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Exploring Switzerland

Winnice Nyirenda completed her medical studies thanks to FCTrelief. Now she has visited Switzerland for the first time.

Dr Winnice Nyirenda qualified 3 years ago as a medical doctor and surgeon in Zambia. She had completed her first 3 years in China but on her father’s death, had to return to Zambia where she found it impossible to get a bursary for the remaining 3 years. She had almost given up hope, but then she heard about FCTrelief from her cousin who was a pupil there: would they help? Hope was awakend again. After reading her application and her life story so far, we felt she deserved a chance and she became the first student to get a loan from us for university: to complete her studies in Lusaka and then get her licence to practice medicine.

Winnice comes to FCTrelief in Linda to do yearly health checks for all our pupils and is always available with any questions or problems we have with health issues. She is also in contact with our 4 medical students to help and advise them. She is a delightful young woman and we felt she deserved a chance to see the Swiss healthcare service as an encouragement and experience for her work in Zambia. Everything fell into place once we started to set up the days at various clinics and the local hospital, where she was made very welcome and they gave a glowing report of her as a doctor.

Here is what Winnice wrote to us about her journey exploring Switzerland.

Switzerland, with its mesmerizing landscapes and reputation for advanced healthcare, had always captured my imagination. The allure of picturesque lakes, majestic mountains, and the promise of experiencing the renowned Swiss healthcare system motivated me to embark on a journey to this enchanting country. While obtaining a Schengen visa and managing flights posed initial challenges, my experience in Switzerland far surpassed my expectations. From my time at the clinics and hospitals to the warm embrace of the FCTrelief and the people I encountered, Switzerland left an indelible mark on me, offering valuable insights for my personal and professional growth.
My expectations of Switzerland were high, envisioning captivating natural wonders, cultural immersion, and witnessing the excellence of the Swiss healthcare system. I am thrilled to share that Switzerland exceeded all my expectations. The lakes, waterfalls, and snow-capped mountains were awe-inspiring, leaving me breathless with their pristine beauty. Cable car rides provided breathtaking views, amplifying my appreciation for Switzerland's natural grandeur. Furthermore, the people I encountered were multicultural, living in harmony and radiating warmth. I had the pleasure of staying with a lovely host family, who welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like part of their own.
During my visit, I had the privilege of spending time at clinics and hospitals, which offered a firsthand experience of the country's advanced healthcare system. The doctors I encountered were not only highly skilled professionals but also exceptional educators. They willingly shared their knowledge, providing valuable insights into the latest medical technologies and advanced heart and brain surgeries. The patients I interacted with were friendly and welcoming, reflecting the compassionate nature of the Swiss healthcare system. Witnessing the excellence of Swiss healthcare left an indelible impression on me and served as a catalyst for my desire to learn and grow in my own career.
This visit to Switzerland has instilled in me a deep appreciation for continuous learning and professional growth. The exposure to advanced medical practices and the dedication of Swiss healthcare professionals have inspired me to strive for excellence in my own career. I am determined to expand my knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in my future endeavors. The experience has reinforced my belief in the importance of embracing new technologies, staying abreast of advancements, and nurturing a spirit of lifelong learning.
My time with the people in Switzerland was a deeply enriching experience. Everyone provided a welcoming and inclusive environment, where I felt a sense of belonging and fellowship. The people of Switzerland were warm, friendly, and eager to connect. Engaging with the local community allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of Swiss culture and values, fostering meaningful connections and leaving lasting memories.
My visit to Switzerland has had a profound impact on me, both personally and professionally. The exposure to the country's wonders, advanced healthcare system, and the warm hospitality of its people have enriched my life in immeasurable ways. I am eager to return to Switzerland one day, not only to explore more of the country’s wonders, but also to forge new relationships, engage in fellowship, and potentially pursue further studies. Having experienced the wonders of Switzerland I am inspired to contribute to the growth and development of students in Zambia. I envision fostering partnerships between educational institutions in Zambia and Switzerland, facilitating student exchanges, scholarships and mentorship programs. By sharing knowledge and resources we can empower Zambian students and shape the future generation.

As you can see from her reflections, Winnice is inspired and grateful. She met and thanked the people of FCT for sponsoring her studies. She is an excellent example of how we are helping young people to realise their dreams and make their way for a better future, for themselves, their families and Zambia. Thank you for your generous support – it’s worth it!


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