In just a couple of weeks, I will leave for my second medical mission to Nepal. This time, I will be leading a small team of new practitioners and interpreters in the rural village of Bimphedi, not far from the village that I volunteered in earlier this year.
I’m beyond excited to return and work again with both the people and Acupuncture Relief Project. Not only does ARP provide free primary healthcare to many hundreds of people who would otherwise have very limited options but it also provides meaningful jobs and support for the local Nepalese interpreters and clinic staff in a country where unemployment is pushing 40% and many young people have to travel to the Middle East to find work. The ARP clinic also provides internship opportunities for students from the acupuncture school that opened in Kathmandu just a few years ago and the first generation of graduates will start working in the Bajra Barahi clinic this September.
Furthermore, the dedicated and compassionate young group of interpreters that we worked alongside in the last camp have all been accepted to start at the acupuncture school in September, which can only happen with ARPs support.
This is where the magic happens, in being able to in some way facilitate these deserving young people to become the talented professionals that these clinics need to continue full time and expand. By participating in this program, my contribution extends beyond the patients that I will treat. The $3000 that I am raising not only covers airfare, board, lodging and medical supplies for the six plus weeks that I am in the clinic but will also the go towards the expenses of the interns and students while they are with us.
This is a country with many needs, even before the devastating earthquake and economic blockade of last year, but the Nepalese are stoic, uncomplaining people, eager to share whatever they have. The connection, warmth and generosity that I experienced there was unique, and while it is wonderful to have the chance to serve, I feel that the biggest winner in this situation is myself. To have the opportunity to grow as both a person and practitioner while participating in this community is a privilege that I am incredibly grateful for.
This will be my third humanitarian project in 2016 and the plan is to do many more over the next few years. Your tax-deductible donations help to make this dream a reality. If you are able to make a contribution or would like to know more about the project, this is the link:
A very genuine and heart-felt thank you. I could not do this without the encouragement and support of you all, my friends, patients, and family.