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Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Health Systems, Health, Hospitals, Philanthropy, Private Grantmaking Foundations

Mission: FIMRC is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of families in the developing world through the implementation of innovative and self-sustainable health improvement programs. Through its network of outpatient clinics and partnerships, FIMRC asserts a multidimensional strategy that includes clinical services, extensive community outreach efforts and health education programs.

Programs: FIMRC currently operates projects in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, India, Nicaragua, Peru (two locations), the Philippines, and Uganda. We provide access to quality health care and preventative health programs in the communities we serve across the globe. While each program is implemented in a manner appropriate to the needs of the community, we focus on three main health pillars: access, education and participation.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled with FIMRC this summer to Costa Rica to work on Project Alajuelita for about a month and I could not have been blessed with a more life-changing experience as the one I had. To have found a most welcoming family in the @fimrc Project Alajuelijta team and to learn so much from them and other volunteers was amazing. Before I left on my trip, I collected a couple medical supplies like ACE bandages, children's' and adults' vitamins, antiseptic solution, compressions socks and more to donate to the clinic and it was so rewarding to see it all being used on the patients! I was humbled everyday at the clinic when I had the chance to interact with patients from different parts of CR and refugees from Nicaragua and Venezuela and to listen to their stories and treat their injuries. My perspective grew more and more each day as I learned so many different things from illness symptoms to ulcer treatments to how the social security and insurance system worked in CR and the opportunities provided to refugees while at the mobile clinic. I also found a second family in the host family I stayed with and my stay was wonderful. FIMRC was always ready to help me plan my activities after working at the clinic as well as my weekend excursions. I got to visit all the places I wanted to see in Costa Rica like the Poas Volcano, Manuel Antonio National Park and beach, artisan market in the capital city of San Jose, and more. My heart is so full by this experience of a lifetime. I am so happy I travelled with FIMRC and to have met so many amazing people who have become friends and even family along this journey. I highly recommend volunteering with FIMRC to anyone who is interested in the medical field or who just wants to help a community while traveling!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled to Project Alajuelita in Costa Rica for a week this past August. It was an amazing learning experience that taught me so much about how to implement sustainable medical care services with limited resources. Everyone at FIMRC Headquarters was so nice and helpful during each step of the planning journey. Once I arrived in Costa Rica, I was well taken care of by the permanent FIMRC staff there. Every detail, including housing, transportation, and even choices for optional travel opportunities, was taken care of ahead of time with no issues. Throughout the entire week, the host family, transportation drivers, and clinic staff were happy to help you and were easily one of the best parts of my trip. I highly recommend that if you are passionate about global health equity and want to make a difference to volunteer abroad with FIMRC :)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled to Uganda with FIMRC in July 2017 through their SIHF (Summer International Health Fellowship) program. My four weeks there completely changed my outlook on medicine, outreach, and international healthcare. I think about my experience there every single day and miss it dearly! The FIMRC staff was so helpful and understanding when I was planning my trip. I wanted to find an organization that truly helped the people in their area by supporting the community. FIMRC in Uganda not only helped the community tremendously, but also hired people in the community at the clinic which I thought was absolutely awesome. There was constant support and love in the clinic with the Ugandan and FIMRC staff. Everyone wanted me to see and learn as much as possible. While there, with the help of the clinic staff I went on educational outreach missions, took vitals, assisted with malaria testing, shadowed in wound care, and saw my first birth. The ability to move around the clinic and see a variety of cases was great. Another point of flexibility was weekends: you decide what you want to do with your free time! Whether it's hiking or rafting the Nile, you have control of where you want to be. I truly formed deep bonds with everyone at the clinic and miss them dearly, you end up being like a family! You will grow out of your comfort zone in the best way possible. I recommend FIMRC to everyone I know who wants to do volunteer work abroad. You may come to give to others, but on the trip, you receive much more than you ever realize. After your trip, you can become a volunteer and help your FIMRC clinic from back home, it's awesome! Can't say enough good things about SIHF and FIMRC, and I hope to be back in Uganda with them in the future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just returned from my two-week volunteering trip to FIMRC's Project Kodaikanal in India. It was a truly a rewarding experience and I'm incredibly grateful for all that I learned! From start to finish FIMRC made the process very easy. Their team at headquarters answered all of my questions and provided me with all the information I needed for a safe and enjoyable experience. During my trip, I had the chance to shadow physicians, volunteer at a mobile medical camp for tribal villages, conduct a health education session for teen girls, and participate in weekly checkups for creche children. On the weekends, FIMRC helped us explore the area and participate in fun activities! Overall, I had a great time during my trip and would highly recommend FIMRC to anyone who is interested in volunteering and global health!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled with FIMRC several times. Each trip is a life-changing experience and an opportunity to meet phenomenal people in other parts of the world. I am a Nurse Practitioner and teach a global health care class. FIMRC staff, both in the U.S. and abroad, have been instrumental in helping me plan hands-on service learning opportunities for students in all stages of their collegiate study. I have taken groups to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Each site provides a variety of health care outreach programs for the extended community. The staff at both sites were very willing to allow my students to use their newly developed skills to serve in the communities. We helped to staff mobile clinics and provided primary care to over 100 patients, we walked door to door to provide health care teaching to young pregnant women and families with malnourished children, we helped create materials for public health campaigns, we staffed diabetic and hypertension health care clinics, and we staffed pediatric developmental assessment clinics. During each trip, our group provided 40 hours of clinical service and were able to participate in local events and sightseeing in the area we visited. FIMRC staff gave us great recommendations on where to see the best sunsets, restaurants with the best local food, and where to participate in recreation activities. FIMRC’s work to create sustainable health care outreach in communities was inspiring for us all! I highly recommend traveling and serving with FIMRC!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) in the Summer International Health Fellowship (SIHF) program, I spent two months in the Bududa District of Eastern Uganda. I am a medical student and had the opportunity to work alongside local clinicians in the FIMRC clinic, to provide free or nearly free medical care. Along with the other volunteers, I assisted the FIMRC staff (comprised entirely of Ugandans) with tasks they are fully equipped to perform year-round without the aid of volunteers, in FIMRC’s solidly built sustainable model of healthcare delivery. We worked alongside them to take vitals, scribe during clinical consultations using the clinic’s EMR system, take blood samples and stain and assess blood smears for malaria parasites in the lab, document medications dispensed in the pharmacy, and assist in the Maternal and Child Health clinic. Volunteers also developed health education and other projects. I worked with fellow volunteers to create educational materials and lesson plans on disease states ranging from tuberculosis to malaria to seizures. We routinely stepped out of the clinic and into the community to provide health talks in schools, homes, and community gathering places, administer vaccinations, check on pregnant women and new mothers, provide education on sanitation, and work in gardens of the homes of Orphans and Vulnerable Children. FIMRC far exceeded my expectations and I had a truly incredible experience. I would highly recommend FIMRC to anyone interested in global health!

Crystal V.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to volunteer with FIMRC during their Summer International Health Fellowship, a 4 week program in the summer for pre-med college students, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. From start to finish, the staff was very helpful in assisting me plan my trip and ensuring that I had the best opportunities and experiences while on site. I am so thankful for my experience in Peru and all the relationships that I built during my trip. I would highly recommend this organization to everyone!

Ola K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with FIMRC at their site in Bududa, Uganda for 4 weeks this summer. It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve been able to have as an undergraduate student! I feel as though their mission and values were clearly reflected in their work on site. I felt taken care of as a volunteer while also having the opportunity to learn from the staff on site, and be immersed in a new culture. FIMRC strives to work with the local community, and build them up to be able to be as sustainable as possible. It was an amazing experience working with them!

1 Tara H.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have traveled with FIMRC 4 times now, 3 in Uganda and 1 in India. FIMRC is also our main partner organization at the nursing school I teach.I run a program where we take nursing students on international medical missions for their cultural immersion and learning. We have chosen to keep FIMRC as our partner for many years now due to their outstanding work in the communities they serve. Our students have served in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uganda, and India. This organization is well run, focuses on community-specific needs and makes sure it is ethically and financially responsible. Sustainability is having those in the community work and improve the population's health and FIMRC does this! I highly recommend donating to them or traveling with them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent 8 weeks volunteering at FIMRC Project Bududa in Uganda and loved every aspect of the experience! As a volunteer with FIMRC, you are very involved with the site's day-to-day clinic operations as well as with health outreach trips, allowing you to develop wonderful relationships with the staff and communities in Bududa. As an individual interested in pursuing a career in global health, this experience was invaluable in that it helped me learn about the roles that direct clinical service and health education efforts play in providing proper healthcare to communities lacking it. Though this can be difficult at times, as you are witnessing health disparities firsthand, volunteering with FIMRC helps give a new perspective on sustainable global healthcare. Additionally, the staff, field operations manager, and other volunteers at FIMRC are exceptional in supporting and encouraging one another every day! Volunteers are also well provided for in the FIMRC guesthouse and by the guest house manager and FOM. FIMRC prioritizes ethical and meaningful service and Project Bududa gives volunteers a chance to have an impact through health education and support work with its various programs such as the Orphans and Vulnerable (OVC) program, which serves orphans, HIV positive children, and other vulnerable individuals, and the Post Test Club, a group of HIV positive adults. Overall, volunteering with FIMRC is incredible, transformative, and suitable for anyone seeking experience in global healthcare and the medical field.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a current senior at Roger Williams University and have been on two trips to Nicaragua through Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC). Taking some time to reflect after my trip last March and most recent trip in May, looking back I can say just how pleased I was with the FIMRC staff as well as members of the community I worked in. FIMRC staff really worked hand and hand with us, the volunteers, to learn and gain new knowledge about different medical terms and just about the community overall. Medical backgrounds are not necessarily needed. I am a criminal justice major however, I learned how to check blood sugar and pressure with the diabetic program, learned about different terms and body stages of someone who is pregnant through the prenatal program, assessed children with the pediatrician based on weight, height, and overall development, and I learned how to preform physical therapy and developmental assessments for children with both physical and mental disabilities through the Los Pipitos program. Our school brought medical supplies, extra clothing, and school supplies down to Nicaragua to donate to the FIMRC clinic as well as in the community. We distributed toothbrushes to the children because most of them did not know the importance of brushing their teeth and some of them could not afford them. The community members respond positively to the staff coming in to their homes and are open to volunteers coming in to learn as well.
I am very pleased with my past two trips and I can honestly say I am thankful for my experiences I have had because through the education by the staff and just experiencing the different cultures has helped me shape who I am.
The FIMRC staff not only in the community is helpful but the staff behind the scenes is as well. Whether I needed a list of donators or had a question regarding my trip, the staff was always able to help with the issues and questions as soon as possible. I recommend this non-profit to those looking to volunteer or to just donate and continue to help FIMRC grow.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A current senior, I started FIMRC my freshman year of college and it has forever changed my life. This is such an amazing organization that actually changes the world. One thing I really do love about this organization is the actual impact that is visible at their sites. Yes, their work is long term and never ending, but you can also see how well the people in the areas respond to them and the work they are doing.
While volunteering for them a total of 4 weeks, I have only begun to love them more and more. The staff is hard working, and extremely dedicated, something that is visible every second of every day.
FIMRC makes a difference like no other organization that I have ever seen, and I am genuinely so lucky to be a part of it. It has taught me that anyone can be a helping hand to someone in need despite the odds that are against you. I have reassured my faith in the world through this organization and the amazing people I have met in it, and it is safe to say that FIMRC will be a part of me for the rest of my life.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FIMRC is an organization that has truly changed my life! Before my first FIMRC trip to the Dominican Republic I had no idea what to do with my life. After the trip I realized Public Health was the field for me. Then my second trip only reassured me so. I have met so many amazing people through my FIMRC trips. It has given me the opportunity to use my language skills and help better my knowledge of Public Health issues and asses patients to the best of my capability. Working alongside these amazing doctors at the FIMRC clinic was the best experience I could ask for. I am so grateful for these experience and those to come.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled with FIMRC on three occasions, once to El Salvador and twice to the Dominican Republic on week-long trips. Each experience far exceeded my expectations. The US staff is incredibly organized and helps you feel prepared prior to departure. Staff on site in each country were also very well prepared for our arrival and had tasks pre-planned for us. Each site offered a variety of volunteer options! There were clinical opportunities to shadow physicians, and public health outreach within the communities. Health fairs and presentations were conducted and I was able to see how FIMRC is bringing health education to those who need it most. I would highly reccommend traveling with FIMRC if you are interested in helping to better the health status of those in the developing world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've traveled with FIMRC to El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, and both sites offered great experiences that I have since used in my medical education. FIMRC's focus on preventive medicine and sustainability make for a positive experience while on site, but also the comfort of knowing there will be a long-lasting impact after the departure of volunteers. While in country, I gained valuable shadowing experience, but also found ways to relate to people whose cultures are vastly different from mine, which has been even more important in the pursuit of my medical education in the USA.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have gone to El Salvador and Costa Rica, and they were both great experiences. In Costa Rica, I was able to evaluate a community's living conditions and observe the doctor. In El Salvador, we gave a presentation to students in a little community about the value of vitamins. We also did eye checks in the local school. The organization also did a very good job of making sure that the group I was with had activities to do when we weren't helping out in the clinic. I can't wait to go to Central America again this Spring Break

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to El Salvador last spring break on a mission with FIMRC and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I'm a pre-med student, so to be able to not only travel and experience a new culture, but also to help out actively with the health of the community was an amazing experience. We did so much in so little time: conduct vision checks at a local school, go on house calls, create a vitamin campaign for children that were malnourished due to mud slides that cut off the community, help out with world’s first non-monetary model of health insurance, etc. We were there to work, but FIMRC made sure we had opportunities to explore the country too. We were able to hike up a beautiful volcano, see Mayan ruins, and spend an afternoon at a lake. Highly recommend! Heading on another FIMRC trip this year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent my last two spring breaks traveling with FIMRC to Nicaragua and El Salvador. I must say that FIMRC offers one of the most unique and flexible travel schedules for college students. They make every effort to accommodate their volunteers! My experiences at both FIMRC locations were wonderful! I was able to gain extensive knowledge about the healthcare systems in both countries, and was able to interact with people in the local community on a daily basis. FIMRC was also able to incorporate other fun activities into the trips as well and offered volunteers the opportunity to visit local markets, restaurants, and other tourist locations. I would recommend traveling with FIMRC to anyone interested in serving others while having a great time!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I traveled to Alajuelita Costa Rica with members of my university's (UNC Chapel HIll) FIMRC chapter for 1 week in March 2012. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, from working in the clinic to spending time with the children in the community. My homestay family was wonderful, and I really enjoyed the challenge of having to use spanish all the time when at home. I recommend this program, especially if you are interested in a medical or public health related career! Because it is a little costly (About $2000 for the week for both flight and trip fees) I highly recommend planning ahead to fundraise for your travels.