When Michelle Pieké moved to Drumheller to work as a physiotherapist at the Drumheller Health Centre, she probably didn’t think that three years or so later, her vocation would take her to Zambia for a 10 week mission as a volunteer.
“This is something I had been thinking about for a while, and last summer, I decided to finally really look into it and make it happen,” said Pieké.
A friend of hers told Pieké about her experience in Zambia doing a similar mission as a nursing student through an organization called Serving in Mission (SIM). Although she has never been there, Pieké had Africa in mind for her trip, and listening to her friend’s stories, decided on Zambia.
Pieké went through the application process and was accepted in the program, and is hoping to fly off on June 7, 2010.
She needs to raise the entire funds before being in a position to book the flight and she is just over half way there.
To help make her dream a reality, the Church of The Nazarene and St Magloire’s Anglican Church are hosting a benefit supper and musical on Friday, May 14 at the Nazarene Church. The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. with a spaghetti/western supper and musical entertainment Including LaVerne Erickson and Kirby and Kelcy Travis to name a few. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
With help from the community, she is hoping to volunteer her services at a rural hospital in Zambia for 10 weeks.
There, her skills will be used to deal with a mixture of patients, from people suffering with leprosy, amputees to kids with cerebral palsy.
“I have a lot of experience working with kids with cerebral palsy. I worked at an Easter Seals Camp for five summers so that’s an area I have a passion in. I don’t see much of the other cases, but it’s always exciting to see new things,” Pieké told The Drumheller Mail.
She will receive cultural and language education when she arrives but most of the training will be on the job.
The rural hospital she will be based at covers a catchment area of 100,000, but she heard locals might have to walk up to five days to get to the hospital, so she is unsure the exact size of the hospital but the experience will be challenging.
“The hospital here has been very good at letting me have the time off to do this,” said Pieké . “My colleagues are a little bit jealous and disappointed that I am not going to be here, but they are very supportive!”