April 2023 Highlights

IMR Monterrico, Guatemala team

Monterrico, Guatemala: Students and Faculty Working Together

IMR was honored to host a phenomenal group of PA faculty and students on the coast of Guatemala. Having students on teams offers a platform to take the classroom beyond the walls and expose future providers to a global perspective. For many, this is their first time out of the country. What a special opportunity, personal and professional growth through service.

If you are part of a professional or student organization interested in serving with your group, we’d love to talk with you! Call us at (970) 635-0110 or email karla@internationalmedicalrelief.org.

Hatay Turkey: Family Photo Project

After losing everything, including family photos, mothers and fathers were so happy to receive pictures of their families and children. Watching the kiddos watch the photos develop was  beautiful.

We are still collecting donations to aid our efforts. All donations designated for IMR’s Turkey response go directly to elements that make a sustainable impact on the region, community, patients, needs identified during our initial assessment,  and the ongoing work being done in the region. If you want to help and can’t volunteer, please consider making a donation.

IMR volunteer Kate using Russian sign language
Kate signing, "How old are you?" in Russian

Warsaw, Poland: Kindness Goes a Long Way

How to change the world as an average human while “failing” – Kate, Non Medical Volunteer, Ukraine Relief, April 2023

It does not take much. We are all flawed. We all have the capacity for kindness. While in Poland with International Medical Relief, I met a husband and wife who were deaf, with their hearing daughter who interpreted for them. The deaf community has held my heart since I first encountered them 20+ years ago. I attempted to sign to the man, and only after causing him more confusion, did I realize I was using ASL, not RSL (Russian). I was embarrassed and ashamed thinking I wasted his time with my flailing fingers trying to spell. I spent a good amount of time internally working my way past that “humiliating” failure.

At the end of the day I was informed that not only did my attempt at inclusivity help him, but it created a bond of trust for our group, and he brought more of his deaf family to get medical treatment. An amazing nugget of heartwarming feedback alone, but there’s more…

A hearing man, also staying at the shelter, saw the attempts at sign and realized that this group of humans were using a language. He himself had gone through the same trauma, fleeing his war-torn home, and he saw that they were further outcast for over a year because no one could talk to them. He asked us to teach him a couple of signs so he could at least say hello and know their name.

It takes so little to be the change you want to see in the world. That man, living in a shelter in the middle of a war, inspired me to learn a few Russian Sign Language phrases just in case someone needed me too.  Be the reason someone smiles today.  

Join Us in Making a Difference.

Bring much-needed acute medical and dental care to a beautiful, culture-rich destination. You can join an IMR medical mission team today!