Volunteer placement of a lifetime
By Taylor Clyne
October 09, 2019
Bridport’s Stephanie Groves has big plans for her future, just one year into her four-year university degree studying Prosthetics and Orthotics she will be heading overseas for a volunteer placement of a lifetime.
The program is run out of a government-based rehabilitation centre in Cambodia, just outside of Phnom Penh and supports people who are victims of war, injury and disability.
Before taking off in January 2020 Miss Groves is hoping to raise much needed funds to buy tools for the clinic and help extend the services to people in remote villages.
“I’m really excited to observe and learn from local professionals, I will be working at a graduate level and will receive over 80 hours of invaluable work experience with infants, children and adults,” she said.
“The program will benefit both myself and them as we will provide funding and resources for the attending practise and they will provide me with an invaluable experience for my future when I’m fully qualified,” Miss Groves said.
As a result of the horrific landmines spread across the country, the number of Cambodian amputees exceeds 40,000 as well as numerous people left with significant disabilities.
“This therefore creates an enormous demand for prosthetic and orthotic devices and resources,” Miss Groves explained.
“Whilst a majority of patient presentations are upper and lower limb amputees, others include club hand, club foot, cerebral palsy, congenital defects, spina bifida, scoliosis and many more.”
Prostheses, whilst an imperative device, are very expensive. The cost of a prosthetic limb in Cambodia is up to $5000, whilst the average Cambodian family only earns $3000 annually.
Miss Groves said it is crucial that these resources become easier and more affordable to access.
“The funds raised enable me to take valuable knowledge, skills and tools abroad as well as provide extensive access to greater resources for the local Cambodian health professionals and patients.”
Stephanie Groves will be joined by three other Prosthetic and Orthotic students along with another four interdisciplinary students taking part in the project.
If you would like to donate towards the trip please visit: Go Fund Me Link: gf.me/u/vupugw