Monday, 30 November 2015

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Carlisle student off to teach at orphanage in Ghana

A university student is heading to Africa to teach hygiene and nutrition to local people.

Melissa O’Dowd photo
Melissa O’Dowd

Melissa O’Dowd, of Stanwix, Carlisle, will help out at the Takoraid Hospital and orphanage in Ghana as part of a university work placement.

Melissa, a student at the University of Cumbria, said: “I am really looking forward to it but I’m a bit apprehensive because I’ve never travelled alone before. I paid for the trip myself and now I’m looking for donations so I can take equipment and food to the hospital.”

The 21-year-old wanted to go abroad for her placement to broaden her horizons and find out about healthcare in a foreign country.

Melissa added: “I am going for three weeks of which I will be on placement for two, working with a group called Work the World which sorts out medical and nursing electives.

“I will stay with students there and they will look after me. A few of the doctors speak English but I’ve been learning a few words of the local language.”

Melissa desperately needs medical items and donations to take with her on the trip.

She said: “All of the money raised will go directly to the hospital and the orphanage there. I have already had a donation of £100 from Thomas Graham in Shaddongate and the staff and students at the university have been helping by buying cakes that I sell.

“The airline is allowing me to take a 23kg bag so I can buy things to take.”

Melissa, who started planning her trip in July last year and leaves on March 30, needs blood pressure machines, surgical gloves, soap, tape, dressings and a stethoscope.

She said: “I hope to buy some clothes and things when I am over there so I can support the local economy. I am packing for all eventualities as it is quite humid out there and they get a lot of tropical showers.”

Anyone wanting to donate items or money can contact Melissa at or call 07712234416.

You can also visit her fundraising page online at


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