Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children

Program Reviews

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Neha
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What I liked most about the trip was experiencing a new country's culture and health system I had almost no prior knowledge about. I hadn't learned much about Peru in the past, and this trip really exposed me to how diverse and unique Peruvian culture is. My favorite volunteer activity was the anemia survey we did in La Esperanza and Zona Patria. I was able to see how people lived in a rural community and learn about people's perception of health and anemia specifically, since it is a major issue in Peru. A bonus was the beautiful mountainous location. The experience was more than just educational, and I had a wonderful time exploring downtown La Merced and hiking to beautiful waterfalls around the city!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
After volunteering in Peru, I learned a lot about the difference between voluntourism and true sustainable volunteering. I was forced to reconsider my views of people living in different countries and environments, and reconsider my definition of privilege. I encourage everyone volunteering, even if they have traveled overseas before, to keep an open mind and not get discouraged easily! The first few days, it was a little hard for me to adjust, but with the help of other FIMRC volunteers, I was able to do more than adjust and really enjoy my experience in La Merced!
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Sarina
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went to Huancayo with a group of 5-6 other girls when I was a sophomore in undergrad. It was my first time visiting South America and hopefully won't be my last. One of the biggest mental hurdles I had to overcome was the sheer amount of travel time, which ate up over an entire day of the journey. The 8hr plane ride followed by an 8 hr bus ride was tough, to be honest, but it was well worth it once we got going on the projects and activities. I experienced activities such as OR shadowing, visiting a remote area and setting up a pop-up clinic to take blood glucose readings and administer dental fluoride treatments, visiting an orphanage of young girls who had been abused by their families and teaching them about self-esteem and conversing with them in Spanish, and also learning different suture stitches on a pig's foot. I know these experiences can be tailored more closely to the interests of the group so don't be afraid to communicate what you'd like to see or do! Besides those activities, we had free time to explore around our homestay and we got to see some really cool little parks with amazing architecture and artwork that made for some cool pictures, in addition to the beautiful mountains, glaciers, and lagoons we saw on a hike on a mountain. Overall great trip and it's been a few years and I'm still raving about it!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I had the chance to do everything over again, I would definitely take fundraising more seriously to offset the cost of the trip. For those who are full-time employees, a little over 1k might not seem like a huge investment...for college kids, it's a very different story. I was lucky enough that my parents were willing to help me financially but I know that is not usually the case. The advice I would give to someone committing to a trip would definitely be to take fundraising more seriously and reach out to friends and family who share your passion for helping others who are not as well-off.
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Madison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The staff with FIMRC, especially at the Anconcito sight, made our trip amazing. We went as a group of 15 volunteers from an university. Everyday is different and robust with community activities. You never will be bored or feel like you didn't get to achieve something. Lusia's relationship with community makes you feel like you are a member of it from the second you arrive from the guest house. I am a college student and do not have a ton of medical experience, but the staff allowed us time to practice and brush up on our skills. The guest house and cooking staff was so accommodating to personal allergies or other needs. They made us feel at home in a place many miles away. I am so thankful for this experience and couldn't recommend it more highly.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of every opportunity and explore the local communities!
Sukhi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I volunteered with FIMRC in the summer of 2018 at Project Kodaikanal. This experience was so unique and different from everything else I've done! With FIMRC, not only did I have the ability to make a real impact on the lives of others, but I also have an opportunity to find myself. This program can truly change your outlook on your world! I learned so much in the span of a month, met so many new people, experienced a new culture, and explored a beautiful country. However, the best part was definitely working with kids and families. It lets you see how the work you do directly affects those around you! Its truly rewarding to know that I was part of something that has and will continue to better the lives of families in Kodaikanal. I would definitely recommend this program for anyone interested in global health, or a career in medicine!

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Abigail
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a truly life changing experience last year while volunteering at FIMRC’s project site in Nicaragua. It was so rewarding to be a part of such a great organization and to see the positive impact that FIMRC has on the local communities. This was especially evident when, after a devastating hurricane, FIMRC staff assisted in the intensive relief efforts following the storm and floods. I was lucky enough to be involved in this relief work and got to see firsthand how FIMRC supports local communities. So many families lost everything in this hurricane and FIMRC helped organize the disaster response including collection of donations, acquisition of necessities including food, water, and medical supplies, and the dispersal of these resources into the communities. This work with FIMRC was truly an inspirational and unique opportunity that I will always cherish. While volunteering at FIMRC I felt like I became part of the family down there in Nicaragua, and I will never forget how *special* FIMRC’s Project Límon and Nicaragua are to me.

Nick
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went on a trip with the La Crosse Chapter of FIMRC at UW-La Crosse and I can’t say enough about how great the experience was. We went to Project Anconcito in Ecuador and I met some of the most amazing people. The Site Manager Natalie was the most pleasant passionate person I’ve ever met and everyone was so welcoming. Not only did I have a blast but I learned so much there. I dearly miss my amazing host family who did such a fantastic job of making my friends and I feel like family. Can’t wait to return to Ecuador as well as additional trips to the other FIMRC sites all over the world!

What would you improve about this program?
Literally nothing. Amazing experience
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Jodi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I learned so much more than I could've ever expected to during my time at Project Restauracion! The culture, the language, medical experience, and so much more. I will forever cherish the amazing memories I made with the people of Restauracion and fellow SIHFers. FIMRC does an amazing job preparing you for your volunteer trip, and is there to help you every step of the way with any questions you might have.

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Natalie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

SIHF Bududa, Uganda was the most genuine, raw, authentic experience that I have ever had and it will forever change my life. I gained so much experience in the medical and international health field and made some really amazing friends in the meantime. My favorite part was living in the village amongst the local people, to work with them, to understand them, to befriend them. It was very special and unique.

Brock Willett
Brock
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hello, my name is Brock Willett and 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 patients 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!

What would you improve about this program?
The one thing I would change is the pricing of the trip. Although it wasn't extremely expensive, to a college student it can set you back. The entire trip cost me $1700.00. However, the trip was worth much more!
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Zoe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hello! My name is Zoe Gagnon and I am currently a second year pharmacy student. I began my journey with FIMRC by joining the local chapter on my campus. Traveling the world and learning about different cultures has always been a dream of mine, so when I found an organization where I could use my clinical skills to help the underserved and get to travel, I knew I had to get involved. Traveling to the Dominican Republic was the first medical relief trip I have ever taken. Before the trip I was very nervous, but strategic packing and planning helped me feel prepared for any situation. My trip was unique because our group was exposed to many different parts of the country (beach, mountains, rivers, etc.) and this really helped me gain a complete understanding of what their culture is like. My favorite experience was the mobile clinic. First, we traveled an hour in the back of a pick-up truck into the mountain. Eventually, the terrain was too rough and the truck could not drive any further. Our group then had to hike up the mountain for 3 hours until we reached to top. Once at the top, around 20 rural families resided and rarely received medical attention. With the help of a local doctor and two donkeys carrying medical supplies, our group of pharmacy students were able to set up a mobile clinic. This clinic consisted of manual blood pressure readings, doctor examinations and a small pharmacy where we could dispense medications and counsel the patients. Overall, this trip changed my life and how I view my patients here in the United States. I have a better appreciation for the things I have, but also those around me. Everyone in the Dominican Republic was so happy not by what they owned, but the relationships with their friends and family.

What would you improve about this program?
I loved my time working with FIMRC and the people of Restauracion. Some future improvements might include more consistent sleeping arrangements among larger groups as some host families were less financially stable than others.