Students at UGA MEDLIFE Serve Local Communities in Need

By sending students on three Mobile Clinics in the past year and a half, and fundraising thousands of dollars for the MEDLIFE fund, Chapter Officers of the MEDLIFE Club at the University of Georgia have proven that they are willing to work hard to help the poor of Latin America. Sadly, these students also witness great levels of poverty in their home state. Using MEDLIFE as a platform to generate interest in local community service efforts, UGA MEDLIFE has dedicated itself to the support of a community center in Athens, GA. The following post was written by UGA MEDLIFE Chapter Officers.

MEDLIFE, in its essence, takes a holistic approach to solving health problems in impoverished populations (the first three letters of our acronym state our desire to bring Medicine, Education, and Development to those in need). So we at the UGA chapter began thinking, “Could we use the same approach here in Athens?”  Athens-Clarke County is the poorest in the state of Georgia. There are an incredibly high number of people living beneath the poverty line, and consequently, an even higher need. ”If UGA students can’t always be getting their hands dirty building stairs in Peru, why not give them similar opportunities here in Athens?”

With this in mind, our chapter officers applied for and were awarded a sustainable service grant to benefit the local impoverished Hispanic community. The Athens Hispanic community has a local community center, Oasis Catolico. This center is home to a preschool and after-school tutoring center for Hispanic children. It also serves as a center for community parties, food drop-offs from local aid organizations, and Sunday Mass. Currently, the grounds of Oasis are very run down, and there is no real playground for the children.



Throughout the next year, our members will be working to build a playground for the children, renovate the volleyball court, add new picnic tables, and improve the driveway into the center. Our chapter has also already been involved in the tutoring program, and health education initiatives.

Although a primary goal of the individual MEDLIFE chapters is to fundraise for the MEDLIFE Fund, the overarching goal of MEDLIFE as whole is in the name: Medicine, Education, and Development for Low Income Families Everywhere. We at the UGA chapter have decided to take our namesake to heart. Through our work at Oasis Catolico, we are striving to provide medicine, education, and development to low income families everywhere — including in our own hometown.

Thanks for the post, UGA MEDLIFE! We look forward to more updates on your work at the community center!


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.