Meet the team
Corrinne, Michael, Rachael, Eve and Jennifer.
We are Learning Disability Nursing students, currently in our second year at Glasgow Caledonian University. We will graduate in October 2016. We are developing a practice learning opportunity, as part of our degree course, to gain nursing experience in an international context.
Corrinne and Michael plan to spend 14 weeks in Malawi. Rachael, Eve and Jennifer will be there for 7 weeks.
About our project
We are going to Lilongwe, Malawi, between May and September 2015. Our project has 3 main goals:
1. Improve healthcare for people in Malawi, in particular for those with learning disabilities.
2. Raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. (With a focus on supporting those with learning disabilities or limited literacy to understand more about transmission, risks and testing.)
3. Develop ongoing links between Glasgow Caledonian University Nursing Department and Kamuzu Nursing College and the University of Malawi in Lilongwe.
We will provide nursing care for people with learning disabilities, and the general population, in both hospital and community settings.
We will also deliver training about HIV and sexual health for people with learning disabilities, and provide accessible information that is easy to understand.
Why this project? Why us?
According to the non-profit Enable Scotland, in Malawi only 25 per cent of
people who have a disability and need medical treatment have access to
necessary services. We will use all of the specialised skills, knowledge and
experience we have acquired as Learning Disability Nursing students, to improve
awareness and encourage local nurses to act as effective advocates for people
with learning disabilities requiring healthcare. By sharing good practice, and
working sensitively with local nurses and nursing students, we hope to have a
positive impact on the lives of people with learning disabilities in Malawi.
In addition to our regular placement hours, we will develop accessible information and training materials about HIV and AIDS. In Malawi, people with learning disabilities are statistically more likely to have HIV. There are a number of factors which contribute to this. The Situation Analysis Report for People with Disabilities in Malawi (2011) highlights the lack of information available in accessible formats for people with learning disabilities or limited literacy skills. There are also a number of misconceptions about how HIV is transmitted, and HIV testing. We will deliver training to local nurses and nursing students, to support them to work sensitively with local people to raise awareness and address this serious issue. By offering training to local nurses, in addition to working directly with individuals, we hope that the positive impact of our work will be sustainable, and will continue well after we return to the UK.
The current climate of NHS funding freezes and
increased burden on health services poses considerable challenges for nurses in
the UK. It will be helpful to see how nurses in Malawi manage to remain
positive and motivated in the face of even greater hardship. We will develop resilience and adaptability, and gain
a greater understanding of culturally sensitive care, which will benefit us and
the people we support throughout our nursing careers.
It is our ambition that we will establish
an ongoing reciprocal link between Glasgow Caledonian University and the
University of Malawi, so that future nursing students from both universities
have the opportunity to gain international experience as part of the pre-registration
Let's talk money
We have set our minimum funding level quite low, because every little helps. We are determined to make this project happen and we're all working extra hours, and planning various fundraising events to try to help with the costs as much as possible. We have set our total target at £5000, which we would divide between us to give us up to £1000 each. We aren't trying to cover all the costs of the trip this way - we estimate that it will cost between £2000 and £3000 at least, per person (slightly less for those of us going for 7 weeks, obviously more for those of us going for 14 weeks). That's a lot of money for a bunch of penniless students.
Here's what your donations would help us with:
- Flights to Lilongwe: £1700 (£340 each to help towards total cost of travel... the actual total will be higher, around £1000 each)
- Immunisations: £500 (£100 each)
- Malaria tablets: £525 (£1.50 each, per day = either £75 or £150 depending on length of placement)
- Visas: £800 (£160 each)
- Equipment (latex free gloves, antibacterial handwash, alcohol wipes, mosquito nets etc): £275 (£55 each)
- Antiretroviral drug kits x2 for the group (in case of emergency/exposure to bodily fluids) = £1200 (£240 per person)
If we manage to hit our full target, we will be able to cover our remaining travel/accommodation costs, and direct additional funds towards purchasing equipment or medical supplies in Malawi.
We want to say thank you. Check out the rewards on the side of this page.
Read about our progress on our blog
Or follow us on Facebook
Help us succeed!
Giving us money is not the only way to help us make this project a success (although we really do appreciate that kind of help too!). Follow and share our page on Facebook. Tell your friends. Comment on a blog post. We'd love to include as many people as possible in what we're doing.
Get in touch! If you've been to Malawi and have any tips for us, let us know. If you have any questions for us, feel free to ask away. You can message us on Facebook, or via comments on our blog.
Do you have a mosquito net? A large hiking rucksack you never use? Any other supplies or equipment we might be able to use for our project? (latex gloves? sun block? antibacterial hand gel?) Let us know.