Today’s post is a guest post written by Michael Carlson, Director of Operations for Doctors for Doctors Nurses for Nurses, a Canadian non-profit that focuses on education and access to health care in Nicaragua. DFD/NFN’s flagship program is a scholarship initiative that gives medical and nursing students from rural communities in the San Juan del Sur and Matagalpa regions of Nicaragua the opportunity to attend school with a full funded scholarship that includes all related living costs.
I’m not a Doctor, or a Nurse. I’m not even a chiropractor, or a physiotherapist. On paper, I’m not someone who would naturally be inspired to help start a charity project that funds education for future doctors and nurses in Nicaragua. So why am I so dedicated to this project?
This is the question I keep getting asked, as I navigate the process of starting a charity.
Why do you care so much? What’s in it for you?
For me, it’s about inspiration, education, and empowerment.
I’ve done a lot of different jobs in my life. I’ve been a teacher, a public servant, and now I am a fundraiser. But the commonality between these roles is that they allow me to offer myself in service of a greater good. I need work that inspires me—work that allows me to contribute to something that I believe in. Education provides that inspiration. I believe that education is the key to real change.
Education ends suffering. It allows individuals like our first scholarship recipient, Bryan, to find solutions to the problems that plague their communities. When Bryan graduates, he will be able to return to his home community and care for his friends and family in ways that he never imagined possible. Education enables people to be the change that they want to see in their worlds. It is my motivator, because I believe that it is the answer to some of the world’s biggest problems.
Education is empowerment. Through education, individuals can create tools for building their own futures. In the case of Doctors for Doctors & Nurses for Nurses, the specific kind of education that we enable is in health care education because health care is one of the biggest needs in rural areas of Nicaragua.
I can’t wait to see our first student graduate, and I am so excited to offer our second scholarship very soon. We are hoping to be able to give our potential second scholarship recipient, Kimberly, some great news after the completion of our IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign in just a few days. It’s going to change her life forever as well as other the others impacted by her health care education. Imagine the possibilities!
Watch the inspiring video below about how Bryan’s fate has been changed:
About Doctors for Doctors Nurses for Nurses
Doctors for Doctors/Nurses for Nurses provides full scholarships to aspiring medical and nursing students in rural Nicaragua.
Due to an absence of student loan programs, high poverty rates and an overall lack of resources, there is a drastic shortage of health care professionals. In rural areas, the nearest clinic is often a day’s journey away. Due to terrible road conditions, many are forced to travel by foot, and sometimes cannot access a hospital even in an emergency. People have a right to better care and many young people feel compelled to help, but lack the resources for formal training. This is where Doctors for Doctors Nurses for Nurses steps in. By providing full scholarships to students for medical and nursing school, Doctors for Doctors Nurses for Nurses will have a ripple effect within communities providing care to thousands of patients each and every year.
Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America, with nearly half of its population (43%) living in rural areas. Many families in rural regions lack access to essential healthcare. It is estimated that more than one-third of the population lacks access to health care services.
Doctors for Doctors’ (DFD) Founder, Andrew Wilson, first visited Nicaragua in 2010 when he helped deliver aid in rural regions of the country. It was during this trip that he saw the vital need for better healthcare in these hard-to-reach areas of the country and the potential of local young people to be the force of this change. The seeds of possibility were planted and shortly after Doctors for Doctors was born.
Click here for more information on Doctors for Doctors and Nurses for Nurses. To donate to their Indiegogo campaign, please click here. You can also check them out on Facebook .