Kate & Al­lie: Off to Tan­za­nia

The Glengarry News - - News - BY MAR­GARET CALDBICK News Staff

Two nursing stu­dents from Wil­liamstown are pre­par­ing to em­bark on an in­ter­na­tional learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in Tan­za­nia.

Third-year Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence stu­dents Kate Pasco and Al­lie Fickes will be among 23 stu­dents and three teach­ing staff who leave for Africa on May 5 for a two-and-a-half week trip shad­ow­ing doc­tors and nurses at the Pamoja Tu­naweza Women’s Cen­tre ( PTWC) and out­reach clin­ics sur­round­ing the city of Moshi, lo­cated at the foot of Mount Kil­i­man­jaro.

The stu­dents will be do­ing health pro­mo­tion and teach­ing, screen­ing, and learn­ing first­hand what a day in the life of a lo­cal nurse is like in vil­lages that don’t have reg­u­lar ac­cess to med­i­cal check-ups.

“We’ll be lend­ing an ex­tra hand in­clud­ing go­ing into com­mu­ni­ties that can’t travel to the cen­tre,” says Miss Fickes, 21, who stud­ies at the Kingston cam­pus of St. Lawrence Col­lege. “There are buses that will take us to places where peo­ple can’t ac­cess re­sources.”

Stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing in the trip are en­rolled in a cross-cul­tural nursing elec­tive that counts to­wards their de­gree. They are

re­spon­si­ble for pay­ing for the course and all other ex­penses as­so­ci­ated with the African trip. It cost the stu­dents over $4,000 each to to go.

To raise the money, Miss Fickes and Miss Pasco ran in­di­vid­ual fundrais­ers sell­ing lip balm at their home cam­puses and a joint Zumba and BodyShred event ear­lier this year at the Char-Lan

Re­cre­atiojn Cen­tre.

The stu­dents first heard about the trip from fel­low stu­dents who had gone and re­turned rav­ing about the un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Va­lerie Pa­que­tte from Ot­tawa who is 4th year now went last year and says it was amaz­ing,” says Miss Fickes.

Ac­cord­ing to the col­lege, in­ter­na­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fer­ing nursing prac­tice skills are among the things that draw stu­dents to St. Lawrence Col­lege’s nursing pro­gram.

Kate Pasco first heard about the Tan­za­nia op­por­tu­nity from her friend Kelly McLeod who trav­elled to Tan­za­nia in May, 2018, with 15 of her fel­low nursing stu­dents and two pro­fes­sors.

“She had lots of good in­put on it, and other friends who have gone in past years gave us a re­ally good pack­ing list, what to take with us,” says Miss Pasco.

The pair will be pack­ing with a pur­pose. One of their two checked suit­cases will be stuffed with do­nated items to dis­trib­ute when they ar­rive—med­i­cal sup­plies and cloth­ing, school sup­plies and other spec­i­fied goods in­clud­ing chil­dren’s items and books.

To help pre­pare stu­dents for the trip, the col­lege of­fers in­tense mod­ules where stu­dents read about global health, cul­tural nursing prac­tices, com­mon ill­nesses they may en­counter in Tan­za­nia, and cul­tural dif­fer­ences. They also heard from guest speak­ers and pre­pared case stud­ies and dis­cussed top­ics in­clud­ing travel safety and what to ex­pect in the lo­cal cul­ture.

“We learned some of the lan­guage to help pre­pare us, but there will be a trans­la­tor there too,” ex­plains Miss Pasco.

Break­ing the news to their par­ents last fall that they wanted to travel to Tan­za­nia raised con­cerns at first, but after learn­ing more about the trip, the pro­gram it­self, and the teacher vol­un­teers who would be ac­com­pa­ny­ing the stu­dents, Al­lie and Kate’s par­ents set aside their wor­ries, of­fer­ing their help and sup­port.

A limited num­ber of SLC nursing stu­dents are se­lected for the an­nual trip and the stu­dents were re­quired to write an es­say about what they thought were the main ben­e­fits of be­com­ing a nursing vol­un­teer abroad.

Ex­cit­ing

“It was yery ex­cit­ing,” says Miss Fickes who found out she had been ac­cepted on her birth­day in De­cem­ber, 2018.

After their stay in Tan­za­nia work­ing at the Pamoja Tu­naweza Women’s Cen­tre, the two stu­dents will stopover in Am­s­ter­dam for two days be­fore re­turn­ing to Canada.

The PTWC was es­tab­lished in April 2007 to im­prove health in the Kil­i­man­jaro Re­gion through ac­cess to af­ford­able, high qual­ity health care models and also sup­ports women through var­i­ous mi­cro-finance en­ter­prises.

STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON PHOTO

OFF TO TAN­ZA­NIA: Lo­cal nursing stu­dents Kate Pasco and Al­lie Fickes, shown at a re­cent Zumba fundraiser at the Char-Lan Rec Cen­tre, will em­bark for Tan­za­nia next month for a two-and-ahalf week health pro­mo­tion trip.

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