When the topic of "medical mission trips" arises, it's often associated with images of dedicated healthcare professionals working in challenging environments, delivering much-needed care to underserved populations. Foundation for Peace healthcare missions in places like the Dominican Republic and Kenya embody this vision and transcend it.
Imagine stepping out of your comfort zone, and delving deep into communities that might not have seen medical personnel for months or even years. This is the world that participants in Foundation for Peace's medical missions experience and contribute to. Here's a glimpse into their transformative journey:
Making a Tangible Impact
In the first ten months of 2023, 105 people – including nursing and med school professors, their diligent students, and practicing healthcare professionals – made their mark in the Dominican Republic. Under the guidance of FFP’s medical director, Dr. Cici Lugo, and in collaboration with local physicians, this team set up pop-up clinics, conducted home visits, and screened school children, serving more than 3,000 patients.
All consultations and medicines were provided free of charge. All their services were unbiased, reaching out to everyone irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. The essence? Humanity.
Reflections from the Ground
The experiences of these mission participants resonate deeply:
- “FFP is doing incredible work in the DR, and I am so blessed to have played a small part in helping to improve the health of the people in the communities that we served!”
- “As always, a memorable, humbling and life changing experience. I leave a piece of my heart every time I have to depart.”
- “This experience has solidified my passion to serve and care for others.”
For many students, these trips were more than just medical missions; they were learning odysseys. Venturing into the homes of patients, dealing with limited resources, and interacting with diverse ethnic groups such as the Dominican and Haitian populations were invaluable lessons they wouldn't have garnered in a classroom.
- “FFP has provided a safe space for all of us to learn, grow, reflect, and adapt. I am grateful for this experience and for learning to appreciate things I may have taken for granted. I will use my abilities, knowledge and opportunities to aid others in any way possible as a medical student, future doctor and human.”
- “I cannot believe how much I've learned and experienced. I have had an amazing trip. In the US, you don't always feel like you make a difference, but here, every patient was so grateful for our care. Another thing that I will never forget is the kindness I received.”
- “As a faculty member with the group, it was great to see the students experience places and situations outside of their comfort zones. It was wonderful working with FFP who coordinated clinics, transportation, accommodations and food. It allowed me as faculty to focus on helping my students learn clinical skills and provide space for reflection.”
The Backbone: FFP Staff
The dedicated efforts of the FFP staff have not gone unnoticed. Their energy, skill, and coordination from setting up clinics to ensuring every participant’s safety and well-being were pivotal to each mission's success, a testament to the FFP staff's priorities in caring for both those in need and the teams.
- “I felt so welcomed by the staff. Our interpreters were amazing! The biggest thing was that I felt safe in a foreign country.”
- “Everyone on the staff has been so welcoming, always ensured our safety and provided us with some of the best meals I've ever had.”
- “All of the FFP staff were fantastic, I have nothing but admiration and gratitude for their generosity, assistance and mentorship.”
Your Chance to Make a Difference
Reading these heartwarming testimonials, you might wonder, "How can I be part of such a transformative journey?" Whether you're a healthcare professional, a professor, a student, or someone with a passion for making a difference, there's a place for you with Foundation for Peace.
Join us, and let your skills and dedication positively impact lives, including your own!
Interested? Reach out to Wendy at Wendy@foundationforpeace.org or text 973-219-9306.