Our PA program in the midst of planning our first international mission trip! We’re tentatively planning to work with an organization in Nicaragua. For those of you who have ever planned or are planning one currently, are there any words of wisdom or general advice for the process? How did you work with the university throughout the process? How did you cover expenses or fundraise? What type of supplies or activities were most valuable to the community you visited?
Thank you for any and all feedback!
I coordinated an International rotation in Belize as a student. We raised funds mostly from soliciting donations although you can do a number of events such as bake sales, car washes, auctions, etc. I strongly recommend that you plan to bring all of your own supplies. MAP International puts together great medicine kits with all the basics- antibiotics, analgesics, etc. Then you can leave whatever you don’t use with the local pharmacy or hospital to make a more lasting impact. The biggest things that we saw was the need for primary care basics such as anti-inflammatories and analgesics. If you will be working with a farming community, i’d suggest you bring inhalers and bronchodilators for asthmatics affected by pesticides and things like pads for the girls menstruating.
There are likely to be tons of kids. Your visit to the community is a great time to pass out simple interventions such as toothbrushes and have lessons regarding simple first aid and hand washing. If you are able to get the kids doing things, they will often teach the adults and you can really affect a community. Or have educational sessions with the ladies.
I hope all goes well!!