For the past two years, I have had the incredible opportunity to join the Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation on two of the trips to Morocco. “The Paul Chester Children's Hope Foundation provides vital assistance to improve the health and well-being of families in developing countries. Our programs fuel the potential for lasting good, by providing early intervention to children or young adults where services are unavailable due to logistics or financial reasons” (learn more at pcchf.org). This past summer (July 2023), we took a trip to Dakhla to perform life-changing and vital surgeries for kids in need and better the lives of the kids at the local orphanage.
As the president of the Next Generation board at PCCHF, I created a GoFundMe to raise money for the orphanage, we successfully raised almost $7,000. Additionally, I organized and planned the role of the nonmedical volunteers. During the trip, I spent a lot of time in the orphanage interacting with the children and ensuring their needs were met. We gave them clothes, essential school supplies, and hygiene items. In addition, we provided them with desks, computers, sports equipment and much more. We did hands-on work with the children, repaired walls, installed stoves and ovens, and painted murals with the children, creating a nurturing environment for them.
Additionally, I spent time working in a small local hospital, where I had the privilege of scrubbing in and observing several operations. This allowed me to get an overview of the operations and have one-on-one conversations with the surgeons. I was also actively involved in organizing hospital activities such as taking vitals and creating patient identification wristbands. The trip provided valuable team bonding moments where I was able to connect with other NextGen members, surgeons/medical volunteers, and major contributors. The surgeons and other adults were inspiring role models who enriched the experience. Finally, I also had the opportunity to experience Moroccan cuisine and enjoy two traditional dinners at both the mayor's and governor's houses.