FIMRC Chapters help raise awareness about global health and provide amazing opportunities for volunteers to travel and serve. Traveling as a group can be a life-changing experience for our volunteers and for the communities we serve, and we are proud to offer scholarships to help even more volunteers travel abroad to serve with us. Some of our recent chapter groups received a scholarship award donated by a unique FIMRC leader & alum, John Park from Texas Tech.
“My best memories from La Merced involve working with the local children. From teaching them first aid to communication skills, you can see FIMRC’s positive impact every time you engage with the community.” Stephanie Villalta, FIMRC Alumna and Medical Assistant from San Francisco weighs in on her time serving at Project La Merced.
Through a network of global health volunteers and international partnerships, the FIMRC mission continues on, stronger than ever. FIMRC’s Key Relations Manager, Jessica Southern, has over 7 years’ experience in global health fieldwork. She’s sharing her insight on the importance of academic partnerships; how both undergrad and graduate students can make long-term impacts abroad.
Volunteer Sherry Lipsky traveled to Huancayo, Peru to help raise awareness about domestic violence prevention in the region. Through focus groups, staff trainings, and community outreach, Lipsky and our team in Peru were able to see the impact they made on the community first hand during a community education event when attendees shouted in unison “NiUnaMenos” (not one less—the movement against violence against women) while handing out the white ribbons and flyers.
"It’s a very surreal moment when you get to introduce people to something you are passionate about and then in return see them reciprocate those same feelings." Holden Camp, now a junior at Auburn University, served as a 2017 Summer International Health Fellow in Nicaragua. He recently helped organize another trip; this time to Project Alajuelita in Costa Rica, and with a group of other students from Auburn University.
Each volunteer’s reason for choosing Project Anconcito and their experiences on site are as unique as the volunteers themselves. Meet three special volunteers who served with us in Ecuador in 2018. Makda Mehari, a junior at Centre College, who served for five weeks as part of the Lincoln Scholars program at Centre College; Catie O’Reilly, a junior at Vanderbilt University and part of the Ingram Scholars program; and Kathleen Hopps, a high school student from Illinois.
New year, new opportunities to travel! 🗺 Learn more about all the different ways you can satisfy your wanderlust and help improve access to health care for children and families around the world. Volunteer responsibly, with FIMRC!
My experiences in La Merced helped shine a light on my true calling and gave me the confidence I needed to be open to changing the career path I had originally laid out for myself. Every week, I visited a nearby mountain community called Shawan Rama. We would always arrive to an empty and quiet place but, after a few minutes, the children would come running up to greet us, eager to learn something new and participate in a fun activity. I fell in love with this special group of children.
Mental healthcare is a growing global health concern. Ashley Cooper, president of FIMRC’s Harvard chapter, shares how she is helping to raise awareness both on college campuses and around the world to remove the stigma often associated with mental health challenges.
So you thought our FIMRC family was tightly knit? Well we’ve reached a new level. Every year HQ staff buckle up for a wild ride across one third of the country to visit as many chapters as possible. Find out the good, the bad, and the ugly from Chapter Tour 2018!
Before entering his final year as a nursing student at Oakland University, Brock Willett joined our team in Costa Rica for his second international service trip as a FIMRC Global Health Volunteer. Many students from OU’s FIMRC chapter embarked to serve at Project Alajuelita together. Brock shared some of his personal experiences from this trip.
He’s a travel nurse, backpacker, and now a former long-term FIMRC Ambassador in Ecuador. Cameron Petrey paused his South American backpacking adventures to immerse himself in Project Anconcito’s community and health initiatives. He’s had strong opinions about international development & global health since he joined us. He’s now sharing his thoughts on grassroots health along with travel tips and excursion clips (including sea turtles 🌊🐢).
As a second year medical student, Julie Nguyen expected the clinical exposure she experienced in the DR’s hospital and local clinics. She did not, however, expect to keep a patient’s medication in her refrigerator, or to reflect on questions she had never asked herself. She also would not have guessed that her biggest takeaway would be what it was.
Wonder what FIMRC Summer International Health Fellows were up to this summer? Check out this array of community-focused, sustainable health programs led by our amazing Fellows! They dedicated their summers to this long-term Fellowship, and the impact they’ve helped create is nothing short of impressive.
Janki Dalal spent 3 months at our project site in Costa Rica. While she expected to give back and grow, the lessons learned far exceeded any expectation that she had. Continue reading to hear more about one of her biggest takeaways from her time spent on-site.
The second session of the renowned Summer International Health Fellowship is coming to an end, and our SIHFers have been busy! They've climbed literal mountains every week to serve medically underprivileged communities. This summer has started off strong with a number of initiatives that will last long after these Fellows depart.
This summer started off strong with a number of initiatives that will last long after the Fellows depart. Across the globe they immediately dove in working on program development, clinical issues and, of course, saving a little time for fun too.
So you see, what had happened was, I needed a change. I quit my job to go volunteer in the Dominican Republic... in a community that has limited electricity and running water, and almost never any hot water. What on earth was I thinking?! After months of debating with myself, I finally gave myself permission to take the leap, and dare to do something different. What I was about to embark on was risky and uncomfortable, which was not me at all.
Nurses are a huge component of what makes FIMRC's work possible, and so we wanted to celebrate their impact for National Nurses Day! Nurses are employed at many FIMRC sites, supporting both clinical and health education programming. They often run several of the programs on site, and we couldn't keep it together without them! Their efforts do not go unnoticed, and below we've highlighted the differences and similarities between two nurses that work in different corners of our FIMRC world.
This article published in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal is an example of why it’s important for us to operate with volunteers from various backgrounds. Dr. Catherine Spaulding, a 4th year resident inInternal Medicine and Pediatrics at Georgetown University recently served at Project Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, India. She shares many insightful reminders in this journal, on Our Role in Public Health: Taking a Global Perspective.
As a staff member he saw the clinic before and after our electronic medical record system was introduced at Project Limón. While living in Nicaragua, Zane saw a drastic difference in operational efficiency with the integration of EMR4DW’s record keeping software. If you’ve been to our project site recently, you may not believe the challenges we used to face on a daily basis at Project Limón!
There is a growing awareness of ethical practices relevant to international service work. Good intentions alone are not adequate in properly addressing a community's needs. Louise Power, our Field Operations Manager in La Merced, Peru, is weighing in on effective and ethical approaches to volunteer abroad.
Our mission entails serving underprivileged communities around the globe. What allows us to do that in a manner that is sustainable, ethical, and productive, is being an organization of global individuals.
Finding an opportunity to serve overseas can be fairly easy. However, it requires extra effort for a volunteer to identify an international service program that truly keeps a community's best interests in mind. Here is a list of eight ethical practices for intentionally-minded volunteers. Use these tips to ensure your efforts abroad are sustainable, helpful, and conscientious.
She's back from the Dominican Republic and she's disproving misconceptions on development work abroad. After serving with us at Project Restauración, FIMRC Alumna Sara Spicker is sharing her newly-formed perspectives based on first-hand experiences as a volunteer.
We've seen lives change after underserved populations are given access to medical care. Working alongside our deserving communities is a pleasure. Beyond the number of patients we treat, our impact is one of quality. Our GHVP Manager Logan is sharing his first-hand experience working with the community in Alajuelita, Costa Rica.
You're willing to serve communities on an international service trip. Your next step? Find an opportunity that meets your volunteer goals. Choosing the right travel destination is an important part of finding the right fit. These seven project sites in various countries each offer unique potential to make a lasting impact this summer through the Summer International Health Fellowship!
SIHF is a four to eight week immersion and service program designed for undergraduate students pursuing health professions and recent graduates interested in medical school, nursing school, or physician assistant studies. First and second year medical students are also welcome!