Oregon University Students, JFR Foundation Advance Elder Care in Nicaragua
Donors gather, contribute to fund future student groups providing elder care
Three Oregon universities and their students are collaborating with a Portland social entrepreneur who is revolutionizing elder care internationally and developing the concept of "assisted living" as we now understand it in the United States.
Keren Brown Wilson just returned from Jinotepe, Nicaragua, along with five Concordia nursing students, two nursing faculty and one pre-med student who made their inaugural trip May 10-20 volunteering to conduct health assessments benefitting more than 350 local elders.
"Caring for one of the world's most vulnerable populations – the elderly – in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere is a rewarding way to give back, while integrating hands-on, service learning into university curriculum," said Gary Withers, Executive Vice President at Concordia University.
More than 100 friends, supporters and donors of Concordia University, Pacific University and Portland State University gathered Tuesday, June 8 at Concordia's George R. White Library & Learning Center to raise scholarship funds for future student trips to Nicaragua.
Wilson will lead two more trips this year: one departing mid-June with a group from Portland State University; and the other with a group from Pacific University in December.
The volunteers will treat elders and will also train local health care professionals and other Nicaraguan citizens at elder care facilities called "hogars" in order to improve elder care in the Nicaraguan cities of Jinotepe, Boaco and Granada, and eventually across the country.
ABOUT THE JFR FOUNDATION The Jessie F. Richardson Foundation (JFR) is a private charitable operating organization whose mission is to improve housing and long term care services for older adults, both in the United States and abroad. JFR is committed to approaches that enhance internal capacity and promote sustainable solutions to problems adversely impacting the quality of life of elders. For more information about Wilson and her nonprofit or to donate, visit http://www.jfrfoundation.org/.
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