Danielle Butin is a force to be reckoned with! She is changing the world. If you have the opportunity to help her run don't walk to the Afya warehouse!!
When a friend asked me to entertain her during her temple’s community service day, I had no idea what I was getting myself into; what I thought was a day of good deeds turned into four years of dedicated involvement with an inspiring organization. While I cannot tell you the difference between a laryngoscope and an ophthalmoscope because my knowledge of medicine is limited to a single year of biology, I know they are both important to struggling communities all over the world. My modest understanding of medicine, however, has never prevented me from sorting and packaging a box filled with miscellaneous medical supplies whenever I go to the AFYA warehouse. Helping out at AFYA has primarily taught me that no contribution is too small for an organization that believes in small, yet powerful change. As someone who plans to engage in non-profit work for the rest of my life, my experience at AFYA has provided me with a foundation for contributing on an international level while working locally. Struggling communities and the way they function fascinate me—how they either rebuild or collapse in the aftermath of conflict or disaster. I am passionate about understanding how governments and non-profit organizations, both domestic and foreign, impact individuals’ lives and well-being; I want to help end the suffering and dislocations these communities and governments face, and volunteering at AFYA has given me more perspective and foundation than any class I could have taken in high school. While I am fascinated by discussions in school about the political and humanitarian consequences of disasters, like the earthquake in Haiti or the typhoon in the Philippines, working at AFYA has helped me recognize that there is a difference between understanding and doing when it comes to improving individuals’ lives.
Reading and hearing about the various problems surrounding global health and women in our modernizing world inspired me to want to make a difference. I could no longer sit on my couch and read the news stories without feeling the need to get up and do something about it. Before discovering AFYA, I was struggling to find somewhere to start. Ever since I became interested in international issues, global health, and language learning, I developed the passion required to want to get involved in changing people’s lives overseas. Interning at the AFYA Foundation has taught me that it is important to start somewhere, and the small things that are carried out at local non-profit organizations can go so far. To someone who desperately needs these supplies, AFYA makes a world of a difference. AFYA opened my eyes to the very real problems that are still facing people in rural villages in third-world countries, such as women who are not getting the medical attention they deserve during childbirth. AFYA has also solidified in my mind why global health is still a pressing issue. The problem is far from fixed, but I feel that AFYA is making a significant dent. “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”~Steve Jobs
Ashley Grund- Intern
In a day and age where “voluntourism” has become a mainstream phenomenon, I was convinced that there had to be a way to better the world while also bettering, and remaining within, my own community. When I learned about a possible internship at Afya Foundation, located only 15 minutes away from my own home, it was a perfect fit. Not only am I able to make a difference by shipping much-needed medical supplies across the world, I am also able to reduce waste in my surrounding area, and take no-longer-needed items off the hands of neighbors and local companies. During my days sorting and cataloguing at the Afya warehouse, being able to see the tangible progress of sorted boxes filling up is an extremely rewarding feeling. As someone who already intends to major in international development, this experience at Afya has only further encouraged me to pursue this career: I have learned that enormous change begins on a small scale, that local and global change can be harmonious, and that simply because a task is daunting does not mean it should not be undertaken.
In the summer of 2006, my older brother passed away in front of my own eyes. Soon after, I was diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition that explained the true reason behind my brother’s death. First hand, I understand the importance of healthcare access, as my brother’s life could have been saved with more medical knowledge and testing.
As a teenager with genuine interest in health and volunteer work, I was immediately intrigued when I discovered that Afya was a non-profit organization that was centered on global healthcare. I have developed more of a personal connection to Afya beyond community service hours. Considering I was the frightened and confused child who was forced to spend much of my youth in hospitals, I’ve learned how important it is to have people fight for you and your health. Through utilizing medical equipment that would have otherwise been discarded, I truly believe that Afya has the power to create a global movement that can save the lives of many underprivileged adults and children in rural areas around the world. Afya has formed a community, whether it is interns packing and organizing boxes of supplies, doctors providing their assistance abroad, or groups of volunteers willing to do whatever to help, each individual has the same mission-to make a difference in the health of people in developing countries.
Although many would believe that spending endless hours in hospitals and doctors offices would steer any child away from this profession, these experiences have forged my desire to endeavor into the medical field as a pediatric cardiologist. As an intern at this foundation, not only have I had the privilege of meeting different groups of people who all share my passion, but also Afya has introduced to me the endless possibilities that can come of working together to create a healthier and happier world.
Siena, AFYA Intern
I like to help other people. I like this [work] better than working at another place. A lot of people helped me when I had an accident. Just like that, here, people help each other.