The nursing students bring medical and dental supplies to support community health organizations in the country.                                 (Submitted photo)

The nursing students bring medical and dental supplies to support community health organizations in the country. (Submitted photo)

Selkirk nursing students offering fundraising ‘beans and rice’ dinner

Group hopes to send seven nursing students to Guatemala this year

Nursing students from Selkirk College are holding a fundraiser next month to raise money for a trip to Guatemala.

The nursing school’s Partners in Health promotion is hoping to raise $19,000 to send seven Selkirk nursing students to the Central American nation.

They’ll be holding a beans-and-rice dinner on Feb. 8 at St. Rita’s Church in Castlegar to help pay for the project.

Why beans and rice?

“The idea is it’s a more traditional Guatemalan meal, to get people in that mindset,” says Sophie Thaburiaux, one of the student nurses planning the trip.

The students will spend several weeks in Guatemala learning how community health organizations are trying to address issues like poverty, inequality, discrimination, and human rights.

“We will deepen our understanding of how community empowerment and solidarity globally are integral to our future nursing practice,” says a brochure on the project.

The nursing students bring medical and dental supplies to Guatemala, and quilts for children hand-crafted by the Castlegar Quilting Group and the Doukhobour Cultural Interpretive Society.

But first, they have to pay for the cost of the trip.

The nursing students fundraise throughout the year for the project. A recent beans-and-rice dinner raised about $5,000 in Nelson, encouraging Kristal Brewer, another one of the student participants.

“It’s crazy to see the amount of support this project receives,” she says. “We are really, really appreciateive of the community’s support, it is amazing.”

Besides the dinner at St. Rita’s, there will be a silent auction, entertainment, and draw prizes to be won. Last year’s students who went on the trip will also be making a presentation to the group.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door.