Hello, I am currently writing this on my flight home from Nepal.
My name is Verity. I am an Australian nursing student and an aspiring doctor. I was privileged enough to receive a scholarship from the Australians for Women’s Health Team (A4WH), to travel to Nepal and experience a treatment camp with Dr Ray Hodgson, the Director of A4WH. What an experience it was.
I’ve wanted to work in the health sector and become a doctor for many years, a goal that keeps solidifying each time that I have met Dr Ray. I’ve heard about his mission in Nepal. I’ve heard many stories and I’ve read his book ‘Heartbreak in the Himalayas’ to completion four times now, each time feasting on something new, and understanding more and more the alarming problems of women’s health in Nepal. Being able to go to Nepal, meeting women similar to those in the stories and of those described in the book, being able to see with my very own eyes the devastating problems they face each day – all of these things have heightened my understanding of how real and the urgent these women’s issues are.
Many women in Nepal, including the women I met, suffer with serious gynaecological conditions for many years. These conditions are painful and embarrassing and affect their lives in so many depressing ways. In most parts of Nepal there is little chance of access to proper health care. Dr Ray and his team, A4WH, and supporting Nepalese medical professionals are the hope for these women.
Nepal was beautiful, in terms of the scenery and the culture of the people. I got to see so many different facets of Nepal – from the busy tourist-filled area of Thamel to the remote, freezing district in the gorgeous Himalayan foothills of Dolakha. Everyone I came in contact with was calm and peaceful, even the women about to undergo major surgery. Nepal was everything I imagined, everything I read about and more. It was impossible to not fall in love with the culture of the people. And with this visit, the ache to help these people only grew.
On this trip, Dr Ray performed many life-changing surgeries. He provided medical equipment and singularly taught the local doctors and nursing staff. This was to the benefit of everyone involved. I got to visit the site of the land in Dolakha where the Mothers and Babies Hospital will be built. It was incredible to visit and foresee the area that will host such an important mission and provide the desperately needed care to women who can’t access this. And it’s all due to the efforts of A4WH and the generous contributions of donors and sponsors.
The opportunity to go to Nepal was an experience that will never leave me. What I saw, the people I met, what I learnt, being able to spend time with the charitable and generous Dr Ray and the passion that grew within me for the mission in Nepal – so many mind-blowing things. I feel so privileged and proud to witness and be a part of such amazing work. I hope to one day be a doctor, follow in the footsteps of Dr Ray and make a desperately needed change in the lives of those the women who suffer so much. My appreciation goes out to the whole A4WH team and the donors who make all of this possible.
Christmas is nearing, so if you’re like me and you see the importance of women’s and children’s health, please to give to these people who are so much in need. On the A4WH Website (www.A4WH.org), you can gift of a donation towards the building of the Mothers and Babies Hospital. I promise you – this will be a gift that is truly life-changing. It is so hugely needed and so totally appreciated by these wonderful people.
I am very thankful for this opportunity.