This is a guest blog post by Sydney Bailey, a volunteer writer with Watsi and Universal Fund member.
Margaret Mead, an American anthropologist, penned a quote that has become a North Star for me: “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
On International Volunteer Day this year, I reflect on how well that quote encapsulates Watsi’s story.
For almost a year, I have served as a volunteer writer alongside a small (but mighty) team working to make healthcare a reality for all.
Each week, our volunteer team has the distinct privilege of receiving the stories of patients from around the world in need of life-changing medical treatment. As volunteer writers, we help to share each patient’s story with Watsi’s community of supporters; ours is the last step before each patient’s page is live on Watsi’s site.
I hold space for each patient’s story as I’m writing and the part I most cherish is reading the quotes from the patients or their family members. These quotes are moving windows into how Watsi’s support has helped them or their loved ones, and they serve as poignant reminders that lives are changed every day through this important work.
Noriannis, a sweet two-year-old girl from Venezuela, will soon undergo clubfoot repair surgery. I had the honor of sharing her story with our community a few weeks back, and I still remember getting teary reading her mom’s words, filled with gratitude:
“Coming to Clínica Noel and finding out that someone can help our little girl to have a normal life is a complete blessing. As a parent you wish that nothing will happen to your kid and you constantly feel bad because you can’t help them. You wish you were the one having problems or in pain. I can’t just thank you enough for what you are doing for my little princess.”
How amazing is it that Watsi’s support will improve the quality of life for a little girl with her whole life ahead of her?
In Cambodia, Liv Kry, who will undergo cataract surgery to improve her vision, shared how her treatment will change her life:
“I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly. I want to see my grandchildren’s faces well and be able to help my family more.”
What a precious moment it will be when she sees her seven grandchildren's faces clearly for the first time after surgery.
I could share hundreds of examples like this because the medical care that Watsi’s community makes possible for patients has a lasting impact on people’s lives. To date this year, the Watsi community has funded healthcare for 1,827 patients from 13 countries. That’s 1,827 lives changed forever.
I can’t think of anything more world-changing than changing lives. So, on International Volunteer Day, here’s to the small group of thoughtful, committed citizens at Watsi – medical professionals, employees, supporters, and volunteers alike – who are changing the world. I feel immensely grateful to be a small part of it.
You can become part of Watsi's life-changing work around the world by joining our Universal Fund, directly supporting healthcare for a patient in need, every month:
The Watsi Team
Everyone deserves healthcare.