Lauren C. Kinser is currently pursuing her Master’s of Public Health, with an emphasis in dentistry, at A.T. Still University. She spent six weeks of her summer as ISL’s first intern with the Central Health District of Belize. She has been involved in volunteerism both locally and internationally. Her dedication to service has been recognized by the Bonner Scholars Program. She hopes to expand her life of service into a professional vocation as she moves forward in her field.
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- Program Type
- Community Enrichment
ISL’s community enrichment groups participate in a number of projects that enhance quality of life in a developing community. From cleaning up a beach or a neighborhood, constructing or refurbishing schools, clinics, community centers or residences, to planting trees, flowers and vegetable gardens, the ways in which volunteers can contribute are numerous!
Dental care is one of the most critically underserved areas of international health care, as dental care is usually not included in the socialized health care systems found in most developing countries. Through ISL, thousands receive dental care – with your help!
ISL’s ecology program works to bring about sustainable development through environmental, community development, and agricultural initiatives. We work alongside members of the community and assist them in meeting their goals and building capacity for a brighter future.
Our goal is to provide experiential learning opportunities and cultural expansion for education majors and professionals while experiencing first-hand classroom experience in a co-teaching format, assisting educators around the world.
- Global Health
ISL’s global health programs are interdisciplinary and able to provide a variety of general medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, healthcare management, and nutrition services in developing communities. From urban centers to small towns and villages in remote areas, our teams work in various settings to provide field clinics in which patient needs are assessed and acute conditions are treated.
- Group Travel
- High School
ISL offers opportunities for high school students to travel, learn, and volunteer in a variety of amazing settings. We offer our Community Enrichment, Ecology, Sports without Borders, and Global Health programs to high school students. Teen volunteers are able to engage with another culture in a meaningful way and begin to cultivate a global awareness that will benefit them as they progress from secondary to university education. Involvement in a global service experience not only instills confidence, it can be a powerful determinant in setting educational and career goals.
Regardless of background, volunteers are able to receive an invaluable opportunity to travel, learn about another culture, and serve a developing community.
- Hike for Humanity
A fusion of humanitarian fervor and outdoor enthusiasm, ISL’s Hike for Humanity program offers a unique adventure, sending volunteer teams to assist those in greatest need by reaching out to villages farthest from urban advantages. H4H teams bring essential global health, education, ecology, and community enrichment services to the rural underserved, while providing hikers with an incomparable outdoor experience and the personal satisfaction of being involved in meaningful service.
- Graduate Medical Teams
ISL’s medical teams provide medical care and public health education in partnership with local community agencies. From urban centers to small towns and villages in remote areas, our medical teams work in field clinics assessing patient needs and treating acute conditions.
ISL’s nursing programs actively participate in health clinic service in partnership with local community agencies, in an effort provide acute care and public health education to vulnerable populations. Our nursing program was developed to provide a learning experience that strengthens cultural competency in an ethnically diverse setting, while providing genuine service in developing communities.
Our goal is to allow those in our partner communities with little or no access to health systems to benefit from a nutritional assessment and treatment from a licensed nutritionist. Different institutions will also benefit from a food safety evaluation of their food services and an educational project aimed at residents or the population in charge. ISL aims to provide experiential learning opportunities and cultural expansion for entry-level nutrition students or health students interested in expanding their nutrition knowledge.
- Occupational Therapy
ISL’s Occupational Therapy program is very interactive and highly specialized. Volunteers learn about global health issues, including occupational therapy challenges, and provide help to populations in vulnerable positions.
The World Health Organization has determined that lack of eye-care is one of the most crucial needs in developing countries. Because refractive needs and other eye problems don’t necessarily cause immediate pain, eye care is often under prioritized when resources are limited, – especially for children. Through ISL, thousands of the underserved have received eyewear and eye care.
In addition to providing pharmacy services, ISL’s pharmacy teams provide a variety of general medicine and public health services in under-resourced communities. From urban centers to small towns and villages in remote areas, our teams work in various settings to provide field clinics in which patient needs are assessed, acute conditions are treated, and medications are prescribed.
- Physical Therapy
ISL’s physical therapy program is interactive and highly specialized. Volunteers will observe and learn manual techniques and tests for evaluating patients from communities in need, where high tech equipment, such as x-rays and MRI testing, is not available. This is accomplished under the guidance and supervision of local physical therapy professionals, who make sure all evaluations and treatments are performed accurately and appropriately.
- Sports Without Borders
Our Sports Without Borders program unites sports enthusiasts in order to promote team work, encourage athletic achievement, and inspire positive social change in the areas of education, health, and wellness. This program offers a unique opportunity for cross-cultural learning.
ISL’s veterinary teams are able to provide a variety of care ranging from public health services such as administering immunizations and facilitating spay/neuter clinics, to providing urgent veterinary care. From visiting farms to setting up veterinary field clinics in urban centers, our volunteers are able to gain extensive experience in a short period of time.
- Community Enrichment
Experience the laid back atmosphere of Belize, rich with Spanish and British influences, featuring attractions such as Mayan archaeological sites, the world’s second longest barrier reef, caves and rivers–all while serving and learning among its people.
Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world and is experiencing an economic and cultural transformation with its recently found civil peace and growing trade with the U.S. Urban areas have made great strides in reducing poverty and providing healthcare, but rural areas are still in great need of healthcare, education, and development support.
- Costa Rica
Costa Rica (“rich coast” in Spanish) is a Central American country bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the countries of Nicaragua and Panama. Costa Rica has become one of the most stable, democratic, prosperous, and progressive nations in Latin America.
ISL global health volunteers have the opportunity to learn about and experience the Cuban healthcare system, including visiting neighborhood clinics (providing routine care), Poli-clinics (providing OB, Cardiology, and other specialized services), ancillary care facilities (providing geriatric care) and hospitals. Volunteers also enjoy lectures/presentations by Cuban health experts on the dynamics, history, and cultural aspects of Cuba’s medical system, including the use of indigenous medicines.
- Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic and Haiti, two sovereign nations with completely diverse cultural and historical identities, share a beautiful island located right in the heart of the Caribbean known as La Hispaniola. The spirit and charm of their people is distinguishable in their lively music and delicious cuisine, but both exhibit incredible warmth and hospitality.
Guatemala spans the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. Known as the “Land of Many Trees,” it is lushly forested, ranking among the world’s top five hot spots for biodiversity. With volcanoes, mountains, beaches, and rich Mayan history and culture, there is much to learn and experience in this amazing place.
Dive into this vibrant country full of color, music, and deeply-rooted culture. A place of religious, cultural, and linguistic diversity, India is full of beautiful surprises around every corner.
ISL’s Baja Mexico program is an on-going humanitarian project that takes place in Puerto Peñasco, situated along the beautiful Sea of Cortez. We work with global health agencies, local health ministries, and other NGOs in our partner communities. Volunteers are able to gain valuable experience participating in community clinics and/or working in institutional and community health contexts.
Our ISL medical, dental, public health, nursing, and veterinary volunteers arrive in Managua for orientation and seminars in tropical medicine, taking vital signs, pharmacology, house clinic-community triage, clinic organization, and medical Spanish. We also present volunteers with a short overview of the history and socioeconomics of Nicaragua. Volunteers perform house to house public health surveys, and assist in fields clinics in underprivileged communities, based on local needs at the time of the trip.
Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, Panama is the southernmost country of Central America. Panama has access to two different oceans, mountains, a vast rain forest, a modern metropolis (Panama City) and the Panama Canal–a lot to see and do! Panama also has a rich array of cultures ranging from indigenous and Latino to peoples of African, Asian, and European descent.
The narrow desert belt of Peru’s Pacific coastline stretches the length of the country and harbors fishing villages, beautiful beaches, agricultural lands, and Peru’s major towns and cities. The amazing Andes Mountains separate the arid coastline from the lush Amazon Basin. The Amazon Basin is also home to millions of indigenous highland people, who speak the ancient Inca language of Quechua and live in traditional villages with steeply terraced agricultural fields and wandering herds of llamas and alpacas.
One of the most diverse countries in Africa, Tanzania is full of natural riches and cultural wealth. Located on the eastern side of the continent, Tanzania is home to Africa’s highest mountain, deepest lake, largest game preserve, most famous national park, and most abundant movement of wildlife. In addition to its many geographical gems, Tanzania is home to a cultural mosaic of more than 120 distinct ethnic groups.
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