Cardiff Metropolitan University students of public health and nutrition joined the Changing Lives program in late March 2018 for a themed trip focusing on non-communicable diseases, refugee health and cancer treatment in Jordan.
During the trip we collaborated with the Royal Health Awareness Society, University of Jordan School of Nursing and King Hussein Cancer Centre as well as grassroots organisations One Love and Greening the Camps.
Our work with One Love and Greening the camps took place in Gaza refugee camp, near Jerash. Students met locals who lead by example to change social and environmental attitudes in the camp. CMU students assistance helped finish infrastructure upgrades to the One Love gardens and social centre, collected five car-loads of rubbish made personal donations that will circulate in the camp economy.
From the Cardiff side, the trip was led by academic staff, Henry Dawson and Vicki Gould, whose enthusiasm for the spirit of the trip has already led to numerous opportunities for ongoing collaboration with Changing Lives’ public health partner organisations.
CMU supervisor Henry Dawson said:
“Our students learnt so much about the country, the culture [and] religion and participated in many activities from teaching English to…cleaning rubbish and building furniture in the refugee camp, painting schools, running physical activity lessons -to name but a few. It was incredibly emotional as a lecturer to watch our Cardiff Metropolitan [University] students grow so much over these two weeks in their self-confidence, cultural awareness and ambition to help others in the future”.
Cardiff Metropolitan University are due to return to Jordan for further collaboration with Changing Lives in 2019.