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Nursing Students Without Borders Heads to Ghana

Group Brings 400 Pounds of Medical Supplies

Nursing Students Without Borders traveled to Ghana, Africa on during winter break.  Back row, from left, Liz Long, Stephanie Whippen, Lauren O’Keefe, Jody Roper, Michelle Peterson, Asst. Profs. Valerie King and Miki Patterson, and Zanele Denaro; front row, Jocelyn Lilly, Brittany Aggott, Renee Glennon, Allison Geissert; missing from photo: Mary Mosewick and Linh Phan.

By Karen Angelo

Ten nursing seniors traveled to Ghana, Africa during winter break with Asst. Prof. Valerie King to provide care, medical supplies and education to people in the Kpando district.

The Nursing Students Without Borders (NSWB) group brought supplies, including first aid equipment, medication, vitamins, surgical gloves, needle syringes and iron-enriched baby formula as well as soap, shampoo and other hygiene products.

To fund their mission, the group has held various events including one at the Allen House that raised more than $2,000. The students and their faculty adviser, King, are paying for their own travel and personal expenses.

“We have raised around $9,000, a far cry from our goal, but still plenty of money to purchase supplies for our journey,” says Jody Roper, supply coordinator and secretary of NSWB.  “I have been so impressed with people’s generosity." Roper collected more than 400 pounds of supplies in her basement that made the journety to Ghana with her.

Nursing Students Without Borders was the brainchild of Brianna Norton, who established the group in 2008 while in her junior year of the nursing program. The first group of students visited Ghana in January 2009, educating HIV patients about nutrition, health and medication regiments. They held blood pressure clinics, conducted HIV testing, taught good hygiene practices and set up a clean water well in a fishing village.

Inspired by Norton and the entire group, Roper joined NSWB to make a difference.

“I think that most of us enrolled in the nursing program at UMass Lowell because we care about people, have a passion for medicine and science and want to make a difference in people’s lives when we join the work force,” she says. “NSWB is providing me with an incredible opportunity to put all of these passions into action. I will be traveling to another country and learning about a culture by living with, and caring for, the people there. I couldn’t imagine a more enriching experience.”

King and some of the students are blogging about their experiences in Ghana and have posted a video.

Read the blogs:

  • Valerie King
  • NSWB Students

If you are interested in donating funds, please visit the online donation website.

Nursing Students Without Borders held a fundraising event at the Allen House in November. They raised more than $2,000 with which to purchase supplies.