So – we have been back for 4 days and have had our final class meeting to de-brief at the conclusion of the program…
In reviewing and reflecting, some important things come to my mind:
1) Over 4 trips to Zambia, I have had the honor to meet and work with so many wonderful and inspiring people and seeing many of them again and again each year makes me feel like I have another home away from home! A HUGE thank you to all our Zambian community partners for providing us so many wonderful opportunities! And it all started with Alfred and Chisomo facilitating meetings with various organizations in 2012…..thank you both!!!!
2) it is amazing to know that over three years, we have impacted 33 Purdue students who have a new perspective of the world including health care services and challenges in a developing country. We hope that these students continue to be ambassadors who use the experience and knowledge gained during this program throughout their careers!
3) Another amazing thing about this program is that we have been able to see some of the same children each year, follow-up with them and see their progress. Although we know our impact in Zambia during a very short two weeks each year is small, it is heartwarming to know that we have helped a few people through our program. This year Christi saw 10 children for consultations, 4 of whom she had initially seen last year! We also provided hearing screenings for 295 people (mostly children) and at least one of them received follow-up at Beit Cure Hospital and was scheduled for his hearing aid fitting today. I hope to follow-up via e-mail to see how he does with his devices…..And we provided trainings to about 60 professionals, who we hope will be able to use the information we provided when they work with children
4) And the most exciting feeling from this year’s program is that we now have community partners asking us for additional programming! This is particularly special to us because we have worked so hard over the past 4 years to communicate in a sensitive way with all our partners, taking their input and requests, finding ways to meet their needs, while taking care not to overstep and we can see the fruits of all that careful groundwork! We have partners asking us for additional programming next time, we are already seeing the results of some our trainings, and we feel we have gained their trust. We hope we can continue to build and strengthen these relationships!
There are a few more people to thank (in addition to Alfred, Chisomo, and all our community partners in Zambia) who have supported our program and helped so much!!
1) Thanks to all the Purdue University faculty, staff and administrators who have helped in many ways especially Kendra and Dr. Cai from the International Programs Office, Paula from the Study Abroad Office, SLHS Business Office staff, Jenn who helped it all begin, Christi who is helping to keep it going, and all the SLHS faculty, staff and students who have been so excited and supportive of the program
2) Thanks a ton to Julie from Gordon-Stowe Inc. who loaned us her OAE equipment yet again and also donated supplies for our program including otoscope specula and OAE tips
GO TEAM ZAMBIA! 🙂