FIMRC

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

About

The Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of families in the developing world through innovative and self-sustainable health programs. Operating since 2002, we have grown to ten project sites in nine countries including: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Peru, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Uganda, India, Ecuador, and the Philippines. With a team of over 3,000 dedicated staff and volunteers, we assert a multidimensional strategy that includes clinical services, extensive community outreach efforts, and targeted health education programs.

What sets FIMRC apart from other organizations is our focus on sustainable community based programs and our commitment to keeping our locations open year round! For our volunteers, this translates into knowing they are contributing to ongoing programs that address current community needs as well as the flexibility to travel at any time.

Flexible Booking Options & Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

We allow flexible booking options as well as virtual volunteer opportunities!
Website
www.fimrc.org
Founded
2002
Headquarters

1518 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

Reviews

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Eesha
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I believe FIMRC did a great job teaching the students more about fimrc and how it's run as well as enhanced our knowledge towards the global health topic! I have learned so much throughout this program, from different career introductions, to what FIMRC provides to their different sites. I would be honored to visit one of the fimrc sites in the future and get further involved with FIMRC! The staff is so welcoming and helpful and enhances our fimrc experience greatly! Keep up the great work FIMRC!

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly believe this program is great for how it is! I loved my experience with FIMRC as all the staff were super welcoming and helpful and definitely would like to visit one of the sites in the future!
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Jemima
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

They had shadowing opportunities which really gave a taste of what telemedicine is like and would help future practitioners get used to the changes in the delivery of healthcare. The shadowing also enabled me to see how doctors treat patients in low-resource settings (by minimising the usage of medicine and emphasising on a nutrition plan specific to the disease instead.) The case studies was also really interesting and allowed you to see the various types of illnesses commonly present in underserved regions.

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Aylin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Virtual Global Health Fellowship introduced me to global health and inspired me to volunteer in medicine globally. Through the live discussions and site overviews, I was able to connect with FIMRC staff and other volunteers. I also gained clinical experience through the shadowing and case study discussions. The program being virtual did not take away from the learning experience. It was so well developed that it felt like learning in person. Not only did I learn about global health and FIMRC's goals but I also learned about the culture of Latin America through the fun activities. I am so thankful that FIMRC provides these wonderful opportunities to learn. I am excited to apply what I learned to my future endeavors in medicine.

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Maumita
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved my time with FIMRC! This virtual fellowship allowed me to learn about public health, health disparities in communities, international medicine, and so much more. As a student, it helped me figure out what I want to pursue as a career as well as the problems I want to help solve. The Virtual Global Health Fellowship opened my eyes to the different problems and situations occurring around our globe and I will be sure to apply the lessons I learned in the future. Overall, I highly recommend this program!

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Britany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I LOVED my experience with FIMRC. Not only the passionate and devoted staff but also I love that I learned so much. I got knowledge on global health, international medicine and so much more that I never even heard about before this experience. The Virtual Global Health Fellowship really helped me to open my eyes on the world surrounding me and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. I know for a fact that all the information I have learned will not only be helpful for my future studies and career, but also in order to be more aware of the situations and differences of different peoples all around the globe.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 20
Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Become a Global Health Volunteer in Peru
Peru
9.62 •21 reviews

At Project Huancayo, FIMRC strives to make an impact in the highlands...

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Become a Global Health Volunteer in Nicaragua!
Nicaragua
9.2 •15 reviews

FIMRC's Project Limón, located on the Pacific coast approximately...

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Become a Global Health Volunteer in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
9.92 •12 reviews

Located only 12 km from the Haitian border, FIMRC’s Project...

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Become a Global Health Volunteer in Uganda
Uganda
9.92 •12 reviews

FIMRC's Project Bududa is located 150 miles east of the capital city...

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Become a Global Health Volunteer in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
9.5 •12 reviews

FIMRC's Project Alajuelita, located about 30 minutes from the capital...

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Become a Global Health Volunteer in India
India
9.8 •5 reviews

FIMRC's Project Kodaikanal, located in the scenic mountains of...

1 new reviews
Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Virtual Global Health Fellowship
Online
10 •4 reviews

FIMRC's new and exciting Virtual Global Health Fellowship is a 4-week...

1 new reviews
Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
FIMRC's Virtual Volunteer Programs
Online
9.75 •4 reviews

In response to COVID-19, FIMRC has developed innovative and exciting...

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Become a Global Health Volunteer in the Philippines
Philippines
10 •4 reviews

FIMRC's Project Cavite, located on the southern shores of Manila Bay...

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Brock Willett

Brock Willett is a senior nursing student and fitness enthusiast. His passion for traveling comes back to wanting to make the world a healthier and better place.

Why did you choose this program?

Foundation of Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) is a club on Oakland University campus, the school I go to. When attending one of the information sessions on my campus, I was inspired by what they stand for, and I knew I wanted to learn more about this program. After the information session, I checked out their website and social media. I found these to be extremely organized and well-structured. When I contacted them, they had great communication and customer service.

They gave us time off during the stay and allowed us to do excursions. They would even help set up the excursions by contacting the places and helping with transportation.

I have been on two trips now with FIMRC, and I truly know that this was the best choice for me.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The one thing we had to organize on our own was the flight there and back. It was optional and free of choice because they wanted it to be flexible between airlines and prices.

For the most part, everything else was handled. Home stay and transportation were included into a set price. However, if you chose to do an excursion, then you would have to pay for this separately. FIMRC was always amazing at helping set up safe and easy transportation.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Make sure you do some site-seeing and excursions. The time goes a lot faster than you think, and before you know it, you're on a plane back home.

Try doing some research on where it is your going; it helps to know what can be culturally acceptable and what isn't. Also, try to learn some of the language before you go. It’s a great way to connect with not only the locals but your home stay as well.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Being a participant in this program can vary on location or on what you get to do and don't get to do. Make sure you read about your location prior to going.

An average day/week on my trip to Costa Rica was laid out like a typical work week in the United States. You would wake up and have breakfast at 7 AM and catch the transportation bus by 8. We would then work at the clinic from 9AM to 5 PM roughly, with a half hour lunch break. This was your typical schedule Monday - Friday.

After each work day and on the weekends, you are free to do excursions, hangout with your host family and whatever else it is you would like to do.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was afraid that there was going to be a language barrier. Although I knew some Spanish, I knew certain places have different dialogues with how they speak. This was frightening to me. How would I get to places? How would I order something? A bunch of questions came into my head, and I tried to prepare for all of them. However, when I got there, I realized I had overreacted. More people than I thought spoke English, and the others were very understanding.

My views drastically changed as I continued my time there. People were just happy that you were helping them, and I learned new innovative ways to communicate with individuals. Do not let your fears deter or frighten you. Grow and learn from them.

Tell us a little more about you and a story about the trip you went on?

I am a senior nursing student at Oakland University. This summer, I was able to attend one of FIMRC’s amazing locations, Costa Rica. This was not my first trip with FIMRC, but it was by far my favorite.

The way you are able to immerse yourself into a community such as Costa Rica’s is incredible. During my stay, I was able to rotate through the clinic in all different areas, which helped me become an all-around better medical professional. Being able to check patients in, work in the pharmacy, and even being hands-on with actual nursing skills was an absolute joy.

There was one particular experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. A woman came in with severe skin decay related to a dog bite that she acquired. As I assisted in the help of cleaning, dressing the wound, and even at times holding the patient’s hand, I was mesmerized by the strength and courage she had that day.

Moments like these cannot be read in books or studied. These are truly life-changing moments that place a smile on my face when thinking about them. I cannot thank FIMRC enough for the opportunities and memories I will forever have!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Delaney Scollan

Job Title
Volunteer Coordinator for FIMRC, Project Limón, Nicaragua
Upon graduating from college, Delaney sought to combine her dual interests in Spanish and health care by accepting a 3-month long internship with FIMRC, Project Limón, in rural Nicaragua. Three months turned into three years and a new FIMRC position as the site Volunteer Coordinator, in the town of Las Salinas, and Delaney grew more and gained more than she ever imagined she would. Now, with appreciable understanding of the trials associated with public health and healthcare in an under served, developing country, Delaney is currently working towards attending medical school in hopes of one day returning to FIMRC as a OB/GYN.
woman holding a baby in nicaragua

Did YOU study / intern / volunteer abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

I studied abroad spring semester of my junior year of college, from January to June 2011, in Alcalá de Henares and Madrid, Spain. I was lucky enough to be part of a dual abroad program that combined two colleges, my own, Skidmore College, and Tufts University. This program was rich in integrating students into the language and culture of Spanish society as well as providing us with immense art and travel experiences through weekly museum visits and monthly excursions to different cities and towns in Spain. I choose this program for its host family component and strong dedication to language assimilation. The semester combination of academia and travel was so fulfilling. Likewise, it was thrilling to live six months in Europe and easily travel to so many different countries. During my semester abroad I visited France, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria which ignited and furthered my addiction to travel.

What about the future of the industry? How do you think study or intern abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?

While working in Nicaragua, I met two students who I thought were working internationally post-college, as I was, on account of their maturity and independence. I was surprised then, to find out that they were 19 years-old and were completing a gap year before attending college. I thought this was wonderful and wished that I had considered it when I was 18! International travel makes one more self-aware and changes one’s perspective about life and success. Acquisition of a foreign language and assimilation into a different culture greatly influences character in ways that prove beneficial in all future endeavors. Getting to see other countries and learn on a first-hand basis helps individuals make more informed decisions about future career and academic paths. I believe (and hope) that within the next 10 years, international education will be a more standard and highly encouraged component of secondary and university programs.

Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?

Cultural immersion comes through communication, which can only be obtained through language assimilation. Thus, learning a foreign language opens the door to understanding others, which is critical in terms of world policy and health, as well as something as fundamental as a friendship between people from different nations. One becomes more open-minded and more compassionate when learning the language and ways of life of others, since language assimilation is such a humbling experience. While living abroad I have come to love parts of the cultures in which I was immersed, and though different from US customs, I have adopted them and incorporated them into my own life. Through learning Spanish, I have gained confidence in my abilities to communicate with so many more people around the world and, more importantly, provide adequate translation in a medical setting, which is of up most importance for patients as well as healthcare providers.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Working for FIMRC in rural Nicaragua has had a profound impact on my life and my character. I’ve become more confident and self-aware through having learned most things the “hard way” and having to convey what I needed without knowing the Spanish words, like “toilet paper” for example, in moments of crisis! I’ve learned to live with less and have acquired a new-found perspective on what should be valued in life and the importance of achieving happiness and success based on one’s own standards. I have gained appreciable patience while working in Nicaragua and feel confident in my abilities to work independently. Some of my greatest challenges have occurred in this job setting, thus, to have overcome them has proven incredibly fulfilling. Contrarily, some of my fondest moments have occurred at FIMRC, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.

Our FIMRC site partnered with a photo journalist to showcase our Women’s Health program, as a means to raise funds for a new OB/GYN consult room. As the photographer took photos of the women, I asked each of them to comment on FIMRC’s work in the community and express their thoughts on our programs. Their answers were touching: some women told me that it “was a blessing that FIMRC founded a site in their community.” Others said that they “are so lucky to have professional services at such fair costs and they they hope we never leave.” Many women hugged me after talking. I was moved by their appreciation for our services and felt so proud to be a member of our incredible team.