Deafness is a worldwide problem which is prominent in the country of Nepal.
For CQUni Bachelor of Nursing student Maryanne Baynes, her recent outbound trip to Nepal, as part of the University’s New Colombo Mobility Program, seemed an ideal opportunity to help.
With the assistance of Australian Hearing (Bundaberg) and her parents, Maryanne donated 400 hearing aids.
She said she felt proud to have contributed to the people of Nepal, and to help mitigate the current medical conditions affecting locals.
“Despite deafness being a prominent issue in Nepal, the majority of locals cannot afford to purchase hearing aids. So, it was overwhelming to see the expression on people's faces knowing that the seemingly impossible could be made a reality,” Ms Baynes said.
“This experience made it evident that we take our healthcare system for granted here in Australia.”
In addition to the hearing aids, Maryanne also collected many tangible goods before the trip.
“The Mackay community is unbelievable. Local dentists donated toothpaste, toothbrushes, facemasks, gloves and surgical gowns; Big W provided toys and sporting goods; Office Works gave pencils and crafts; the local Days for Girls branch kindly contributed 50 female sanitary kits, and my friends knitted scarves, beanies and jumpers,” Ms Baynes said.
Aside from the donations, Maryanne said the trip exposed her to many aspects of Nepal's culture.
“I was able to work with staff at the local Fishtail Hospital, experience the Nepalese way of life, and further my clinical nursing knowledge,” Ms Baynes said.
“The program has inspired me to get involved with local charitable work. In the near future, I aim to give to the Mercy Ships charity, which I am extremely passionate about. The global charity operates hospital ships in developing nations.”
Maryanne said Australian Hearing (Bundaberg) was keen to continue its generosity for future CQUniversity outbound trips.
“Staff will collect and wash the hearing aids ready for donation. My parents, David and Muriel Pickworth, will then send the collection to me in Mackay,” Ms Baynes said.
“Together, we can continue to provide this much-needed and appreciated support to Nepalese locals.”
CQUni’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Program is organised through CQUni Global Outbound. More details via: www.cqu.edu.au/about-us/structure/schools/nm/international-experiences-for-students