Former St. Albert’s Volunteer Helping Zimbabweans in Botswana

Dr. Jon Silverman, who spent the summer of 2007 as a volunteer at St. Albert’s, is now working at a hospital in Gaborone, Botswana, where he and a group of colleagues witnessed the plight of migrants and refugees from Zimbabwe, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These people have fled hunger, extreme poverty or oppression in hopes of building a better life in Botswana, but they do not qualify for Botswana national health programs. Consequently, those with AIDS and other health problems go untreated. To help them, Jon and his colleagues have started the Maipelo Trust. Visit their site and learn what they are doing to help this severely underserved group in Botswana.

 In December 2006, Jon was a fellow in pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital in Denver and looking to spend two months volunteering abroad when he ran across the website for St. Albert’s Mission Hospital. “It sounds like a wonderful place, and I am interested in learning more about whether I could help out there,” he wrote in an email. Prior to starting his pediatric specialty training, he’d spent a year and a half volunteering as a medical officer at a public hospital in Botswana, making him an ideal candidate to help out at St. Albert’s.

 After completing his pediatric training last year, Jon volunteered first at a hospital in Blantyre, South Africa, he moved on to a public hospital in Gaborone. He is working there under the auspices of University of Botswana School of Medicine, which started a new pediatric residency program.