Everyone for those that aren’t familiar, ASCOVIME is a small, grassroots volunteer organization committed to fighting illiteracy and disease in Cameroon and eventually greater Africa. The mission of Ascovime is simple: provide free medical care and education supplies to marginalized, destitute populations in the rainforests of Africa.
There are two major facets to Ascovime’s efforts: medicine and education.
Every Friday during dry season in Cameroon, Ascovime loads up a hired or borrowed van with a team of volunteers and medical supplies, and hits the road. The team heads for some of the poorest and remote villages in the country where people may have never seen a doctor before. They set up a makeshift “hospital” and first provide locals with personal consultations, then prescribe treatments, and even surgeries under primitive conditions – all of this at no charge.
During the fall months, Ascovime again loads up vans with volunteers, but this time with mostly educational supplies and materials. Books, pencils, chalk, notebooks, backpacks, and anything that can help a teacher or a student to get a better education is distributed for free by Ascovime. Currently, Ascovime is leading a project to give more children the opportunity of secondary education by providing educational passports required to enter high school.
In 2010, I volunteered in Cameroon with the team and was blown away by the experience. When I returned to New England, I recognized the need to get the word out about Ascovime’s efforts to the North American public. I decided to establish Ascovime.org and AscovimeUSA, help those who wanted to volunteer, improve press exposure, and assist with fundraising and logistical efforts. As one example, check out the NPR story on Dr. Bwelle, the founder of Ascovime. This is an honest, volunteer-only organization where 100% of donations go directly to those in need of medical care or educational supplies. If you’d like to volunteer, help in any capacity, or make a generous donation, please visit http://ascovime.org/donate.
Mike Ursiny is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Vermont and founder of AscovimeUSA