results, as well as minor surgeries. I shadowed doctors in the trauma department for 3 weeks and then the orthopedic clinic for 2. There I was allowed to apply pops (casts) under supervision and scrub in to observe orthopedic surgery.

My days would begin with rounds, and because GH Jooste was a teaching hospital, every staff member (doctors, nurses, students) participated. Each patient was examined and the resident or supervisor in charge would make each a new “case,” explaining how one would come to a clinical diagnosis and plan out a treatment. Most of the time the doctor would do a quick physical examination, read the blood results and be able to identify what was wrong. As a pre-med student, I came into the program having only a basic biology background and whenever I was lost, someone would always take the time to walk me through each step.

My homestay family, along with the local coordinator and medical director, were amazing and I couldn’t have asked for more. They always called to check in on me and my homestay family was accommodating, warm and welcoming—I felt right at home on the very first day. I still keep in contact with all of them and I miss them dearly!

This program was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had and it was truly life changing. I originally chose this program because I needed to figure out if I wanted to pursue medical school. When I returned, I had no doubt that I wanted to become a doctor. I really hope that other students, whether or not they are going into the medical field, take advantage of CFHI’s programs because what you gain is a once in a lifetime experience.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I graduated as a pre-med student from UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular immunology. In an elective global poverty course, I could not help but realize the strong connection between infectious diseases and global poverty. To develop my interest in global health, I went to Ecuador through CFHI for a month to work in clinics both in Quito and by the rainforest, to better understand tropical diseases specifically. It was a life-changing learning experience. Not only did I learn so much about how public health initiatives work firsthand, I experienced a new culture and the extent to which culture and health care are connected in Ecuador. Every doctor, medical student, and health worker I interacted with was incredibly welcoming and friendly. They made great efforts to not only include me in different cases, but to also teach me about the medicine behind it. I loved interacting with patients so directly since clinical internships in the States usually involves being seen but not heard. Beyond the actual clinical aspect of the program, I had an amazing time making local friends, bonding with other students in the program, and exploring the beautiful country itself. I learned so much about myself and my interest in global health, and I am positive that I want to continue to be involved in helping underserved individuals internationally as a doctor.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a student at UC Berkeley in my first year that is a Political Science/ International Relations major, but with a large interest in Public Health. I planned to live in Berkeley over the summer so I searched for public health related non-profit internships located in the SF Bay Area. I came across Child Family Health International that combined both my interests of international affairs and public health and applied!

I am writing from the perspective of an SF office intern and not a participant of CFHI programs, however, I still feel strongly about the integrity and remarkable quality of this organization. The staff is all of varying background, making the workplace a dynamic environment. They all have a love for travel and therefore, inspire their students to make the fullest advantage of their learning experience overseas. A lot of work is put into the coordination of the program, and making sure each student is satisfied while abroad. The organization is truly dedicated to its cause of being able to provide service-learning opportunities to pre- health science students while introducing participants to a first hand global health perspective. For that reason, I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work here over the summer knowing that my efforts contributed to the greater cause of CFHI.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I recently went to La Paz, Bolivia with Child Family Health International for their Pediatric and Adolescent Program. The program allowed me to learn about the healthcare system in a developing country. Unfortunately, during my month stay there, the physicians were having their first strike ever in Bolivian history. The physicians were striking against the government for the lack of resources in the hospitals and the recent increase in daily work hours without an increase in pay. The media called the physicians “lazy” and the community members followed the media. Even with protests from the community, the physicians continued to stand up for their beliefs and marched everyday. The police would line the streets in front of hospitals and clinics to control the demonstrations and crowds. I soon learned that striking was common throughout the entire work force of Bolivia. From public transportation to sex workers, different groups protested everyday.

While clinical settings were limited due to the physician strike, I was able to rotate through 3 different hospitals with the 4 other students from the United States. We as students were welcomed by the physicians and residents at each facility. One was the main public pediatric hospital of La Paz, one a brand new private hospital, and the other a small public hospital in a poor neighboring city. Both public hospitals lacked many resources and the poorer hospital was overcrowded. This program allowed me to learn how physicians dealt with health without resources and about Bolivia’s health insurance and coverage.

The other students and I were able to enhance our Spanish not only through the clinical setting, but through our daily Spanish classes. Living with a host family also helped my conversational skills. The host family was extremely welcoming and kind, and the son spoke fluent English. On the weekends, we were able to explore the city and even travel throughout the country. Going to a different country to experience health care first hand and living with a local family is a unique opportunity that I am extremely fortunate to have experienced!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

For the past two months, I have been traveling with CFHI (Child Family Health International) on the Maternal and Child Health Program in Pune, India. Child Family Health International is a small non-profit organization that provides the means to be globally immersed in the healthcare system of a culture. CFHI provides students with the necessary tools to go and learn about global health in a local setting. Even with the vast language barrier in India, I was able to learn much about the culture, the people, and the way their healthcare system is arranged as well as many clinical applications of diseases I may never encounter again! The program coordinators in Pune give us a good mix of clinical hours and local sight-seeing so we have a diverse experience. This experience has shaped who I am going to be as a healthcare worker in a global setting and has also shown me the path in the healthcare field that I wish to take. I recommend CFHI to anyone who is looking for global healthcare immersion!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Deciding what path I wanted to take in the healthcare field.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More personal contact with the program coordinators both in the US and abroad before leaving for the program.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

That the local coordinators in Pune were more sensitive to American culture.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes! I met many new friends and learned a lot about diseases that I wouldn't have had a chance to experience if I hadn't gone to a foreign country.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It made me feel like I can do something and make a difference.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This past March, I traveled to the southwest coast of India (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) for four eventful weeks to take part in CFHI’s new and unique program, “Palliative Care in Southern India”. As someone experiencing India for the first time, I was pleasantly overwhelmed with a flurry of new things: new sights, smells and sounds. Magic and wonder are paramount in India, but equally so it is laden with misfortune and sorrow. This program provided the right amount of exposure to help me develop a broad understanding of Indian culture and its place within the healthcare system.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I learned something new everyday! Even though India is incredibly diverse and full of paradoxes, I came to know a small amount about life in the south. In addition to learning about palliative care within the Indian healthcare system, I learned new ways to practice simple, quality medicine, means of coping during difficult and emotionally heavy situations, how to maneuver in a heavily populated society and how to conduct myself appropriately in a culture very different to my own.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

As with anything, the smart approach is to say that there is always room for improvement. However, knowing CFHI well enough, I can say with confidence that nothing monumental comes to mind as needing to be changed. I think CFHI programs are well designed, giving students a happy balance between autonomy, structure and support. I also feel that they are well rounded, offering a wide array of opportunities for students to further their medical and public health goals.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I am proud to say that this program is my second with CFHI in two years, and I can happily say that yet again, I have been fulfilled in more ways than I could have imagined. Personally and professionally. It never ceases to amaze me that what often tends to happen with global health immersion programs is that almost always you gain much more than what was originally expected and the learning experience is by no means confined to healthcare.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

A great mix of emotions! Challenged. Adventurous. Humble. Peaceful. Excited. Grateful. Just to name a few.

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Child Family Health International (CFHI) is a small, nonprofit organization that invites students to explore healthcare systems of differing countries at the grassroots level. You can find yourself in India, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico and South Africa! I traveled to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico with CFHI and was so moved by my experience that I am soon returning for the third time this year!

CFHI provided me with the tools to gain a thorough understanding of the culture and the healthcare needs of the people of Oaxaca. This was achieved by staying with a local family, attending Spanish class with a local teacher each day, and traveling to various medical clinics to better understand rural and urban medical practices and the structure of Mexico's healthcare system. Throughout my stay in Puerto Escondido, I felt culturally tested and challenged, in a way that could only benefit an individual being offered new perspectives on healthcare, culture and life and opening up their mind to the world at large. I witnessed cases where a lack of access to better medical care was continuously the underlying problem, visited families living in scarce, unsanitary conditions in the smaller, rural communities and was exposed to differing norms and practices in healthcare and within Mexican culture that shared similarities with my own, while simultaneously posing great differences. I learned a great deal from local doctors and nurses, by spending time in the clinics with them on a daily basis and seeing firsthand how culture and economic factors play into the healthcare system and effect their experience as medical providers as well as the patients' experience. With the right attitude you can accomplish so much through CFHI's programs. I was able to maximize my time in the clinics by being proactive and asking to observe additional surgeries and taking the time to build relationships with the doctors and nurses. My schedule offered the perfect balance between work, study and having time to explore the community.

Without question my experience with CFHI has become a stepping-stone for my future goals in global health and has motivated me to begin playing an active role in the field. My time spent in Oaxaca has become a part of who I am and what I continue to pursue today. I am extremely grateful for initiating my global health experience with a knowledgeable, culturally aware, hard working, and kind-hearted organization such as CFHI.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My initial experience in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico with CFHI has motivated me to learn more in depth about the healthcare system in Mexico and how the structure of the system affects the medical professionals working there and the patients they treat. I'm driven not only to be a student of medicine, but to also be a student of public health seeking to work abroad in a variety of different healthcare settings. Overall, it was an extremely beneficial and transformational experience for me!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I think the organization is doing a great job and will continue to support them.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I volunteered in Cape Town, South Africa with the healthcare challenges program. I had an amazing four weeks and actually did not want to come home. First of all Cape Town is a great city to be in and has such stark contrasts that you see not only in the hospital but daily. Second, CFHI was a great group to volunteer with. Everything was very organized from the pickups to the local coordinators, Avril and Marion. The hospital we volunteered at serviced the townships so the patient population had many cases of TB, HIV/AID's and violence such as stabbed hearts. My homestay family was amazing and I actually enjoyed spending most of my time with them rather than various tourist activites.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?