WRITTEN BY: Nancy Yang | Educational Director, WE: Free the Children U of T Chapter
Photograph: U of T Free the Children club executives & volunteers gather for the year-opening social
Photograph By: staff member (unknown) from Snakes & Lattes, Bloor Street, Toronto
The reason why our initiative is so important is because it tackles one of the basic necessities we, in a developed country, take for granted: healthcare. In areas of Kenya where this service is scarce, one person with an illness elevates the cycle of poverty for their entire family. The effects of lack of nutrition and resources are alarming –and the reason we chose to help combat them.
Through raising money for healthcare, Free the Children is directly providing primary care in the form of check-ups, pre- and post- natal care, vaccinations, and nutritional support to partnering communities. This the direct impact of the Baraka and Kishon clinics, built through Free the Children’s healthcare initiative. Some of our executive members have had the privilege of visiting these clinics and seeing their astounding impact first-hand. The maternity wing in the Baraka Clinic has helped over 3000 mothers throughout their pregnancy and safely delivered over 300 newborns into the world. They also provide education for the mothers to promote safe child-care. This wing was built through the various fundraising efforts of the Free the Children community all over the world with a common goal to combat infant and maternal mortality.
The impact from the healthcare initiative has expanded beyond the creation of these clinics. The money fundraised has also helped to provide education in schools about disease prevention. Education is another pillar of Free the Children, and one that we believe is crucial in empowering youth. Being able to study here at U of T, we feel incredibly lucky. But we also understand that education is not accessible everywhere. Therefore we believe that this healthcare initiative is important because it empowers children through education as much as it does through direct services.
Our team of passionate executives and volunteers are incredibly excited to be working towards the health pillar of Free the Children for the 2016/2017 year. We understand the impact that medical facilities and education provide to developing areas, and although there is still a long way to go before the cycle of poverty ends, our group hopes to make just a small difference in the lives of our friends overseas.
For more information about WE: Free the Children, click here!