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International Connections

Her name was Aggie. She was only 6 years old, but she worked her charms on Angela Fraiz, a nursing student on a service trip to Tanzania. They only had several hours together, but Fraiz found a few English and Swahili words they both knew, and they connected.

“She was precious,” Fraiz says. “She wanted to stand by you and hold your hand.”

The little girl is now one of Fraiz’s favorite memories from her 16-day trip that she and seven other Xavier students spent in Tanzania learning about international community development. While on the health team, Fraiz worked on malaria prevention, educating residents about mosquito netting and standing water. Another day, she demonstrated how to build a slow-sand water filtration system using local resources.

“I learned that these people want to learn and help themselves,” she says. “We teach them, and they do it themselves.”

The summer service project came about when Sarah Lamkin, a 2008 Master of Nursing and Master of Education graduate and adjunct nursing faculty member, shared stories of the Village Life Outreach Project, a non-profit group that develops preventive health care projects in Tanzania. The students wanted to go, so she developed a course called International Community Development and planned the trip for June.

“I wanted to teach them how they can have an impact abroad,” Lamkin says. “The mission of the project is to unite communities to promote life, health and education.” And friendship, as Angela and Aggie proved so well.

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