Today's date: Thursday May 24, 2018 Vol 51 Issue 21
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Nursing student heads to Tanzania to volunteer in hospital, clinics

Nursing student heads to Tanzania to volunteer in hospital, clinics

by Kelly Waterhouse


Jamie Iverson is hoping her luggage allowance will be at capacity when she heads to Tanzania on May 18, and she’s hoping the community will help make that happen.

Iverson, a 25-year-old Conestoga College student, is in her second year of the practical nursing program and is one of two students from the school preparing to embark on a six-week educational adventure to east Africa to participate in the Work in the World program, which specializes in medical internships for students and new graduates.

“I will be participating as a volunteer nurse providing care within a local hospital in Arusha, Tanzania,” said Iverson. “In addition to offering support in the hospital, I will have the opportunity to work in local clinics in the village.”

Students will stay in a house set up for the volunteers, and will work at the hospital from Monday to Friday for the duration of their stay.

“We are volunteering our time, but there is a mentorship opportunity ... it is an educational experience as well,” said Iverson, who chose to work in the areas of pediatrics and trauma.

“I want to work with kids and I thought trauma would be a great learning experience,” she said.

Despite the distance and the uncertainty of the experience, Iverson is eager to participate.

“The organization is very organized and in-depth,” she said, noting she has friends who have also volunteered in the region with the Work in the World program.

“I’ve read up a lot on the area so I know what to expect, so there is less culture shock.”

To prepare, Iverson has studied some basic Swahili and said program organizers have provided some information.

“They’ve given us a sense of what we might see, to prepare ourselves and some basic cultural differences.”

The trip is an opportunity for Iverson to look ahead to her post-graduate work, as she plans to attend university to complete a nursing degree.

“That’s why I got into nursing ... I do want to work with Nurses Without Borders and more international nursing.”

To participate in the trip, Iverson has to raise $6,000, of which $3,500 will go directly to support the hospital where she volunteers; the rest will go to her travel expenses.

Despite her course load, Iverson has worked for years at the Mosaic Spa in Fergus, and has saved for her travel expenses.

“My goal is simply to fundraise now for the hospital,” she said noting the funds will support the upkeep and basic supplies needed for the hospital.

To support Iverson, Sue Wagner, owner of Mosaic Spa, is hosting a fundraising evening on April 11 from 4 to 8pm, offering facial peels for $50, by appointment only. There will be door prizes and appetizers from Van Gali’s Fergus Cafe and Inn. All proceeds will go to support Iverson’s hospital fundraising.

A Zumba fundraiser is also being hosted by certified instructor Nerine Christie, to be held at the Elora Community Centre on April 12 at 7pm. Admission is $10 with all proceeds going to support the Arusha hospital.

While Iverson is hoping members of the community will participate in these fundraisers, she is also asking for assistance with donations of medical supplies to help fill several hockey bags with basic necessities.

Donations of items such as alcohol wipes, bandages, soap, medical tape, KY Jelly, pen lights, tape measures, small weight scales, clip-on hanging watches, digital thermometers, surgical scrubs, white uniforms, and hand sanitizer are welcome.

“Any other medical supplies, equipment and medicine would also be great,” she adds.

Iverson hopes the experience in Tanzania will be life and career changing.

“Getting some experiences, helping in a country where there isn’t a lot of help will help me have a better understanding of what health care is in Canada ... to appreciate what we have and what others don’t have,” she said.  

Anyone wishing to support Iverson can contact her at 519-362-0016 or  email

For financial donations visit and go to Nursing Afriquest.

Vol 46 Issue 12

March 22, 2013



Wellington North Guide 2018-2019

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