Throughout our work in the international student movement of IPPNW, the issue of the so called North-South divide becomes appearent at every step of the way. That's why it's a big topic for us to overcome at least some of the barriers imposed by the unequal distribution of wealth, power and influence in this world and create somewhat level playing fields. This means supporting students from developing countries, ensuring involvement from students from all parts of the globe, and listening to one another about our views and opinions. The importance we place in this work is symbolized by always having one International Student Representative from the Global South (recently we've had students from the Philipines, Egypt and Nepal fill this post) and the Global North (Denmark, USA and Germany).
IPPNW current and former projects related to the north-south gap:
- Brain Drain: We are currently trying to start a project that deals with the impact of the emigration of skilled workers from developing countries to developed countries - the so called "Brain Drain." Look into the current proposal and see if maybe you want to help us with this research project.
- MedEx: Through MedEx we have created a medical exchange project project that attempts to support medical students from the Global South in realizing ther rotations in other parts of the world - an activity that was up until now reserved mainly for students from wealthy countries. While we're not able to support all students, we do try to help students that have been active in their IPPNW student chapters to go abroad and discover the world beyond their country's borders - practicing medicine and enagging in social projects.
- Practice and Engage: Having laid the ground work for MedEx, the German IPPNW project Practice and Engage has for years send medical students from Germany to many different regions of the world and has in turn invited students from these countries to practice and engage in Germany, funding their trips and giving them a wonderful chance to see another country and another type of medicine.
- North Korea Delegation: Through Dialogue with Decisionmakers Delegations, students travel to countries like North Korea or Iran to bridge the gap between the World Community and these pariah states in an effort to understand and reach out to the people yearning for social change.
- Student Delegation to Turkey: A group of German IPPNW students travelled to Turkey on a study trip organized by the Gernan affiliate. The point was to meet Turkish colleagues, get to know the Turkish health sysetm and experience the situation in modern Turky hands on. Trips like these not only serve to create contacts across national and cultural boundaries, but also serve to educate young medical students about other societies and methods of providing health care.
- Student Chapters Worldwide: IPPNW student chapters exist all over the world, with new students being recruited regularly and student groups from different countries working on certain projects together, visiting each other and staying in contact through e-mail.
- Student Governing Body: Within the IPPNW student movement, student leaders from all countries have an equal say and all contribute to the overall governance and function of the organization. This becomes evident in the institution of the IPPNW Student Governing Body, where every country has one vote and the presidency is shared by one student from the Global South and one from the Global North
- IPPNW World Congresses: Besides organizing regional student conferences in regions like Africa, South Asia, North Asia and Latin America, all student leaders of IPPNW are invited every two years to the IPPNW World Congress, where experiences are shared, projects introduced and evaluated, partnerships formed and future events planned. The 2004 World Congress took place in Beijing in 2004, and the most recent world congress was held in Helsinki in September 2006.