by Gwen Ellis
Maria Rosa Ramirez Quispe, who was part of the social programs of the Foundation Arco Iris (FAI), is currently one of the first students within the new HOPE worldwide Bolivia – Hospital Arco Iris Nursing Assistant Program. We wanted Maria to share with you her story.
“During my years in high school I had always been an introverted person. I believe that the reason for being so introverted was because I grew up with 5 half brothers.
As a child, things happened to me that created anger in my heart. During high school I continued to harbor these emotions, but my academic scores were not affected. The exception was one year that I was having many problems with one of my half brothers. At one point, I was even held back a grade level, because my mother had asked me to help with one of my half brothers.
In 2009 my sister was traveling with her husband in La Paz and became very sick. She went to several hospitals for help, but no one provided care for her because she was poor. Over a short period of time my sister’s condition worsened and because her medical needs weren’t cared for, she died.
Even before this incident happened, I always knew I wanted to care for people who needed medical treatment. When my sister became sick, the question that lingered in my mind was, “Why would someone study to care for people and not want to give them medical care simply because they were poor?”
I heard about the nursing assistant program through a social worker, that serves the Foundation Arco Iris. The reason we entered the FAI social program was because my family began to have some financial problems. My sister at the time, had two babies, and making ends meet financially was difficult. My mother met with that social worker of FAI and she told her about the nursing assistant program. Before I heard about the program I didn’t have the motivation to study because I never had the financial resources to study.”
Maria is just one of the five students in our nursing assistant program with a story to tell. She is filled with gratitude as she now has hope for the future with a promising career in medicine.