Meet Rob Callus
Posted: November 1, 2018
Meet Rob Callus
I dare to dream of a world in which doing good and being kind is not only easy, but essential.
At the young age of 25, Rob Callus has dedicated his life to serving others, from caring for men and women experiencing homelessness in South Bend, Indiana, to working in health clinics in western Uganda and teaching in Tanzania. Through these experiences, Rob developed a love and passion for international service and healthcare.
Today, Curamericas Global, a global non-profit in Raleigh, N.C. that is dedicated to saving the lives of women and children in forgotten communities, is helping fill that love and passion for Rob. He is currently serving as the nonprofit’s first program fellow. As a fellow, Rob has the opportunity to directly serve women and children in the organization’s African and Latin American projects. He is currently working in the field in Kenya where he is helping create sustainable health care programs for women and children.
Where It All Started
Rob didn’t have to look far to find great examples of service in his life. His parents, Gary and Donna, have been working for the Catholic school system for the past two decades in a number of capacities. His father, a retired NYPD sergeant turned school teacher, just received his master’s degree and became a principal at St. Leo’s Catholic School in Winston-Salem.
As a young teenager, Rob’s Catholic education at Cardinal Gibbons High School provided many opportunities to serve others in the Raleigh area, including Habitat for Humanity and the Good Shepherd Soup Kitchen. “I had truly excellent mentors and models of what it means to live a life of service, so I owe my passions to their example.”
Rob took his passion for service to the University of Notre Dame where he studied Health Sciences and Theology. There, he regularly volunteered at the Peter Claver Catholic Worker House in South Bend, Indiana. He even served as a live-in volunteer at the hospitality house for men and women experiencing homelessness. He also served at a sliding-scale family medicine clinic in the South Bend area.
Rob’s passion for underserved African communities came to fruition during the summer before his senior year of college when he spent ten weeks working in a clinic in rural western Uganda. There, he volunteered in their HIV counseling department and assisted with community health outreach trips for neonatal care and immunizations. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2015, Rob spent two years teaching and serving as a campus minister in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as a volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
Upon returning from Tanzania in 2017, Rob was drawn to Curamericas Global and its mission to provide hope through health to women and children around the world. Since 1983, Curamericas Global has provided health education and care to more than 1.4 million people in impoverished communities in Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the United States. They go where there is the world’s highest maternal and infant mortality rates.
Rob joined Curamericas as a program intern and would go on to become the organization’s first program fellow. His responsibilities include supporting international and domestic programs, overseeing donor management and stewardship, and managing interns and volunteers.
Curamericas Global’s Executive Director, Andrew Herrera, describes Rob as a “data wizard.” As a program fellow, Rob was instrumental in the Kenya program’s community census. He created a digital data system that used a series of tools and dashboards to virtually represent demographic information about the population. This invaluable information highlighted key data about the health indicators the program tries to impact. The final outcome has contributed to the overall success of the program’s Kenyan partners by providing a greater understanding of the area.
Rob feels a strong connection between this data and Curamericas Global’s mission to create sustainable long-term partnerships with communities. He stresses the importance of helping communities feel ownership of their work by providing them tools for success. “We provide guidance where we can, but the real implementers are our community partners,” Rob explained. By using evidence-based practices, community partners are able to achieve maximum health benefits in their populations.
Through his work with Curamericas Global, Rob hopes to continue to grow his passion for community health and learn about the role of a small non-profit in the global health sector. He believes that “hard work and commitment are all that’s required to make an impact. This way, we can spend our energy and time on the other, the marginalized, the forgotten among us.”
Rob’s work with Curamericas Global has international reach. Alongside his impact in the organization’s Kenyan program, Rob has been able to experience the impact of Curamericas’ Guatemalan program. Through community birthing centers and health care education in Central America to their partnership with the Guatemalan Consulate in Raleigh, the non-profit’s wide net of influence is helping to transform healthcare systems for mothers and children, one community at a time.
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