First Years Spread HOPE

Our university has started to rethink our way of welcoming first year students, in such a way as to promote the HOPE project. The HOPE project focuses on three pillars:

Academic Excellence


Community Interaction

It is the latter that has been revolutionary: for universities to accept responsibility in the community is less obvious than the former two.

This past Friday, we organised a community interaction day. We took our first years to various spots for service to the surrounding communities. The Health Sciences first years were taken to a nearby township where they performed skits about wellness promotion and served food to the school children.

We served and interacted with 15 000 children that day.

But I have no doubt that this was a huge turning point for many first years too – difficult as it was to see such poverty.


  1. jennduroy says:

    Reblogged this on One Girl…. and commented:
    To see poverty is so much different that reading about it, knowing anout it, and being told you will treat impoverished patients. Going out into the community, helping those in need is a good reminder of why you get into medicine.
    Our school went to rural Oklahoma to help with the Mission of Mercy. Second and first year medical students helped triage close to 2,000 people in order for them to get free dental care. This dental care could be teeth cleaning, fillings, extractions, and root canals. This also was a good reminder of how healthcare is a team effort. Some of these patients had undiagnosed diabetes, htpertension, and some pathology in their mouths that need to be looked at by a physician.
    Education, communication, and assistance. What a great learning experience and health care experience last weekend was.

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