Published on 10 December 2012
10 December 2012
Twenty University of the Sunshine Coast Nursing Science students will leave for Tanzania on Friday 14 December to help bring smiles to the faces of orphaned children at Christmas.
USC has teamed up with Buderim’s own version of Santa’s workshop to deliver handcrafted wooden toys to the children at Upendo Orphanage in Moshi.
The toys have been made by volunteers from the Buderim Men’s Shed. Its coordinator Norm Thursby said the group’s toymakers made about 800 toys every year for disadvantaged children.
“When Leonie Williams from USC told us that the only toys that the children in the hospitals played with were inflated rubber gloves that volunteers supplied, we were only too happy to help out,” he said.
“Because the availability of toys over there is zero, anything is better than nothing, so we are making basic toys – things like blocks and small trucks.”
USC Senior Lecturer in Nursing Dr Leonie Williams said the students, aged 19 to 53, were looking forward to seeing the children’s reactions on Christmas Day.
She said the four-week trip to Tanzania would include practising in hospitals and health centres in the Mt Kilimanjaro region.
The clinical placements will give students an insight into the tough lives and working conditions in an underdeveloped nation.
“The practicums are a life-changing event for many students,” Dr Williams said.
“The hospital I was working in when I was over there last time had no running water or insect screens in the wards, and candles were used for night lights.
“This type of work prepares students for disaster relief and gives them an understanding of the hardships should they choose to work in a third-world country.”
Dr Williams said participating students were required to be vaccinated for diseases including yellow fever, cholera and typhoid fever prior to leaving Australia.
“There are many diseases over there that we are not familiar with,” she said.
“We don’t see children with malaria here, or the level of gastroenteritis, or children with HIV. So we learn about those things from them, and what they learn from us is nursing best practice.”
— Terry Walsh