Midwifery and nursing students travelled to Africa to support MaaChild in providing health care and education in the Maasai community
Health students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have taken part in their annual trip to Kenya to continue their education and raise funds for the MaaChild charity.
MaaChild helps support children in the Maasai community by providing educational bursaries to help them go to secondary school, and nine members of the BSc (Hons) Midwifery and BSc (Hons) Nursing courses travelled to Africa to aid the cause.
Before the visit, the UCLan students had raised more than £2,700 and it will help to fund children through four years of secondary education, plus paying for 52 mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets for a bunk bed project at a primary school. The figure was almost double last year’s total.
Therese Green, a UCLan graduate and the founder of MaaChild, said: “In combination with sustaining the work of MaaChild, the visit provided access to a unique environment and culture for learning, personal growth and fun for everyone.
“The UCLan students experienced first-hand the work of MaaChild and engaged fully with the Maasai community we are supporting. The students provided the community with inspiration and hope for the future whilst also respecting and learning from the local Maasai themselves.
This is a really significant trip for the education and development of our students as they are able to get fully immersed into the Maasai way of life.
“On behalf of MaaChild and the local community we support I want to say huge thank you to the UCLan staff and students for your support, kindness and for giving your all on this trip.”
The students helped with the purchasing and distributing of various resources to the current secondary school students, as well as the Kimana Health Clinic and the primary school bunk bed project.
Midwifery lecturer Sherrylynne Babolcsay explained how important the trip is for the students, adding: “This is a really significant trip for the education and development of our students as they are able to get fully immersed into the Maasai way of life. They gain an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and challenges faced particularly in relation to health and wellbeing.
“All of the students did some teaching for volunteer health care workers, and spent time in small groups chatting to women and children about their life in a Massai homestead.
“Women and children are the most vulnerable members of the tribe, and it is important to understand that education is the foundation upon which to build confidence and influence future change.”