When Kim Lake and Helen Fraser began to teach the Leadership in Nursing course this past fall to the fourth-year CBU nursing students, they never dreamed what an impact it would have on their students’ lives and the lives of children on the opposite side of the world.
Designed to connect the students with leadership and decision making skills, as well as make them more aware of global social justice issues, the leadership course required an in-class project to link real-life issues to nursing theory. In the early days of the course guest speakers from CBDHA Surgical Mission group were invited to share their leadership experiences in providing healthcare in Guatemala. After hearing their story, the students decided to help fundraise for this mission.
“We decided that we would like to get involved in the community and that the best way to do so was to collaborate with the CBDHA International Volunteer Surgical
Team,” says Neha Chaturvedi, fourth-year nursing student. “This was an opportunity to not only be recognized in our community, but to be able to help the less fortunate people in a different part of the world.”
Though the fourth-year students had originally hoped to join the mission, circumstance didn’t allow for it. “No one was deterred by the fact that they couldn’t join the mission
in the end,” says Kim. “In fact, they worked as hard as if they were going. I’m so proud of what they accomplished by working together for a great cause.”
What they accomplished was raising over $5,000 in cash for surgical supplies and over $1,000 worth of school supplies and clothing for children who were going to have surgical procedures performed by the Cape Breton nurses and physicians. According to Kim, “Every child that had surgery woke up to a small toy, a new outfit and school supplies.” Though school supplies might be something many children take for granted, to the children of the impoverished village it means that they can continue to attend school where they are educated, cared for and fed. Children get two full meals per day if they attend school but are unable to attend if they do not have supplies
“It was with great support from the nursing staff, the CBDHA staff and our fellow classmates that we were able to make this project happen,” continued Neha. “Without our nursing professors Kim and Helen, we would never have been able to be so successful in our efforts. They truly inspired each and every one of the students to get involved in the community and become great leaders.”
Due to the success of this fundraiser, the third-year nursing students have now signed on to continue the legacy to fundraise, and this time join in on , an international nursing experience that will take them on the trip of a lifetime to South America.