My name is Nina Alizadeh and I’m a high school student currently living in London.  This summer I was fortunate enough to volunteer at Mission: Restore’s East Africa Regional Training (EART) in Mombasa, Kenya. I wanted to come to Mombasa and the training to be able to experience the amazing work that Mission: Restore does in East Africa first-hand. It was wonderful to see the lectures and hands-on training and especially to see how all the surgeons were able to connect and share during the event.

Nina with Dr. Alizadeh

Through the East Africa Regional Training, I was able to observe and experience something that I had never seen before. I was very excited to volunteer at the EART, and to be able to watch the participants engage in discussions with the surgeons that were giving lectures. I mainly worked on social media, which I really felt reflected on all of the great highlights of the EART. On the first day, I met so many different types of people many of whom had been looking forward to this conference for months. This immediately showed me how much they were willing to use the EART to their benefit.

Throughout the conference, I noticed many of the doctors and surgeons that had come to the training were very motivated to learn more in order to become better surgeons in their countries. It was really great how many of the participants were seizing this opportunity to help them with their careers as physicians.

My most memorable experience was being able to experience life in the operating room for the first time. I am currently a rising junior, and I had no knowledge about the operating room until the first day we went to Coast General Hospital. Everyone had circled around the patient and they were closely observing the surgery. This was a really different and captivating experience.

I am very thankful that I volunteered at Mission: Restore this year, and hope to do more work with Mission: Restore in the future!

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