Nursing a need

DTSS grad travels to Africa to take part in educational experience through universtiy program

When Carli Maybuck was around eight years old, her family packed their bags with clothes, toys and school supplies and headed out for a family vacation. Instead of going to Disneyland or a resort, the family travelled to an orphanage in Honduras, where they unloaded their luggage and gave gifts to the children.

Since then her family has continued travelling and filling spare suitcases with supplies to share.

Growing up in such an altruistic family showed the 2016 David Thompson Secondary School graduate “that even the small things can help make a difference in a community and the world.”

In May, Ms. Maybuck, who is going into her third year of nursing at the University of Lethbridge, flew to Malawi with more gifts – including health advice and blood-pressure monitoring – to share as part of a field study program.

She and her classmates spent a month visiting 14 communities across the landlocked country in southeastern Africa.

There they taught Grade 7 students about HIV and malaria and led the students in creating skits about the diseases. Then the students performed their educational plays – about prevention, symptoms, treatments and more – for thousands of people in their communities.

“They just loved (performing the skits). It was still a very serious topic but we brought a lot of humour to it,” Ms. Maybuck said.

“(HIV) is a huge issue in Malawi and a lot of the people don’t realize they can get treatment or they are too afraid to get tested because of the stigma around it. So we went there to really show that it is OK to get tested and you won’t just die because you have HIV. There is medication that won’t cure it but will make it non-transmittable,” she said.

Ms. Maybuck’s class brought malaria nets to share with the students and those at most risk. They brought reusable menstrual products so the girls wouldn’t have to miss school each month. For a little fun, they also brought soccer balls and jerseys for the locals.

(Ms. Maybuck’s friends and family in Invermere donated money for malaria nets while Columbia Valley Youth Soccer donated 80 jerseys.)

“I’ve always wanted to go to Africa and volunteer in some way,” she said, adding that she was eager to share her newly-learned nursing skills with the locals. “Every single moment was a highlight for me.”

Little more than a week after her return, Ms. Maybuck was already considering heading back to Malawi to do her practicum overseas.

In the longer term she envisions potentially “volunteering around the world with my nursing career.”

“It’s really heartbreaking living in a place like (Canada) when there’s so much poverty in the world,” she said. “I really want to help people.”

Just Posted

Biologists discover another female calf in depleted South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd

Calf will be moved to Revelstoke maternity pens, then released

Man seriously hurt after police shooting near Nelson

Incident has been reported to provincial police watchdog

Snow storm hits East Kootenay

Fernie expected to get the most accumulation at roughly 20-25 centimetres by the end of the day

Vigil in Kimberley for lost caribou herd

With removal of last females herd is effectively gone

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read