volunteer activities international with a sick heart


01 | 03 | 2022

School of Nursing


Nine students from School Nursing travelled as volunteers last summer to Tanzania, Honduras and Bolivia.

"When you decide to do a volunteer activities, you go with the idea of helping people, but you really come back having received more than you could ever give". This is something that Ainhoa Aldunate (ENF '21), María Jiménez (ENF '22) and Ana Uranga (ENF '22), three of the nine nursing students who travelled to Tanzania and Honduras last summer thanks to the international volunteer activities projects organised by the School Nursing School together with Tantaka, agree on. They would like to review their experience.

Ainhoa and María have been collaborating as volunteers at the high school Blue Sky School in Arusha, a city in the north of Tanzania. This centre was attended by 900 children, 200 of whom lived there. "As nurses, our job was to carry out basic health checks for the children," explains María Jiménez. "In the afternoons we visited vulnerable elderly people in the area and tried to help them with whatever they needed," adds Ainhoa.

"From this international volunteer activities experience you come back a different person. I can only say Asante sana (which means thank you very much in Swahili)", concludes Ainhoa Aldunate.


At Blue Sky School they also met other students from School, Ane Rodríguez (ENF '21) and Marina Salvador (ENF '22). The organisation in charge of high school also runs a Social Center, where classes for adults are given. "Another part of our volunteer activities consisted of preparing workshops on Education for health, which we then gave at high school or at this social centre", says María.

Ana Uranga, a fourth-year nursing student, flew to Honduras to help as a volunteer at the hospital in San Lorenzo, a municipality of almost 50,000 inhabitants in the south of the country. "As there were many patients and not many staff, we helped with nursing tasks", Ana explains. But above all, "we spent time with the patients, talked to them and accompanied their families," she adds.

In addition to what this experience has given them at staff, it has also taught them many useful things for their training as nurses. The three volunteers agree on the importance of making the most of the limited resources available in Honduras or Tanzania. "Although we had few materials, we always tried to make the most of them to give the best care to the patient", Ana emphasises. For her part, María also highlights the fact that she has been able to treat diseases that are not very common in Spain. "A pathology that in Spain can be solved in a matter of hours, in these countries can mean death or, in the best of cases, a lifetime", adds Ainhoa.

"Nobody should miss out on an experience like the one we have been able to live. It's not just any volunteer activities , it's as if you were doing a university internship in another country", summarises Ana. María insists on the importance of everyone doing their bit, as "the world is full of people who have something to contribute, and we must not fail to do our part". "From this experience of volunteer activities you come back a different person. I can only say Asante sana (which means thank you very much in Swahili)", concludes Ainhoa.

The international volunteer activities projects of School Nursing are carried out at partnership with Tantaka, the university's time and solidarity bank. In addition, other local volunteering projects are organised so that students can collaborate throughout the year. If you are interested in participating in any of the solidarity initiatives, you can consult them on this page.