I will start my residency in Internal Medicine this June. To no surprise of people who know me well, I quit my job as soon as I knew I matched in late March and started planing my dream vacation to Africa. While I indulged in pictures of beautiful beaches, fancy resorts, and wild safaris in Africa, a picture of a medical mission trip brought me back to reality. Africa is so pure, exotic, and beautiful, but it also has many resource-poor areas and unsolved problems. Born in Urumqi, a remote area of China where resources were scarce, I have deep understanding on what the lives like in those underserved communities. I want to do something, I want to help, and now is the best time to do it!
I thought about what I wanted to get out of this trip for several days, and eventually I decided to be honest with myself. I want to consume as few resources as possible and contribute my time and skills to help people, but I also can’t give up the opportunity to enjoy my stay in this amazing land. So, I arranged my 2 weeks in Africa as 1 week of personal vacation for pleasure and 1 week as a medical volunteer. I joined the IVHQ Tanzania volunteer program, mostly because it’s the most affordable and trusted, at least according to its website.I will be working alongside physicians in hospitals and communities to care for children, adults, and elders.
If you want to read more about IVHQ program, here is the link https://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-in-tanzania/
Sometimes I still can’t believe that the person who sat in front of interviewers talking about what she achieved so far and how she’ll become an excellent doctor to serve people, rich and poor, from different backgrounds, is the same person who couldn’t even order her own meal from the menu 6 years ago. From the day I stepped into US, leaving my family, culture, language and life experiences from my home country behind to start a new life, I gradually learned that one of the most important things that made me become what I wanted to become was the countless amounts of help from everyone. No matter it’s a simple greeting from you or a life-changing favor from you, it always had a great impact on me. You taught me new things everyday, you helped me fit into your culture, you became my friends and families, everyone of you, all of these things, made me feel like I am never alone. All your care and support made me brave enough to chase my dream. So this time, as always, I’m calling for your help for me to help others.
I was hesitant about fundraising for my volunteer trip for a moment since I am going to Africa for personal vacation as well, but hesitation didn’t stop me. The most valuable lesson I learned from my volunteer experiences in the United States is that volunteering is more than contributing time, labor or money. Volunteers can serve as ambassadors; they create the awareness of an issue, deliver the message to the outside world, and connect and motivate a much bigger network to help and solve the issue as whole. At least, that’s the kind of volunteer I want to be. Fundraising is part of the process to achieve all of that, so there is no reason to not do it.
The total expenses for the volunteer trip are roughly 3000 dollars, I will cover part of my flight tickets so 2000 dollars will be the goal. I am also doing all sorts of things to raise fund, I will update my activities here. At the same time, any donation from you will make a big difference. 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 20 dollars, 100 dollars, you will be surprised to see how much it can accumulate into. You can share my page to your network asking more people to help and spread the word. You can give me some good ideas on raising fund. Or you can simply wish me good luck. Anything counts!
This is my first time volunteer abroad, and to make it more exciting this is my first time volunteer abroad from abroad. I’m thrilled to start this adventure and show that we can give back to the world and those less fortunate than ourselves. You guys will be with me as I venture to Tanzania to volunteer.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration and I look forward to updating you on our progress!
Here are some fundraising activities I am doing or plan to do:
1. Sell my old stuff on OfferUp: business is doing well, I learned lot from chatting with my customers and I also learned that it’s not a very good idea to model for your clothes.
Here is the link of my offer board:
2. Stream a DOTA2 game on Twitch: A friend offered me 10 dollars to do this. Plus, I think Twitch pays 1 cent per view. If I have 10 people watch me play, I can get 10 cents! :D Doable.
3. Fundraising housework: A busy friend offered me 100 dollars for cleaning his apartment, and 10 dollars per load of laundry. Don’t know how much do they pay a pro, but I’ll definitely do it this weekend, at least the laundry.
4. Being pretty: My high-school classmate’s genius idea - just dress nicely and ask around for donation.
Here is a breakdown of my expenses:
DonationsSee top donations
- House cleaning
- Fundraising sale
- John Wait
- Jingjing Chen
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