HOLMDEL – Sylvia’s Children, a New Jersey-based nonprofit, is on the hunt for medical practitioners interested in a meaningful “voluntourism” opportunity.
The organization is seeking professionals to tend to children in Uganda, Africa from March 13-25 on its next annual medical trip.
The charity organization, founded more than a decade ago by businesswoman Sylvia Allen, is seeking doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, pediatricians, dermatologists, otolaryngologists, dentists, dental assistants, physical therapists, and infectious disease specialists who would be willing to volunteer their specialized medical services to the children at the Mbirizi Advanced Primary and Day Care School located in Uganda, Africa.
The mission of Sylvia’s Children has been to improve the lives of the children – many of whom are orphans – at the school and help to create a self-sustainable model that can be shared with schools in surrounding villages.
Sylvia’s Children currently supports 1,015 children at the school, which is situated 40 miles from the nearest health facility.
The organization has been sponsoring one medical trip a year since 2007 to help service the needs of the population. After treating a number of serious health issues, such as second degree burns, typhoid and broken bones, organization officials decided to build an on-site medical clinic.
The new, fully equipped 6,000-square-foot Hynes Medical Clinic increases access to health care for both the children and the village at large. There is very limited access to health care in this part of Uganda, and care that is available is often years behind the standard of medical care in developed parts of the world.
During a prior trip, a group of volunteer nurses and doctors examined each child and created a medical history chart for each of them. Children were treated and cured of myriad ailments, including diseases of poverty, consequences of malnutrition and complications from HIV/AIDS. They also brought donated medical supplies that were used for treatments, and transported several children to the nearest city for diagnosis and treatment of more severe illnesses and dental issues, including fillings and extractions.
Since launching the organization in 2003, Allen has succeeded in gaining annual sponsorship for 150 of the 331 orphans, and has raised nearly $1 million, all of which has gone directly to the school; she covers all administrative expenses herself.
In addition to the medical clinic, the charity has constructed a fresh well, a chicken coop with 400 chickens, a kitchen, a corn milling building, a sewing facility, new classrooms, housing for teachers and orphans, a fully-stocked library, a playground and more.
The all-inclusive cost to join the trip is $3,500, which includes airfare, lodging, meals, ground transportation and a three-day safari experience at the Mweya Lodge, where visitors can see wild animals such as elephants, lions, leopards, hippos, and more.
Those interested in joining the trip can contact Allen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-946-2711.