We are the medlife movement
MEDLIFE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that partners with low-income communities in Latin America and Africa to improve their access to medicine, education, and community development projects. In order to achieve the ultimate goal of a world free from the constraints of poverty, we empower students and volunteers to become advocates for change by creating on-campus Chapters, volunteering in Service Learning Trips, and supporting the Moving Mountains giving program. With this support, MEDLIFE hires and trains local staff to provide high quality 24/7/365 patient care, community development projects, and educational workshops to empower communities in need.
Our mission is to build a worldwide Movement empowering the poor in their fight for equal access to healthcare, education, and a safe home.
A world free from the constraints of poverty.
- Listening: Our priorities are driven by the communities we partner with.
- Root Causes, Sustainable and Value Added Solutions: we work to understand the root causes posed by poverty and create sustainable and quality solutions.
- Structural Violence and A Preferential Option for the Poor: we provide high-quality services to the poor, not services slightly better than what they are accustomed to.
- Collaborative & Educational Volunteering: Service Learning trips help to empower volunteers to make a sustainable difference.
- Rigorous Giving & Investment: Improving on current models of charitable work and investing in poor communities.
- Transparency: Inspiring donor confidence.
MEDLIFE was founded in 2004 by Nick Ellis. While working in hospitals in Chimborazo, Ecuador, Nick volunteered as a translator for a medical mission organization. On one of these clinics, Nick met a young boy in need of heart surgery. Unfortunately, the clinic was only in town for a day and could do nothing beyond making the diagnosis. Nick found this deeply troubling — what is the point of running medical missions if they are powerless to help the people who truly need it?
Following this experience, Nick knew he had to do something. Upon returning home to Bangor, Maine Nick stood in a Walmart parking lot asking for donations and within hours, had enough funds to provide heart surgery for the young boy, named Darwin. Darwin became our first MEDLIFE patient.
Out of Chimborazo, MEDLIFE has since expanded to other parts of Ecuador, Peru, Tanzania, and Nicaragua. All of our work has been informed by Nick’s experience with Darwin — we partner with patients and communities, listening to their needs and helping where we can.
Out of Nick’s experience raising money back home for Darwin came the first 4 MEDLIFE Chapters, today joined by hundreds more who continue to support our on the ground efforts by raising awareness of global health and development issues, collecting donations, and volunteering at home and abroad.
Our Funding Model
MEDLIFE supports our work through volunteer donations and our Moving Mountains Monthly giving program. Both sources of funding create sustainable solutions for poor communities and help MEDLIFE move closer towards accomplishing the mission of a world free from the constraints of poverty.
VOLUNTEER DONATION GOALS
Volunteer donation goals for Service Learning Trips cover the trip costs and also provide funding for our year-round work. These goals fund the prep, execution, and follow up for Mobile Clinics, development projects, and educational workshops that the volunteers support during the trip.
MOVING MOUNTAINS MONTHLY GIVING
Monthly donations to our Moving Mountains giving program allow us to drive a greater percentage of donations to our year-round community development work. Currently, all donations are supporting our COVID-19 Relief efforts in Latin America.