Month: May 2019

Meet a FullSouler: Colette McKee

Colette_McKee

Hey my name is Colette (my family and friends call me Lettie) and I am a third year Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Waterloo. I will be joining FullSoul in the role of Field Engineer.  I will help design and develop test prototypes and processes for the sanitation of the medical kit. A fun fact about myself is that I am the youngest of 5 kids. We all love to travel. This summer we will be spread out between 3 Continents.

Can you tell us what you are looking forward to the most? 

Going overseas for this crazy, cool opportunity is amazing, but I think what I’m most excited for is the hands on experience I will gain as a field engineer working at FullSoul. I am an avid hiker and adventurer and I am excited to see what the country of Uganda has to offer. I am looking forward to experiencing the culture and meeting as many people from this part of the world as I can.

How are feeling as you prepare for your trip? 

It still hasn’t sunk in that I will be leaving soon. It might not actually hit until I step off the plane. I’m preparing as best as I can for the trip, the culture and the weather. Its hard to think of everything, but I am talking with the people that I will soon be meeting at my work, and I am getting lots of ideas.

Did you get any interesting advice from previous interns or others to prep you for the trip? 

My brother went to Uganda on a work experience a couple of years ago. He is my best advisor on what to expect, different foods I should try and potential adventures I could go on.  I have heard from past FullSoul interns that I should bring skirts and dresses to work in as the clinic is quite hot. The only dress in my closet is from prom so I will definitely need to go on a shopping trip!!

What are the top 3 things that you are for sure packing

  • Some books
  • My journal
  • Good hiking boots

How you can follow me on my journey

Instagram – @Lettiemckee

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Meet a FullSouler: Olivia Salter

Olivia_Salter

Hello, my name is Olivia and I am in the Honours Arts and Business Co-oP program at the University of Waterloo. I will be FullSoul’s newest Project Manager on the ground in Uganda! I will be in charge of the global grant initiative and working with FullSoul’s partnering hospitals in assessing the needs for Medical Kit program.  I love to explore the great outdoors. I spend every summer camping with friends and family, taking in everything this wonderful planet has to offer in the rawest way.

Can you tell us what you are looking forward to the most? 

It is extremely fascinating to me getting to see and explore how other people in different countries live and I am enthused about having the chance to submerge myself completely into their culture through everyday activities and the opportunities to meet locals. I want to be able to come away from this experience having fully experienced all that the Uganda way of life has to offer and be able to really understand and appreciate their culture as it is so beautiful.

How are feeling as you prepare for your trip? 

I am very excited to be on this journey with FullSoul and cannot wait to actually touch down in Uganda. I am a bit anxious to be leaving family and friends but know that I will make friendships there that will last a life time.

Did you get any interesting advice from previous interns or others to prep you for the trip? 

One piece of advice I got from past interns is the importance of “Going with the flow.” It is important to keep in mind that Uganda doesn’t work the way we do here in Canada but rather it works in “Uganda Time”. This means that things tend to be more relaxed and easy-going and we need to be adapting to that. Personally, a break from the crazy hustle and bustle sounds amazing to me!

What are the top 3 things you are for sure packing?

  1. A sun hat – I am super pale and burn super easy, so a big sun hat is an essential for me!
  2. Chocolate – I am a sucker for chocolate and can’t take the risk of not finding any for the next couple of months
  3. My camera – I love taking pictures of nature and new places. I hope to get some amazing shots while in Uganda!

How can we follow you on your journey?

You can follow my journey on the FullSoul Instagram page @fullsoulcanada and FullSoul Canada Facebook page.

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Tales Of A Midwife – Sister Alex

Written by Vinussa Rameshshanker

FullSoul celebrates the resilience of the midwives who operate under such challenging circumstances within public healthcare settings. Today, on International Midwives’ Day, I would like to share a story with you about a midwife whom I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the course of my internship. By doing so, I hope to bring to you – wherever you may be – a little piece of the endless inspiration I am exposed to on a daily basis and the motivation that drives me in my work with FullSoul.

Meet Sister Namaala Alex, a Senior Midwife and the Department Head for maternity services at Mukono Health Centre IV. Sister Alex’s professional journey to become the midwife that she is today started when she was in her mid-teen years. Her mother had fallen ill and had been admitted to the hospital. While there, her mother was tended to by nurses in both pink and blue uniforms. It was the nurses in blue uniforms (whom were also trained as midwives) that really stood out to Sister Alex’s mother. As a patient, it was their quality of care that she truly appreciated. And so, she told Sister Alex that she wished her daughter to be like the blue uniformed nurses when she grew up.

“As I move ahead, I am focused on building my career and I keep looking for more opportunities.”

Sister_Alex

Over the years, Sister Alex has prioritized furthering her education, upgrading her initial certificate from a local school of nursing and midwifery to a diploma, and then finally to a bachelor’s degree in nursing. These efforts were fuelled by her experiences in the field. As she was given more responsibilities on the ward, from standing in-charge to becoming a department head, it was the gaps she realized in her training that fuelled her drive to better equip herself as a healthcare provider. Now, Sister Alex wishes to build the younger generation, helping to mould midwives in-training into confident, competent healthcare workers that are able to provide high quality care to mothers. True to her passion for education, she recently returned to school to complete a postgraduate degree in medical education.

Being a midwife has its challenges, as does managerial positions such as the role Sister Alex holds on the maternity ward. For instance, as a midwife, you hold great accountability when providing care in a public setting with limited resources and a high workload. Sister Alex is acutely aware of how the environment in which midwives provide care greatly impacts their ability to perform their duties and is extremely passionate about lobbying to address these challenges. Yet, these issues cannot be addressed alone. Every Monday morning, the maternity ward staff and students at Mukono Health Centre IV come together as a group (or as a family as Sister Alex puts it) to share their problems, but also to rejoice in their successes.

Without question, our midwives, including Sister Alex, are not solely healthcare providers. They are the superheroes fighting for the lives of mothers and children, the advocates lobbying for improved healthcare for all, and the protectors of healthcare workers and their rights – the list is endless. So today on International Midwives’ Day, above all other days, FullSoul and all of our partners would like to take the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the midwives who show selfless dedication to their profession. On behalf of all of us, thank you.

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