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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Little things mean a lot in Nepal

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Simone Stroet plans to take her nursing skills to Nepal next year. Photo Tree Faerie.

Eve Jeffery

Ocean Shores nurse Simone Stroet says she feels lucky to have attended school and lived in the Byron Shire and surrounding towns her whole life. That is about to change as Simone plans to volunteer her nursing skills in Nepal for three weeks in March 2020.

Simone will be heading to a medical facility about seven hours’ bus ride out of Katmandu as part of Nurses in Actions, which is part of World Youth International.

Simone, who has been a registered nurse for almost three years, is currently working at Tweed Hospital and now that her daughter is of school age, she wants to venture out into the wider world to enhance her nursing experience.

Privileged to have grown up in the Northern Rivers

Simone says she feels very privileged to have grown up in such a wealthy place and in her world travels has only touched on places where people are not as materially well off as people in the Northern Rivers. ‘I’m not doing this for Instagram hits; it’s purely the healthcare experience that I am going for.

‘When I did my interview I told them that I only want to do this if I can actually make a difference, then I asked them straight out if I would. The interviewer told me that without a doubt each nurse who goes makes a difference.’

Though Simone pays for her own airfares and accommodation, each nurse is required to raise $1,700, which goes toward World Youth International and their global projects, to ensure they can continue working with communities around the world.

Simone has a fundraising page on the group’s website and hopes that the Byron community can help her reach her goal.

Simone is also hoping there are local businesses who might be able to help out with in-kind support for her three-week stay as spring in Nepal is like winter in Byron and it gets chilly at night and there’ll be no central heating.

Simone says she will do a hospital placement for a week and will also help out at a women’s health centre for young sex workers and orphans. She says they will also spend time on educational projects in schools.

Seven hours out of Katmandu

‘We are out of Katmandu and I have heard that the poverty is profound,’ says Simone. ‘But I don’t see them as disadvantaged. Sure, they lack the standard of healthcare we enjoy, but their spirits and their attitude are very rich.’

Simone hopes her contribution will help the people of Nepal even in a small way. ‘It’s the little things that make a difference,’ she says. ‘Living in Byron my whole life – this is such a bubble.’

‘This is not going to be a holiday. I am not really sure what I am in for but I think that is good. I know it’s going to be tough and I am going to miss my daughter and husband, but I think it will be good to get out of my comfort zone.’

Help Simone raise $1,700 for the Nurses in Action project, visit: https://worldyouth.org.au/volunteers/simone-stroet.

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