MEDICAL students from NUI Galway set off on their annual bed push between Galway and Limerick this Friday, May 13 and are appealing to the people of Limerick to support their voluntary work overseas this summer.
Voluntary Services Abroad (VSA) is a charity formed over 30 years ago by a Galway doctor Dom Colbert and is now run by fourth year medical students in Galway. And the bed push to Limerick is one of the highlights of its fundraising year.
Students will leave Galway this Friday morning and they aim to arrive arriving in Limerick city on Saturday at around 12pm. They will be in their scrubs and white coats collecting in Cruises Street throughout the day.
This yearâ€™s bed push co-ordinator, Jody Khan from the Ennis Road hopes that the event will be well supported by the people of his native Limerick this year.
â€œPeopleâ€™s financial situations have changed dramatically in the last year and so VSA have had to work twice as hard to raise the funds which are desperately needed in the developing world. We understand that people may not have as much money to give, but even the smallest donation can go a long way in Africa and Asia,â€ Jody explained.
This year, 35 students will be travelling to Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Vietnam and the Philippines. They pay for their own flights and accommodation ensuring any monies raised goes to the most needy. Students will spend their time volunteering their skills, improving the facilities of partner clinics and hospitals and gaining valuable experience working in some of the most challenging environments. At the end of their placements, the students prepare a budget with the hospital deciding how the money would be best spent. This ensures that the money is used to fund practical supplies and equipment for the hospitals.
VSA hopes that Irelandâ€™s reputation as a generous and charitable nation still holds true and all donations are welcome.