We often take our houses for granted. They’re spaces filled with things we use every day without noticing-- plates, water filters (if you live anywhere near Philadelphia), floors that aren’t made of dirt. At Project Limón, we’ve started a Micro Health Insurance Program to turn homes into houses that are healthy environments for families using simple incentives like plates, water filters, and finished floors. Read below to learn more about the program!
Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station city in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nandu. The city earned its name as “gift of the forest” in Tamil, from its lush nature and mountainous terrain. Despite its natural beauty, health systems have struggled to make progress in serving this community. Malnutrition in children is common, and can lead to many problems for children's health. These issues have led FIMRC to focus on nutrition and medical care in local crèches, a child care center that also incorporate schooling and health services.
In 2002, the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children was founded. For the past fifteen years, we have walked hand in hand toward healthier communities. We started in Alajuelita, Costa Rica and have grown to eight other countries as we gained the experience to expand our model of community participation and volunteer involvement.
Remember Tatiana, our Field Operations Manager in Costa Rica? Remember working with Tatiana in the psychology program? Recently she teamed up with psychologist Andrea Sosa, a Master's student in clinical psychology at the University of Costa Rica to help two sisters showing behavioral problems.
Anna Wu is currently participating in the Summer International Health Fellowship (SIHF) in the Philippines. She is a student at the University of Michigan where she serves as President of the FIMRC Chapter, and has spent the months of June and July participating in clinical, educational, and outreach activities to further FIMRC's mission. During her time abroad, Anna has kept a blog to document all she has experienced; she shared one with FIMRC, reflecting on the relationships she's made.
So many of our volunteers gain so much more than they ever expected by traveling with FIMRC. In addition to the medical exposure, they form lasting relationships with FIMRC staff, community members, and other volunteers. Volunteers learn about a different culture, different families, different ways of problem solving. Even just a week at a FIMRC project site can leave quite the imprint on your heart, and impact so much of your future. So, what can you do when the experience leaves more of an impact on you than you could have anticipated?
Even with summer vacation upon us, our health agents in Restauración have shown commitment to supporting FIMRC's work. Alongside our SIHFers, they have kept busy preparing workshops like this one to engage their peers in health topics through fun and creative activities. The first session was held two weeks ago and touched on healthy relationships.
You've been hearing a lot about all the babies that are born in the maternity ward of the FIMRC Clinic at Project Bududa, but let's take a step back. Why did we need a maternity ward? What has its impact been since its opening in 2016? Through this blog you'll be able to understand why we took this step for this particular project site.
Looking for a great summer reading list? Look no further! We've put together a summer reading list that will give you amazing insight into the developing world, health issues that arise there, and global health and development.
It's been almost a month now, and our interns are settling in great! As always they are hard working, dedicated, and so eager to learn about FIMRC. We love having interns work with us throughout the year, as there is so much to learn about the field of global health, but we also learn so much from them! We though we'd take a moment to introduce you to them- we're excited to have them on board!
Since the beginning of Project Anconcito in 2016, the community has rallied behind us to improve their health. Now, we are running with it- quite literally! Freddy Baque, our Project Coordinator, recently started a basketball team with 10 male members between the ages of 13 and 19. This team plays in the Anconcito Basketball League, and is already on its way to success in many different ways.
Alicia Ryberg volunteered long-term with FIMRC through a sabbatical with her organization, Charles River. Throughout her time at Project Limón, Alicia participated in many FIMRC programs, and truly became a part of the FIMRC family on site. Learn about how she brought her passions and applied them in a completely new setting!
Andrew Roberts is a retired hospital administrator and US Navy serviceman. He has spent his life in the health field, helping to ensure care provided is to the best quality possible. He shares a collection of pictures, as well as some of the most important lessons he learned during his time volunteering at Project Cavite.
Partners in Health (PIH) strives to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair by establishing relationships with long-term sister organizations abroad. Their mission aligns so well with FIMRC, that we partnered in Lima to execute much-needed health campaigns for communities that have been recently affected by flooding and landslides. Learn about the impact Earlham College, PIH, and FIMRC had within communities surrounding Lima, Peru!
This Mother's Day, we're focusing on the moms in the communities where we work. Every day, they show commitment, strength, and courage in working to improve the health in their communities. Read about their stories that illustrate how much our moms care!
Seline George is FIMRC's Outreach Nurse at Project Kodaikanal. Basically, she's superwoman. Read on to see how she helps FIMRC with day-to-day operations, reaching strategic goals, and her favorite memories from the past 5+ years of working with FIMRC!
It's incredible to work with such passionate and dedicated staff at each and every project site. Their hearts are grounded within their communities, and they are motivated by the very patients they help. Watch this video to learn more about Project Alajuelita and its impact within Costa Rica directly from staff members Tatiana, Karen, and Dayan.
Proper nutrition is a focus in many FIMRC project sites and programs, and nutrition has a large impact on health from babies to adults! As Ecuador's site, Project Anconcito, develops out its programming for the community, nutrition education is seen again and again as a needed focus. Volunteer and nutritionist, Holly Ratkovic, and part-time local nutritionist, Estefaniá Tigrero, developed a nutrition program for the at-risk children in Anconcito. Find out what steps they took to address the children and parents' needs within their program!
My name is Dr. Peter Smith from York, England, and I have just returned from my 8th visit to the FIMRC site in Bududa District, Eastern Uganda. Like many physicians, I have always wanted to work in the developing world but found difficulty in finding work where my skills could complement and add to a situation. When I decided to travel to the developing world I was concerned about working within my capabilities. When I contacted FIMRC I actually expressed an interest in their project in India, however they took a very careful note of my CV and suggested Uganda!
Marina Milad is a FIMRC Fellow at Project Restauración in the Dominican Republic. Her project involved redesigning and implementing the Health Agents Training Program, which educates teenagers about physical, mental, and community health, and aims to empower them to take action towards improving the health of their community. Learn about her experience through her eyes.
Erica Rovner is a 2016 SIHF Fellow who traveled to Project Kodaikanal in India for 1 month. Below she shares her love for the girls who were placed in a girls' home, which translated into fundraising enough to purchase items for each of the 9 girls currently in the home.
Hi everybody! My name is Caitlin and I am so excited to be joining the FIMRC team as the new GHVP Manager. I started my journey with FIMRC during college as a volunteer in Peru, and I am really looking forward to helping volunteers going to all of our sites abroad!
Mulembe! My name is Allison Carter and I participated in SIHF at Project Bududa for 2 months in summer 2016. I had the opportunity to participate in SIHF through the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Foundation at UNC-Chapel Hill. Through my scholarship, I was able to pursue a summer of public service anywhere in the world. Specifically, I chose the Bududa site because of the newly opened maternity ward and the opportunity to aid midwives in births.
James Davis, a FIMRC Fellow through our Internship Program, has spent the last 5 and a half months at Project Limón. Throughout his time he's been able to develop a program called Sexpertos, which helps educate youth ages 12 to 18 about reproductive health as well as healthy relationships. He's worked with our psychologist, Cata, in delivering powerful messages to youth, hoping to improve their health habits when it comes to sex.
During the past month, site staff at Project Alajuelita had the incredible experience of being a part of the healing process of a forty four year old patient named Rigoberto Duarte Obando. This past January, Rigo suffered severe burns from an electrical fire leaving him hospitalized for fifteen days. FIMRC staff helped treat Rigo after he was discharged from the hospital, as he had no other options to obtain any medical treatment.
Medical students from Michigan State University, Chris and Lauren, have been spending time completing one of their medical rotations in Ecuador at Project Anconcito! During their time here they've been able to focus on providing access to address the malnutrition and anemia concerns within the community. Overall, they will have spent a month and a half at the project site, providing their expertise but also gaining new perspectives in community development through medicine. Read their blog post below to learn about their experience.
Adjusting to a new country, culture, and lifestyle is not easy for anyone, even field staff! Rebecca Kerr began working with FIMRC in December of 2016 at Project Cavite in the Philippines. She slowly transitioned into becoming the new FOM, and officially took over in January! Her first couple months have been exciting, tiring, and overall a great start to furthering FIMRC's efforts in the Philippines.
Volunteer Brittany Brooks dedicated three months to Project Bududa during the summer and fall of 2016. She was a complete joy to have on site, helping with whatever possible and connecting with staff and the community. She shares her story of experiencing the ups and downs of being on site, and how her experience has impacted her life.
During January, Madeleine and Eric took a side trip to visit Project Limón in Nicaragua. Madeleine is the Global Innovations Manager at HQ in Philadelphia, and Eric is her husband currently attending Temple's DPT Program. Below you can read about their experience as newbies to the FIMRC family abroad!