The home stretch: Doctors for Doctors & Nurses for Nurses Crowdfunding Campaign

DFDNFNIt is not an easy thing to do – to build something from nothing. To take an idea, a dream and make it real. To dive into something and hope that, despite all the obstacles, it will be a success. To reach out and ask others for help and to believe in you and what you’re doing. Nearly two months ago we launched our Doctors for Doctors/Nurses for Nurses crowd-funding campaign. Short on resources, but overflowing with plans, ideas and ways to grow, we decided to reach out to all of you. If potato salad can raise $55 k, we can surely raise $20k to send rural students in Nicaragua to medical and nursing school.

The team put together a great video explaining our work and telling our story. Here it is in Spanish too. We went live. The donations started coming in – from friends, and family members and people we didn’t know, but who believed in the work that we do. Incredible volunteers came forward. People started talking about us. Our Facebook likes and Twitter followers grew and grew. It was humbling and reminded me how grateful I am to have so many people in my life who support what I am doing. It is through community and working collectively that we can make change happen and have the greatest impact.

We are in the home stretch now. Our crowd-funding campaign closes in 4 days, on Dec. 14th. We’re at just over 50% of our goal, but believe that in the final days we will see the rest come in. Please consider making a donation. We’ll be using a portion of this money to sponsor our next student, an incredible young woman I interviewed on our trip to Nicaragua in July. You can read her story here. Now you can also give a donation as a holiday gift – if you choose the Gift of Giving perk on our IndieGoGo campaign you’ll receive a printable gift card to put under the tree. For more information about who we are and what we do please visit our website.

A big thank you from me and the whole DFD & NFN team for everyone’s generosity and for allowing us to move forward with this project. We really could not do it without you.

Independence Day & Weekend Getaways

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This past weekend Nicaragua celebrated its Independence Day, which took place on September 15 1821 when the country, along with other colonies in the region, split from Spanish rule. Celebratory activities take place all across Nicaragua – in the city centres, in schools and institutions. I went with my host family to see their daughter dressed up in traditional dress at her school’s commemorative assembly, which began with a marching band making its way through the grounds and included students dancing, singing and reciting patriotic poems. Men sell flags on busy streets to passing cars. On a winding, mountain road I saw the burning torch that travels through Central America, from Guatemala to Costa Rica, transported on foot and carried by hand through each country by more than eight thousand students.

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The festivities meant that my Canadian colleagues and I had a long weekend free, so we decided to get away to the popular beach town San Juan del Sur, a few hours bus ride from Managua. It was nice to be by the sea, to see the surfers navigating their way through the waves on mostly empty beaches, to enjoy the calmness of a morning yoga class with the sounds of birds chirping and chickens clucking in the background and, however clumsy I may be, to do my best at salsa dancing in the evenings. I returned to Managua tired, but happy and ready to get back to work.