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Monday, February 10th, 2014

Thomas Murphy is a 4th year Bachelor of Science major at University of New Brunswick. He contacted PIH Canada in early 2014 with an interest in starting a Students for PIH Canada chapter at UNB. We knew right away that he'd make a great addition to the network, but we didn't anticipate his incredible drive.
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On August 23rd and 24th, I had the opportunity to join campus leaders from eight other Students for Partners In Health Canada (SPIHC) campus groups at the annual SPIHC conference in Toronto. I won’t easily forget PIH Canada director Mark Brender’s reaction when he found out I drove 16 hours from Fredericton, New Brunswick to attend the conference. The distance almost kept me from making the trip, but in the end I realized I would feel selfish not to attend. I am passionate about PIHC’s work and vision, and I realized that making the trip to the conference would better allow me to help people through SPIHC.

Guest speakers at the conference graciously volunteered their time to talk to us about leadership, fundraising, and the work Partners In Health is doing in Rwanda. I think I can speak for all of the students when I say I learned a tremendous amount from these three individuals that will help me further my campus group and PIHC as a whole.

One thing I found very beneficial about the conference was the chance to make friends with leaders from other campuses. These friendships will help us work together, and help us pull off nationwide events like Strides For Solidarity and Share The Health.

I’m so passionate about PIH because it’s an organization that fights as much for social justice and basic human rights as for proper healthcare for the people in the countries it serves. It is an organization of genuine caring for people in need. Learning what PIH does, and seeing some of the statistics and pictures of what they have accomplished, proves that the work we do as student groups will in fact help others. Knowing I am helping such a worthwhile cause makes it that much easier to be supportive of PIH and its work.

After attending the conference I feel more passionate than ever to get SPIHC off the ground here at the University of New Brunswick. My new skills, knowledge, and friends will be a major help in accomplishing that goal. The long trip was well worth it, and I couldn’t be happier that I made it.

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If you're a student and the University of New Brunswick and you're interested in getting involved, don't hesitate to contact Thomas at unb.pihc@gmail.com.

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