▲ Ramón Pardo, in red, in one of his stays at volunteer activities.


My name is Ramón Pardo Puras and I am studying Medicine + International Program at the University of Navarra. I am in the fifth year of degree program and the truth is that it is flying by. They are hard years because you have to study a lot, but it is a very nice degree program and it is worth it.

I am fortunate that the University of Navarra, where I study, encourages not only academic training , but also the training staff. On Saturday afternoons I do volunteer activities at association Anfas with a group of disabled children and adolescents. These are children who cannot make plans without supervision as children their age would do and they do them with me and the group of volunteers. I started in first of degree program and have continued so far. It is something I recommend any student of the School to do.

During the summers I have done volunteer activities in two countries in Africa. In 2016 I was in Uganda, working in a clinic in the mornings and, in the afternoons, in a high school-orphanage. In the clinic I learned many rudimentary methods that, due to lack of resources, are what they use there to diagnose malaria, control a pregnancy... I was lucky to be with a doctor from whom I not only learned Medicine, but he taught me many aspects of the doctor-patient relationship. The attention he gave to his patients (people who were poorly surviving on a daily basis) was spectacular and one of the most humane I have observed, for the moment, in my brief professional degree program .

The high school-orphanage was attended by children from one of the poorest districts in the country. With my group of volunteers we painted the high school and bought them a goat to encourage an alternative income source . A year later I raised the funds for the NGO Ugandan Water Project to build a rainwater collection system at high school that, through a series of filtrations, made it fit for human consumption, since their "source water source" was a polluted spring. To this day I maintain the contact with the high school and I would like to continue doing projects with them.

This past summer I have been with a friend from School of Medicine in Tanzania, this time in a high school in one of the largest cities in the country, Arusha. In the high school there were 90 children studying in two tiny classes and in each one there was only one teacher. We were in charge of helping with the day to day tasks, correcting homework, helping in the classes, preparing food... This time we organized a fundraiser to buy chickens with two objectives: first, so that the high school would have an alternative income source ; second, so that the children's per diem expenses (based on flour, water and sugar) would be a little more varied and complete. We also bought a water tank so that they could make a small garden at high school and grow vegetables. We are still at contact with the high school and plan to do more projects in the future.

Both experiences have helped me to grow not only professionally, but also personally, which is fundamental, even more so in a degree program like Medicine. One of the things I like most about the University of Navarra is that they take this formative aspect very much into account and try to provide it to students through lectures, projects, TANTAKA... which I think is of vital importance.

More blog entries