Student recipients of the 2016 Dorothy Miller Bursary Awards presented their experiences of voluntary work in Malawi to an audience of University staff and students. The evening was an opportunity for the students to showcase their experience and inspire other students to apply for the award in 2017. Lottie, Cam and Elliot volunteered in health centres, children centres, community based health projects and to work with youngsters with HIV. Jen and Barrie worked on a research project in both rural and urban Malawi which is looking to set up a self-sustaining service for patients with presbyopia. The enthusiasm and commitment of these students to their project was evident and they inspired the audience with their presentations.
Nicola, the president of the University’s ‘Action for Muona’ introduced us to another way St Andrews Students contribute to Malawi through the Muona Foundation. A simple thing like installing electricity into classrooms increases student grades.
Finally Kathryn Chipperfield, Member services officer from the Scotland Malawi partnership showed the students how they might form a student Malawi society with wider networking and collaborating opportunities.
Applications for next year’s bursaries are being sought from second year St Andrews Medical students. The Dorothy Miller bursary funds 4 students to conduct an observership in Malawi in the summer between 2nd and 3rd year. The purpose of the bursary is ‘…to help students travel to and live in Malawi, to allow them to pursue their global health interests and projects.’
Last night’s presentations demonstrated that this aim had been achieved.