Dunedin School of Medicine students (from left) Anna Clare O'Connor, Hayleigh Miller and Sunniva Jones at the Hunter Centre in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Two Dunedin School of Medicine students will soon be helping
some of the poorest people in India.
After completing their end-of-year exams, second-year
students Hayleigh Miller, of Timaru, and Anna Clare O'Connor,
of Wanganui, will travel to Kolkata as volunteers at the
Institute for Indian Mother and Child next month.
The institute was a non-governmental volunteer organisation
that promoted child and maternal health and literacy to those
who could not access basic healthcare.
Miss Miller (20) said the work appealed because the institute
had a long-term plan.
''It's very sustainable. It's not one of these things where
they go in and build a well and then leave and when the well
breaks, the people don't have the money to fix it.''
She had never visited a developing country before but was
looking forward to the challenge.
''I'm a big believer in being the change that you wish to
Miss O'Connor (24) said they were both fundraising for the
trip. At a recent bake sale they raised $500 and both would
have a fundraising website to provide updates and where
people could give money.
''We get to see where it's goes because we are handing it
over and bypassing the huge administration cost.''
Fellow student Sunniva Jones, of Nelson, said she volunteered
at the institute last year.
Miss Jones (23) said she helped with injections, took
patients' blood pressure and dressed wounds and infections.
The institute had 20 schools where volunteers could teach and
had programmes which economically empowered women.
''The institute has given loans to about 20,000 rural women
who have started businesses.''
The most uplifting moment at the institute was working with
disabled children and handing over the $1200 she had raised
to buy them school books, Miss Jones said.
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