Nurse in Madagascar: the Shalom Volunteer Program gave my profession a deeper meaning

To be a nurse means to live in a world where, on a daily basis, you have another human being under your care.


Through the Human Promotion Advisory, the Shalom Catholic Community, provides basic health care to in-risk people of African Continents.

For the duration of one month, every year, some professionals give up their daily routines to serve the most lacking population in some of the countries where the Community is based. At the end of last year, a group of thirty volunteers went to the city of Antsiranana in the Island of Madagascar.

In November of 2019, the team, set a temporary hospital in the village of Diego, where they offered free consults to the public. The residents of the region where examined by the professionals, who followed attentively the sick and sought resources to help them.

The volunteers worked tirelessly, prescribing and donating medicine to the sick. Everyday, hundreds of people filled out application forms and were seen by the professionals, with the help of translations made by the Shalom missionaries who live in the village and are able to provide constant follow ups.

Letícia Lousada, a 23 years old nurse from Ceará – Brazil, made the decision to relinquish all the plans that she had for that time to dedicate her life to those most in need. Follow the youngster as she tells her story, and who on international nurses day, tells us how she found a new meaning in her profession through this service, especially through the children in need.


An open letter from a nurse who found the treasure of consolation from an unknown people.

Fortaleza, 12th May 2020.

To be a nurse means to live in a world where, on a daily basis, you have another human being under your care. It means to be open and to embrace all of someone’s fragility during our best and worst moments. To be a nurse in Madagascar was to deal with the joy and the pain of another population. People who did not belong to my native country, they had other customs, another way of dressing, and even a new language. But at the end of each hard and long day of work, we were all brothers. Among the numerous experiences, there I discovered that ‘to relate’ went far beyond words, words that could not be spoken, for it involves smiles, gestures, feelings, but above, empathy for the other.

There I understood that even when we think that we are the ones who are offering something, someone comes along who teaches that we have a lot to take in. In that, I am talking about knowledge, but also about life experiences. Today, after the Volunteer Program of Madagascar, I am able to see why God led me to this profession, because I am a nurse.

Today I know to give yourself halfheartedly is not enough. Nursing was made to be lived fully, without mediocrity, and hand in hand with our colleagues. That is why God took me to that place. So that even with my weaknesses and with my apparent insignificance, my life could be used in His name everyday to help and care for those who belong to Him.

I am deeply grateful for the Shalom Catholic Community and the mission of Madagascar for having made this experience possible. Today I am even more a nurse, above all because I relearned how to love. And only love can explain the mission.

Letícia Martins Lousada


Translation: Gabriela Gois


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The 2019 Missionary Expedition: a sea of hope for Madagascar

Shalom volunteers provide humanitarian assistance and help bring eternal life to the people in Madagascar


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