Belgiums learn skills in Bfn

2019-06-05 06:01
Belgium nursing students who completed an internship programme in Bloemfontein are from the left,front: Manon Bossuyt, Nikita Vannesta and Daphny Libbrecht; back: Stephanie Soenen, Andres van Hoecke and Sophie Feys.Photo: Teboho Setena

Belgium nursing students who completed an internship programme in Bloemfontein are from the left,front: Manon Bossuyt, Nikita Vannesta and Daphny Libbrecht; back: Stephanie Soenen, Andres van Hoecke and Sophie Feys.Photo: Teboho Setena

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A group of Belgium nursing students, on a mission to acquire much-needed life skills and experience, have made Bloemfontein their destination of choice.

The six completed a four-week internship programme in the City of Roses. Their scope included community work and interactive programmes at some of the centres.

They were engaged with Lorraine Haven, a nursing home in Bloemspruit, Bloem Shelter, the Fichardt Park Home for the Aged and a primary healthcare clinic in Botshabelo.

The students are Manon Bossuyt, Nikita Vannesta, Daphny Libbrecht, Stephanie Soenen, Andres van Hoecke and Sophie Feys. Feys and Soenen are also teachers, with Feys a psychiatric nurse and Soenen an ER/ICU nurse. Soenen is the students’ group leader.

“The objective to be at diffe­rent places was to get a broad view of the health care. Lorraine Haven was an inte­resting expe­rience. We learned how to work with a few and different materials that we are used to in Belgium. What we did here is more health promotion and learning the people first aid.

“By talking to them, listening to their stories, we also learn a lot of ourselves,” said Soenen.

This was their second time for an internship after a successful programme last year. Their exploration of Bloemfontein for an internship started two years ago.

“Through a friend from Bel­gium we were introduced to Izak Botes, the founder of Bloem Shelter. We immediately felt the passion he had for the shelter. We were motivated to work with them and they were motivated to work with us, so the connection was made,” said Soenen.

According to her, staying at Bloem Shelter was a worthwhile experience and eye opening.

“We saw it as an experience. The people are so friendly and hospitable. By staying there, we created a bond with children and adults. When you don’t stay in the shelter yourself, you cannot imagine how it is to live there and how can you understand the people then,” said Soenen.

They returned to Belgium on 18 May.

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