In the weeks leading up to the winter holidays, we selected the members of our Mere Saathi Project Team for our March 2018 work in villages of Uttar Pradesh state in India.
Our team members are all volunteers. They bring precious gifts to Mere Saathi's work and mission: Dedication. Fortitude. Tenacity.
Our 2018 India Project and field work focus on treating parasites in dairy cows. goats, and buffalo. The team will treat 300 animals in three villages of Mirzapur District and train our community outreach partners in India to continue the prescribed parasite treatments throughout the year.
Every team member is training to meet our primary objective: Diagnose and treat dairy cattle and train others to do so.
But our connection with the women who care for these animals is just as important. That's why our team includes specialists in human health care and social work, photojournalism, vocational training, and linguistics. We will stay connected with the women we serve, and with our local partners who help us deliver veterinary care over the long term.
We are one small village helping another. Meet our team. Join us.
Dr. Audrey Barker, Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Barker is the Founder and Medical Director of Mere Saathi. She served for several years as Medical Director of one of Baltimore's largest veterinary clinics and emergency hospitals. Dr. Barker worked with researchers and faculty at UPenn's School of Veterinary Medicine to develop our 2018 parasite treatment program, and with hospital administrators in Mirzapur District to design our village outreach strategy. She will lead all in-village veterinary activities and meet daily with hospital administrators to adapt the program as the work progresses.
Greta Engle, Logistics
Greta has worked in the US healthcare industry for over 20 years. She has served on the boards of several non-profits, including The House of Ruth and Mere Saathi. Greta will plan and oversee all in-country travel and village-centered activities, ensure the well-being and safety of team members, and maintain communications via social media with Mere Saathi partners and stakeholders.
Sean Spiva, Animal Health Educator
Sean brings audio-visual technology skills to Mere Saathi's work. He developed the bilingual and pictorial training aids the team will use to train local outreach teams and educate village women about parasite treatment. Sean will serve as veterinary assistant and will lead the training of local community outreach teams.
Kate Rediger, women's Outreach
Kate is a nurse practitioner, has worked in the medical field in Baltimore city for many years, and is passionate about women’s rights. She will interview and work directly with the village women who care for dairy cattle. She'll also provide medical support to the team and build connections with local nursing and medical staff to collaborate on upcoming Mere Saathi initiatives.
Alex Rediger, Hindi Language and Social Work
Alex holds an MBA in International Business and has broad experience bridging language barriers and networking for international trade. He also holds a Masters in Social Work and has served people in need within multi-cultural communities. He is a self-taught linguist with ability to read and converse in both Hindi and Urdu, and he pursues a rigorous study of South Asian history, language, religion, and politics. Alex will conduct interviews and gather data on animal husbandry and dairy economics in the villages.
Steven Rotundo, Photojournalism and Technical Support
Steven is a mechanical engineer working in advanced robotics. He is also a skilled machinist and avid photographer and problem solver. Steven will lead and coordinate photo-documentation of the project and guide the team's efforts to gather data about animals and village dairy economics that can serve as indicators of the 2018 project's success and guide Mere Saathi's projects in the future.