The following entries were written by 2018 Impact Trip team member, Pat Shepherd. She is an Administrative Director at Sutter Health and leads Sutter’s Supply Chain Services for their Bay Area Operating Unit. She has been a tireless advocate for MedShare’s mission and has established an infrastructure within Sutter in support of our hospital recovery program. This is Pat’s first Impact Trip with MedShare. See her first post here.
Visiting Hogar Calderón Ayluardo
Our drive to the Andes town of Alausi was over six hours, round trip. In this isolated town is a girls’ school for students from 6-17 years of age. These girls aren’t orphans, but come from homes throughout Ecuador that struggle to provide for them. It was clear that the nuns had become their surrogate mothers.
What an uplifting experience we all had! We each came away with far more than we could give with our modest personal donations. Rows of beds adorned with teddy bears provided by Junta, illustrated the loving atmosphere. Every girl seemed happy, physically well-cared for and confident.
What was MedShare’s role in this school? I wondered at first since there seemed to be very little need for medical supplies. But by the end if the trip, the puzzle pieces came together. MedShare’s donation of supplies to Junta frees them to provide funding to the school. So, while it is indirect, there was no doubt in our minds that the education and caring of these girls has a very positive effect on the overall health of Ecuador.
Visiting Damien House
During our Impact visit to Ecuador, we visited the Damien House run by Sister Ann. This House provides diagnosis, treatment and, for some, a place to live for those afflicted with Hansen disease, also known as leprosy.
We were all so moved by the sense of “family” that emanated from the home. It was quite apparent that Sister Ann created a loving and healing environment for those who were rejected by their own families and communities. The residents created wonderful artwork which was proudly displayed in the walls and for sale to visitors. Everyone greeted us warmly, seemed happy and well cared-for.
The common thread of this visit to Damien House and to the others during our Impact trip is the relationship to Junta. As our partner, Junta redistributes the container of supplies sent to them by MedShare and assures that the appropriate supplies get in the hands of those who serve the neediest.
Read more from Pat Shepherd on #ImpactEcuador…