SINGAPOREAN NURSES TAKE NO PAY LEAVE TO HELP VILLAGERS IN NORTHERN THAILAND
Saving up for months, packing their bags, flying in the wee hours of the morning, landing in a lesser known airport before traveling deep into the remote mountain regions of Thailand. That is the distance a team of Singaporean medical professionals went to bring medical relief to under-served communities in Thailand.
Within a week, the relief team consisting of nurses and doctors from Singapore General Hospital (SGH), National University Health System (NUHS), National Cancer Center (NCC), Singhealth provided clinical care, healthcare education, and distributed relief aid to 3 mountainous villages- where temperatures can potentially reach a low of 2°C leaving children, the sick and elderly villagers most vulnerable.
Project Light, organised annually by Singaporean nursing professionals, aims to bring much needed healthcare and education to under-reached communities beyond Singapore’s shores. This effort is done in collaboration with Radion International, a Singapore relief and development organisation based in Thailand.
“9 years ago most villagers in Phetchabun would not have heard about Singapore, but today, “Singapore” is synonymous with quality healthcare and people that really care.” Said Eugene Wee, founder and director of Radion International.
“When the villagers hear that a Singaporean medical team is coming, travel from neighbouring villages, others will walk for miles just to receive medical attention. Needs are immense. However through partners like Project Light, we have managed to bring life-saving aid to hundreds of villagers that have little or no access to healthcare” Mr Wee added
Miss Madeleine Lam, a senior staff nurse from Home Nursing Foundation and founder of Project Light said: “We were first exposed to medical missions as nursing students in NUS, but after we graduated we asked if we are able to do more to help the needy. There are so many communities that can do with more help. Now, as nursing professionals, we are able to apply our clinical skills and training to bring more credible aid to the less fortunate.”
Building Friendships Beyond Singapore’s Shores
Mr Booncho Korkitchareonsuk, speaking on behalf of Romklao village said in his address “The Singaporean team has set a very high benchmark in doing good, not just in bringing medical care but in building friendships across cultures and backgrounds. We are very moved to know that there are friends who have gone out of their way just to make a difference in lives of the needy.”
Project Light supports Radion International’s community development programme by addressing primary healthcare needs and support community development by providing preventive health education to remote and vulnerable communities.
“Preparing for this trip was not easy, from taking time away from hectic schedules, coordinating leave schedules, finding the needed funding and support. But seeing the smiles on the faces of the villagers and knowing that you have bettered someone’s life, this makes it all worth it.” Said Mr Ang Yun Lee, a nurse from National University Cancer Institute Singapore.
See what has been done:
ABOUT PROJECT LIGHT
Project Light is an initiative by NUS Nursing Alumni to bring out the spirit of volunteerism amongst Singaporeans and medical professionals. Project Light provides a platform for nurses who have graduated to continue serving needy communities by addressing primary healthcare needs and empowering locals through preventive health education.
ABOUT RADION INTERNATIONAL
RADION International is a Christian relief and development agency founded in Singapore. RADION International helps communities living in the fringes of society that are under-reached. The organisation’s activities are mostly based in Northern Thailand, where it is involved in child rescue and rehabilitation care, food augmentation and medical aid, community education and development, and training programmes for individual empowerment.