Meet Erika! When she’s not taking classes at UC Davis or studying for the MCAT, she helps out Watsi as a storytelling volunteer. After graduation this December, she’ll be moving to Harare, Zimbabwe for six months to research pediatric HIV/AIDS prevention. She hopes to go to medical school so that she can provide care to underserved populations.
“The stories about people who don’t receive treatment for years after the incident occurred really hit me hard,” she says. “These injuries may have been easily fixed if the patient had the means of getting to a hospital or paying for the treatment. But instead they have been living for years without treatment. As someone who’s had my fair share of bone breaks, I can’t imagine how life would have been without the casts and braces to make them better!”
We’re so thankful for our awesome volunteers, learn how to get involved here.
618 patient profiles written, 1048 updates sent to donors, and 6 months helping us put patient stories first. Today we’re saying goodbye to one of our favorite faces in the Watsi office, Julie Kent.
Julie has been Watsi’s head volunteer content editor since March. This fall, she’ll be starting a Master’s of Social Entrepreneurship at Hult International Business School. Julie’s impact at Watsi has been enormous. Last month alone, she helped make it possible for us to support the most patients ever this year. She’s trained all of our current editors and laid the foundation for what we hope will become one of the best volunteer content creation teams on the planet.
Thanks for everything, Julie. We’ll miss you!
Meet Carlyn, a storytelling volunteer and an educational philanthropist working to increase educational opportunities in rural Tanzania. In her day job she’s an elementary school teacher who “loves bringing global experiences into the classroom, children are so open-minded to learning about other cultures.”
Carlyn believes “education is the pathway to eradicating poverty. With an educated population and dynamic organizations like Watsi working to provide healthcare to those who cannot afford it, the possibilities are endless!”
"I’m touched by the profiles of young, expectant females, especially those in their late teens and early twenties. Far too many girls are forced to give up their educational opportunities to be married and have a family. As an educator and a female, I am overwhelmed by this inequality.”
Carlyn’s words to live by: “Nothing is absolute, everything changes, everything moves, everything revolutionizes, all flies and goes” - Frida Kahlo
Meet the rest of our volunteers and find out how to bring your talents to the Watsi team here!
Subuddh is one of our local San Francisco-based storytelling volunteers! He chose to volunteer with Watsi because, “in much of the world, life hangs on a thread. One illness, not even to you but a member of the family, can mean the end of education, career prospects, hopes, and dreams. Watsi’s mission helps break this cycle. I am happy, proud, and honored to be contributing.”
Subuddh’s favorite patient was, “a young fellow who broke his arm and would have missed his exams if his bone was not set properly. Helping him heal, sit for his exams, and get on with his life was the least I could do!”
We asked him where he sees the future of healthcare. He responded, “one day good healthcare will be free for all and readily accessible, everywhere in the world. We will consider it not much different than breathing air. No one will have to worry about not being able to afford treatment.”
Subuddh’s favorite words: “Be the change you want to see in this world”
Meet more of our volunteers here.
Every week, a new company in tech inspires us. Earlier this month, Zenefits approached us about running a campaign to fund healthcare for patients on Watsi. Today, we’re excited to share that in 7 days, Zenefits employees raised $540 to fund healthcare for 9 patients in 5 countries.
Help Zenefits spread the health by supporting a patient on Watsi today!
Sheila is a student at UC Davis studying Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. In her free time she likes to hike, play piano, and listen to old vinyls. She started working with Watsi because she believes, “it’s important to invest time in projects that build a global community. Just because we can’t control where we are born doesn’t mean that shouldn’t have control over our quality of health. Watsi does an amazing job of helping people realize that.”
Some of Sheila’s favorite stories come from older patients in Cambodia that suffer from cataracts. She says, “these stories really stop me in my tracks because so much of their lives are put on hold for a relatively inexpensive procedure, and each of the patients is only concerned with how their illness is affecting their children and grandchildren.”
Her favorite quote: “Raise your words, not your voice!”
Find out more about our diverse volunteer team here.
We just got back from Cambodia, where we spend a week visiting our hospital partner, Children’s Surgical Centre.
Visit our photo blog to see how Watsi donors are re-stitching healthcare in post-conflict Cambodia, and help us spread the health by donating to a patient on Watsi!
Meet Vanina, Watsi’s first international volunteer! Vanina writes patient stories from London, and occasionally Paris. In her day job, Vanina is the head of brand for BlaBlaCar, a ridesharing platform. She’s connecting people across Europe to build awareness for this efficient, social form of transportation.
Vanina sees volunteering at Watsi as a way to, “regularly change my world view, to focus back on people, and to take a break to intentionally practice generosity. It helps me keep perspective about what’s really important in life: being useful, having compassion, and living every day to it’s fullest. It’s a precious opportunity to think about others, and to change lives on an individual level. In fact, Watsi gives me more than I give Watsi.”
When asked what she likes about volunteering, she said, “I really enjoy watching the Watsi team explore how they will best deliver on their radical mission. Their relentless pursuit of a ‘can’t be done’ goal is just bad-ass. I love it. People always say something can’t be done until it’s done for the first time, and that’s what Watsi is working on. That’s awesome, and I’m glad to be part of the awesomeness.”
Hear more from Vanina on Twitter @vaninaschick and check out our volunteer positions here.
Today, /r/UpliftingNews is kicking off a month-long campaign to fund life-changing healthcare for Watsi patients like Wai Linn, whose incredible success story they’ve posted here.
Be a part of their impact by visiting the Uplifting News campaign page and donating to a patient on Watsi today!