Student Stories

Student stories: postcards from South Africa

By January 4, 2017 No Comments

One of the best things about CEF is the student stories we get sent in. We are so proud to support such amazing young Australians. Their stories remind us of the importance of education for rural and regional Australians. There is so much potential across our vast country and it’s our mission to make sure this potential can be realised through access to further education and training.

Lewis (second from left) has just returned from a medical placement in South Africa. Lewis shared some of his diary entries on the important work in dementia he was doing there.

Lewis Freeth is studying medicine and receives financial support from the local Country Education Foundation in Orange.

He has just completed a placement in South Africa, where he was studying dementia.

Lewis sent us some of his student diary entries. Have a read and you’ll soon discover why we love supporting young rural and regional Australians…

“Zulu culture has adopted social structures rooted in an almost antediluvian and superstitious form of communal adhesion. Thus, most of its citizens have adopted a somewhat makeshift view of ideal healthcare as a mixture of western medicine and their traditional methods, to differing degrees based on the individual.

However, there is no doubt that there is an underlying apprehension to adopting a western approach to healthcare, as shown by the family of GW not having taken her to hospital since her initial diagnosis 3 years prior.

This deficiency in attendance creates a lack of quality records in regards to the disease and based on inaccurate and underestimated data, government funding will inevitably be inadequate and placed in ineffective areas, thus exacerbating the problem.

Addressing mental health in rural South Africa requires a uniquely South African solution. I believe there is opportunity for an approach to dealing with mental health issues which incorporates both western medicine and traditional healing. This would involve education of the traditional healers and other leaders within the communities. However, on a systematic scale, I believe the only significant change can be made with the resolution of political issues impacting the country as a whole.”

You can help more students like Lewis on their way to changing the world by making a tax deductible donation to Country Education Foundation.