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Club brings medicine, education and development to Ecuador

A new club on campus is hoping to make waves on Freddy Beach, but also on the shores of Ecuador.

MEDLife, which stands for “Medicine, Education, Development for Low-income families everywhere,” has a new chapter at UNB, who are working towards support initiatives in Ecuador.

“I was approached by a friend who was a part of MEDLife McGill. They wanted to expand the club all over Canada,” said Anna Caulfield, club president and second-year kinesiology student.

“We’ve been fundraising all year to support initiatives in Latin America to provide services. We’re going on a mobile clinic trip to Ecuador in May.”

Though the UNB chapter has selected to help out in Ecuador this year, the international organization of MEDLife allows chapters to offer support in Peru and Tanzania as well.

“We can choose each year, however, this year the trip date worked well with us and we thought the Ecuador clinic needed more help,” said Laura Arsenault, co-fundraising chair and fourth-year student in recreational sports studies and wellness.

Though the club is new, the UNB chapter has had significant interest from students and currently has twenty UNB students and grads planning on going on the mobile clinic trip in May.

“For a first-year club, we’ve gotten some more interest than expected, especially at a smaller-level school,” said Erika Erman, co-fundraising chair who is also a fourth-year recreational sports studies and psychology student.

“The members of our club have been helping a lot with organizing events and volunteering. We have a lot of interest to continue this next year.”

Each chapter interested in participating in the mobile clinic trip to Ecuador must raise $1200 for construction costs and medical supplies. This amount is on top of the amount that each member must raise to go on the trip. MEDLife UNB has, over the past year, organized bake sales, 50/50 draws at V-Reds games, as well has a few planned fundraisers before the May trip, including a band night at the Cellar on April 3 at 9 p.m.

“We will also have a raffle for people to win prizes, as we’ve had a lot of donations for it,” said Arsenault.

If interested to get involve or looking for more information on the club can contact MEDLife UNB at medlifeunb@gmail.com.

“It’s a good opportunity for anyone who is interested in volunteer experience but as well traveling because you get the best of both,” said Arsenault.

“But again, if you don’t have the money to come or don’t want to come on the trip, you still get plenty of opportunities to volunteer in the community.”

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