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University health students raise vital funds for Kenyan charity

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UCLan works with MaaChild charity to support education and health care in Maasai community

Heath students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are working with the MaaChild charity to help young girls in Kenya continue in their education.

The nine students studying children’s nursing, midwifery and sexual health raised more than £1,400 for the charity, which provides educational bursaries for local children to continue their schooling at secondary level, before travelling to Kenya for ten days to see first-hand how the money they’ve raised will help the local Maasai children.

MaaChild founder and UCLan graduate Therese Green said: “The money the students raised will go directly towards helping a young Maasai girl complete four years of secondary education that she wouldn’t otherwise ever have the chance to do.  It really does make a difference, not only financially but also culturally as these students become fantastic role models for their younger siblings.  On behalf of the Maasai community we support I want to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of the UCLan students for their participation and fundraising efforts.”

On behalf of the Maasai community we support I want to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of the UCLan students for their participation and fundraising efforts.

The students were also able to work with local women and midwives to see how health services in the community operate and share advice on basic hygiene best practice and sexual health, particularly around HIV treatment and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Jacqui Gibson, UCLan Senior Midwifery Lecturer, helped to coordinate the University’s second trip to Kenya with MaaChild.  She said: “Last year was a great success and we were able to take more students out to Kenya this year.  The trip doesn’t just help the Maasai community, it also broadens our students’ own horizons as they see how women’s health is looked after in different cultures.”

Student midwife Julie Bancroft added: “We went to a local clinic to provide teaching sessions with the staff that worked there; just basic things like handwashing, eye care, basic life support and sexual health information. We went to a secondary school and spent time talking to the girls and playing games, singing songs and encouraging them to work hard, have goals and believe in themselves and we raised awareness and money to help the MaaChild charity to continue with its work."

 

The trip doesn’t just help the Maasai community, it also broadens our students’ own horizons as they see how women’s health is looked after in different cultures.

Student midwife Julie Bancroft added: “We went to a local clinic to provide teaching sessions with the staff that worked there; just basic things like handwashing, eye care, basic life support and sexual health information. We went to a secondary school and spent time talking to the girls and playing games, singing songs and encouraging them to work hard, have goals and believe in themselves and we raised awareness and money to help the MaaChild charity to continue with its work.

“There is so much to be done in Kenya, and it needs big changes to make things happen. We couldn’t fix as much as we want to but hopefully, bit by bit and with more awareness and further trips and support from UCLan, the MaaChild charity can make a difference.”

The students organised several events to raise the money, including cakes sales, tombola and a sponsored five kilometre football dribble around Blackpool’s De Vere Herons’ Reach Hotel walking track by Bispham Junior Football Federation.  In addition to fundraising for MaaChild, the UCLan group also took equipment such as dressings and gloves for use in the clinics and toiletries, clothes and stationery for the local people.

Photo caption (L-R top) Children’s nursing student Tanya Marlow, UCLan Senior Midwifery Lecturer Jacqui Gibson, student midwives Gemma Bentley and Michelle Mcnish, sexual health student Helen Gallagher (L-R bottom) student midwives Julie Bancroft and Zoe Cook, sexual health student India Henry, school principle Sister Anastasia, UCLan midwifery lecturer Kerry Pollard, children’s nursing student Kim Walton, student midwife Anie Devanney and MaaChild Founder Therese Green.

Lyndsey Boardman | 04 October 2017