In Mandurah, Australia I recently gave a presentation about the International Health Mentorship Project to an international delegation of medical students. www.mm2007.org
It was very fortunate that I was invited to present on this exciting initiative. With over 88 countries represented at this conference, I hope the idea gave at least some attendees a glimmer of the potential in linking medical students and NGO personnel together in mentorship.
We've made about 60 matches now, and we are preparing for a second round where we will match 10-20 more students. We have at least 40 NGOs participating still, but many new mentors are actually physicians working internationally, because many students have requested this. Some physicians actually work in NGOs, such as our mentors from MSF, World Vision, Plan International and Right To Play International.
I was told today by one student participant that he spent an hour and half on the phone with his mentor two days ago, talking about the potential of micr0-credit initiatives. Another gender expert told me that she was blown away by the background and insight of the student to which she was matched. I can only hope that these relationships continue to foster positive change and insight for all involved parties.
I came home to an email from the Australian delegation I met while in Australia. They have asked me to help them start up an Australian branch of the IHMP. It'll be wonderful to watch their progress, and interesting to maintain integrity in the project as it crosses borders. They are all remarkable individuals with a lot of energy, so I have high hopes for them.
I think we might try to start an online space for this project, so stay tuned! I'm not even sure who's reading this blog still, but it's more a place for me to express my own feelings of progress. I find that often, when you're behind the scenes running a huge project, no one really knows the hours of work that go into it. It can be disheartening sometimes... a thankless job. I hope that I will see more and more the benefits coming from all of this, and that it will give me a source of energy to continue!