Team Broken Earth Expands Globally with Canadian Roots
What kind of event motivates a team of busy medical professionals to sacrifice vacations, family time, and sleep to travel across the world at a moment’s notice? For the first group of Team Broken Earth in Newfoundland, it was seeing the devastation wrought by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. A nation who already had so many problems faced the nightmare of a generation, and it would seem easy to lose hope in such dire circumstances.
Understanding the most urgent need in the days following the disaster would be medical staff and supplies, Dr. Andrew Furey gathered a few volunteers and made the pilgrimage to Haiti in what would prove to be the first of many missions. That first trip to perform emergency relief expanded rapidly into other domains. Recognizing gaps in on-the-ground services, TBE now offers training and education to community medical staff, fundraises for new equipment and facilities, and even establishes employment opportunities for physically disabled Haitians and clean water for their local hospital.
Seven years later, the team has grown to be a nation-wide effort, and has expanded to include relief work and assistance in Nepal, Bangladesh, Nicaragua and Guatemala. In Guatemala, TBE completed their first exploratory trip in September 2016. This trip was led by Dr. Andrew Furey and assessed the medical needs for Guatemala. They have now partnered with the Asociacion Compañero para Cirugia (ACPC) whose mission is to connect patients in need of health and surgical care in remote communities with the international volunteer triage and surgical teams that travel to Guatemala, to educate and empower rural Guatemalans to initiate and advocate for vital health care services on their own behalf. Team Vancouver, led by Kristi Lange, is scheduled for a medical relief mission from January 20th – 28th, 2018.
In Nicaragua, TBE completed their first medical relief mission led by Dr. Andrew Furey in October 2016. This mission was assisted by Dr. Carlos Enriquez, an Emergency Doctor at the Janeway in St. John’s, NL, who is originally from Nicaragua. In addition, TBE partnered with the Lions Club to hold an eye clinic. The Lions District N-4 partnership with TBE is District N-4’s frontline international vision outreach. The project funds and executes vision missions to provide eye exams, glasses or other related medical interventions in developing countries.
For the first time, Team Broken Earth currently has three medical relief missions happening in three different countries at the same time:
1) Team Calgary is on a medical relief mission to Guatemala City from November 18th – 25th, 2017. Lead by Dr. Paul Duffy, this 18-person medical team includes general, orthopedic and plastic surgeons.
2) TBE is in Chinandega, Nicaragua to teach a Trauma Course from November 18th – 22nd, 2017. This 13-person volunteer team is led by Dr. Dick Barter. In addition to the course they will be having clinics in the area.
3) Team London, Ontario is the newest Canadian Team (number 11), led by Dr. Supriya Singh, on their first medical relief mission to the Bernard Mevs Hospital Haiti from November 14-21st, 2017.
Where there are communities in need, there is likely a group of TBE volunteers on their way. From natural disasters to war zones, from South America to South Asia, Team Broken Earth envisions a world where compassion is a given, and no one should have to endure hardship alone.
To learn more about how you can help the incredible work of Broken Earth, please visit www.brokenearth.ca, and follow the journey on Facebook (Broken Earth), Instagram (Team Broken Erath) or Twitter (@TeamBrokenEarth).