Impact of Trip on the Community
The obvious impact of our trip on the community is giving medical care to those who cannot otherwise afford it as well as educating the community about disease prevention and safe, clean living practices. The trip also has an emotional impact on the members of the community as they connect with team members and form relationships. The community benefits in the long-term by the continued presence of ISL teams and the addressing of specific problems based on health surveys conducted by students under the direction of ISL.
The temporary clinics set up by students treat only acute illnesses such as parasites, gastritis, bacterial infections, UTIs, kidney infections, and skin conditions however, many patients are found to also have chronic problems that we can diagnose. For the most part, student's purpose is to meet an immediate need for care.
Impact on Trip Participants
Trip participants will have their eyes opened to what it is like to live in a third-world country and what it truly means to serve people. The trip should expand their worldview and make them think about solving the long-term problems they encounter - thinking about why people are sick rather than just how to treat diseases. The trip leaders will encourage personal growth by making each person step outside his comfort zone and reflect on this experience. Through daily team meetings with guided reflection questions team members will share their thoughts and experiences and help each other to process new ideas and emotions. For many team members our trip is the first up-close encounter they will have with poverty or third-world living conditions. Keeping this in mind we will encourage them to consider their role in fighting poverty both in other countries and their home communities. Ideally every student should return from our trip inspired and ready to enact change. Our trip provides the motivation and inspiration for many students to pursue careers in healthcare and the nonprofit field and has led to the creation of other trips.
Potential for a Long-term Partnership with the Community
Our potential for long-term community partnership happens through ISL, whose staff members use the data collected by every team to establish the needs of communities in the countries they travel to. ISL sends teams to each community throughout the year bases on this need. Rather than traveling to the same community each year, our group requests a country and goes where ISL sends us. We hope that by doing this we are part of a sustainable effort that is larger than anything we could accomplish on our own.