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Ashley Pickering – GEC Volunteer

“Watching the transformation of the ECPs over the first six months of their education was immensely gratifying. Not only did they make great bounds in didactic knowledge and clinical skill, they also gained personal confidence.
​It was capacity building personified!”


Ashley Pickling got the opportunity to combine her interests of Global Health and Emergency Medicine when she volunteered and completed research with GEC and Barriers to Care Research Project. She spent six months in Nyakibale, with each day brining new experiences and a better understanding of the challenges involved with differing attitudes in medicine and related research. When discussing her involvement with focus groups that were a part of the Barriers to Care Research Project, Ashley highlighted that “Emergency Care Providers (ECP’s) have truly become trusted leaders within the community”. ECP’s have gotten the chance to educate their communities on emergencies and Emergency Department care. The proudest moment of her volunteer experience was being able to see firsthand the capacity building stemming from the knowledge, skills, and confidence that were gained by the ECP students.

An experience that resonates with Ashley was a visit to a boarding school in Uganda. There she had encountered an 8-year old Ugandan boy, Andrew, who she had originally met at the ED after an incident of domestic violence. The GEC team had worked with a hospital social worker to find a school for him to attend and a responsible family member to stay with on holiday. He took Ashley around the school and introduced her to his new friends and showed her his schoolwork. At that moment, Ashley was proud of GEC and the dedication to make a difference in Andrew’s life.

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