A “Tsunami” of volunteers

Be sure to number your answers to the questions, each question 150 words. Please make at least two responses to your colleagues’ answers.

If you have some time, please go back and read your classmates’ responses to your answers. They are intelligent, thoughtful, and kind responses. I’ve read every one of them and they touch my heart….


1. On your “myemich” account, go to “Halle Library” and use your EMU username and password to enter the library. Enter: Lasker Hoping to help. You will be asked to check out the book for a day (as an EMU student, this is a free service). Only hold the book for ONE HOUR maximum because your colleagues need to read it, too. Don’t wait until Saturday or you might not be able to access this book. Read the following two chapters (only) online:

Introduction: A “Tsunami” of volunteers

Conclusion: Lessons learned; responding to the debate

After reading these two chapters, please give us your thoughts and feelings about what Lasker is saying. It’s perfectly OK to have a different view. You’re in a safe place to share that view.

**If you or your colleagues are interested in an organization for health care volunteers, whose philosophy reflects what Lasker is talking about, please look at Health Volunteers Overseas (HVOUSA.ORG). This is the group that I am volunteering with and am currently serving as the project director for the nursing education program in Hai Duong, Vietnam.

Please read Chapter 9 and answer the following question:

2. Why can it be said that ‘being born female is dangerous to your health? (CH. 9). Cite your textbook (with page numbers). What is your opinion about this?

Alternative option for #2: If you have Netflix, watch the 30″, Oscar award-winning documentary: “Period. End of Sentence” – and tell us your thoughts after watching this movie. Past students want you to know that they all HIGHLY recommend this movie. It is about India and menstruation – attitudes and what was done. Amazing film.


Please read Chapter 10 and answer the following question:

3. In YOUR opinion what is one of the MOST cost-effective interventions for saving the lives of children younger than 5 years? How would YOU go about making this change? (CH. 10)? Cite Skolnik with page numbers).

4. You are smart and well-educated… if you were queen/king of the world, what would be your FIRST action to slow down the illnesses and deaths of children? What would be your next 3 actions and why???

I have, personally, experienced morbidity and mortality of newborns, infants, and children in Malawi, India, Vietnam, Swaziland, and Bangladesh. These experiences have shaped me into the woman and teacher that I am today. I’ve held mothers as they cry and sob over the death of their newborns – in the middle of a ward in which the death is hardly recognized or acknowledged. I’ve tried to distract children who are undergoing extremely painful procedures – with balloons made from exam gloves – only to come back the next day to find that one child had died in the night. I’ve given a 7 year old the anti-malarial treatment that saved his life – when visiting his village to complete an unrelated research project on orphan care. I’ve stepped up, during a c-section of a high risk mom of twins – when I was told, beforehand to NOT provide any nursing care (to only observe) – and resuscitated the second baby because the nurse looked at me, pleadingly, to help her – as she could only resuscitate the first one. I’ve taken hundreds of polaroid photos of very ill mothers with AIDS – with their newborns and young children – to give to the families of these women – so that those same children would have a photo of their mother after she died. So they would always know, no matter what, that they had been loved by her. In my face to face class, I share one of the articles I wrote about this project. It was published in “The Journal of Christian Nursing”. I titled the article “Faces of AIDS”. You can’t read the article without paying for it, unfortunately. I do know that, on subsequent visits to the hospitals, the nurses would rush out to find me on the wards. They all wanted me to bring my camera to take photos of their patients – so the patients could share these with their families. I went to one inpatient, locked, psychiatric ward in the middle of the slums. I can’t describe the horror of that unit. On the floor was a clearly psychotic young man in his 20’s. Beside him sat his father who came every day – walking miles – to be with his son. Luckily I had my camera even though this visit was to distribute flannel jackets (it was winter in Malawi and cold at night; we did not bring these jackets/sweaters from the US – we bought them from locals selling them in the market stalls – being careful to buy some from each person selling them). I asked the father if he wanted a photo with his son. It would be the only one they would ever have. Proudly, he put his arm around his son. When I wrote the article and used this example, I said: this is a good way to describe a true parent’s love. Unconditional. No matter what our weaknesses or failings might be.

I can’t write anymore about this. I should assign the story of the starfish (and the person walking along the beach tossing one at a time back in the ocean) for this course…. Betty


PS above is a photo of my wonderful husband with a 9 month old orphan named Verina. She was very lucky – and ended up in the Crisis Nursery – and was subsequently adopted by a lovely couple who lived in Malawi but are from the US. We loved her so much.

Note the deadline for the Online Discussion. No late entries will be accepted except for extenuating circumstances as determined by B. Beard. Decisions are final.


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