Medical Brigades


A humanitarian aid project focused on making healthcare more equitable and accessible for marginalised population in the Aburrá Valley.

Marginalised people in Antioquia do not have easy access to first-contact, general medical care. This results in members of lower-income neighbourhoods deciding between seeking medical attention or work, frequently choosing the latter due to difficult living circumstances.

Here we will outline the exact issues that people from Antioquia face and propose solutions that can help alleviate these problems.

The proposed solution can be outlined two-fold:

1. Through Medical Brigades, give medical advice to the marginalised population to prevent diseases based on general check-ups.

2. With the support of our partners, we look for cases of diseases that we have treatment options for and guide the patient in getting further treatment.


Why do people from lower-income neighbourhoods often decide not to seek medical attention?

Marginalised population in Antioquia face several obstacles that prevent them from accessing healthcare; however, the main three issues are:

• lack of money to meet co-payments for insurance (Empresas Promotoras de Salud)

• transportation costs that can be so high that they delay or give up on seeking care

• administrative mechanisms that make seeking medical help challenging, e.g. patients having to turn up at 5 in the morning for a chance to be seen during what are limited appointments

In turn, these barriers surpass the reality of how severe a person’s illness is. This results in individuals who clearly feel they have or may have a severe illness foregoing medical attention.


Medical Brigades is a joint project by Emergencias Apolo and Empower the Barrios, whereby pooling together their resources, the two charitable organisations can deliver care to those that need it the most.

By bringing doctors to patients directly, we can affect change in their neighbourhoods by providing free medical check-ups, referrals to specialists if needed, and transport assistance to medical centres via vouchers or day wage reimbursements.

Medical Brigades are going to focus on three objectives:

1. Prevention through medical recommendations.

2. Internal treatment: Treatments through medicines and medical check-ups within the facilities of Apolo / Fundacion Semilla que Crece / Clinica de ex-soldados.

3. External treatment: Treatments in external clinics or through allied organizations. It is essential to have allies willing to provide free vaccinations, medicines, x-rays, laboratory diagnostics etc.


Emergencias Apolo is a Colombian charity ambulance service, whereas Empower the Barrios (registered under US-based Kind Footprint) is a volunteer-led organisation focused on targeted support in various Barrios in Medellin. Together, the two organisations are hoping to achieve the following:


Provide primary health care and available treatment routes in communities with little medical access in the Aburrá Valley.


Make healthcare more equitable and accessible by bringing together local and foreign experts and volunteers.


How are we going to achieve our goals?

By pooling existing resources as well as through the attraction of external experts and donors.

Specifically, Emergencias Apolo will supply their ambulance and expertise to create mobile medical centres so that the Medical Brigade can organise around in the local area and serve its communities. Through outreach programs done by social leaders, we’ll be able to identify families that require the most help.

Empower the Barrios will be managing the Medical Brigades project, providing administrative support, recruiting volunteers, obtaining donations, and securing sponsorships in the United States and locally.

Apart from bringing essential medical check-ups to the neighbourhoods together, we will actively focus on creating medical alliances with private clinics, medical charity organisations or government entities to provide free treatments for the marginalised population.

Our team of medical experts have put together a coherent package of preventive medical care and treatments for diseases.

At the Medical Brigades, check-ups and preventive recommendations will be given as well as diagnoses and guidance for the cases that can be treated by one of our partners.

Formally, the project will be part of Kind Footprint (USA) and Emergencias Apolo (Colombia). The flow of donations will be split between these two organisations.

medical brigade nurse examines foot


Whilst we’ve got some resources, they are limited. That’s why we’re seeking the help of local and international doctors and medical professionals who would be able to join Medical Brigades and support lower-income neighbourhoods in obtaining healthcare before it’s too late.

So, are you an organisation, medical clinic, government entity, or an expert that can provide, fund, or help acquire any medical treatments in Medellín? We need you.

What sort of support are we after?

• the mayor’s office setting up a vaccination campaign

• an NGO distributing birth control materials

• a clinic that can provide a small number of free and easy to carry out treatments

We’ll further support this by either arranging treatment on-site, guiding patients to your location, or taking care of distribution in case you’d like to donate medical supplies.

For those who wish to support our efforts but can’t get involved directly with boots on the ground, we’re also accepting donations that would help this project by funding supplies, medical equipment, and day wage reimbursements for patients visiting a specialist.


Set up in 2020 as a response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Empower the Barrios is a 100% volunteer-led humanitarian aid project that focuses on helping the most vulnerable in the Antioquia region.

We believe in absolute transparency; that’s why we’re as opensource as they come. We’re transparent about our financials, structure, decisions, and risks. Got a question? Just ask; we’re an open book.

With 97,6% efficiency, out of every $100, $97.6 goes to the actual cause –thanks to our all-volunteer model that allows us to pass on donations nearly in full. Every donation is precious, and we’d rather not waste them on logistics or admin costs.

What’s our vision?

To use open-source knowledge, infrastructure and resources to unify humanitarian organisations so that we can achieve absolute efficiency in reaching our common goal – supporting vulnerable population.

What are our results so far?

Since March 2020, we have been able to:

• deliver over 300,000 meals to people hit by the pandemic

• provide 49 students with six months of English education from teachers and native language learners

• distribute 1,100 menstrual cups to local charities working with women

• distribute 100 tablets amongst local charities working in education

• deliver emergency aid and supplies to two fire victims

• deliver 1,300 Christmas presents to children

• provide a prosthetic leg to a local street vendor

• donate an ambulance to Emergencias Apolo

• donate 600kg of clothing and bedding

…and we’re only getting started!

medical brigade team members


+57 322 7419375