This summer, from June 13-28, eight Xavier University students enrolled in a nursing elective course, International Community Development, and Sarah Lamkin, Xavier adjunct faculty, will provide preventive health care to villagers in Tanzania, East Africa in partnership with Village Life as part of the course activities. Students will learn to be culturally sensitive as they assess the needs of the population in this area. They will focus on health care, oral health, nutrition, water, sanitation, empowerment and education. The course will combine Xavier’s educational mission of training students with its service mission of creating men and women for others. Xavier students will present malaria prevention workshops to Tanzanian women and assess the nutritional status of village children by taking World Health Organization anthropometric measurements including height, weight, and mid-arm circumference. They will lead seminars for village teachers to improve their understanding of and ability to teach nutrition. This trip is an opportunity to prepare the future generation of nurses to care for patients from diverse populations and to be inspiring leaders in creating multi-disciplinary education collaborations with a world health focus.
Village Life Outreach Project was founded in 2004 by local physician Chris Lewis and is based out of Cincinnati. Its mission is to unite communities to promote life, health and education. Most of Village Life’s work focuses on three remote and impoverished villages in the Tarime district of Tanzania, East Africa. Brigades travel to Tanzania several times a year. Their teams have created water purification systems for access to clean water, distributed mosquito nets to prevent malaria, and started a feeding program to combat severe malnutrition in school-age children. By illuminating and joining the struggle against poverty, disease and malnutrition in Africa, they hope to strengthen their own local communities by exemplifying humanitarianism, service and social responsibility.
All of the following Xavier students will work with the Life, Health and Education Committees, but each has a certain project as part of the course to learn more about.