Notre Dame Students raise over $10,000 for volunteer healthcare program

Dr Charlotte Hespe with a patient

19 October 2017

Medical students from The University of Notre Dame Australia have raised almost $12,000 to help improve the healthcare of those living in one of the poorest regions in the Philippines.

Under the leadership of Dr Charlotte Hespe, Doctor of Medicine students have been raising money for Team Philippines, a volunteer initiative which provides medical treatment and resources to people living in Calauan, a province south-west of the Philippines.

The students have raised $11,336 through online fundraising vehicle and through promoting the project at university events.

Samantha Carr, a third year Doctor of Medicine student, who is preparing to leave for the Philippines this November said the fundraising exercise was a success.

“I was blown away by the fundraising efforts of our team. We set a goal of $10,000 at the start of the year and we have already surpassed it – this has been our biggest fundraising achievement for Team Philippines yet!” she said.

Dr Hespe, Associate Professor at Notre Dame’s School of Medicine, Sydney said: “The money raised is essential to be able to further develop the project, which gives medical students hands-on experience of healthcare in an impoverished setting.”

Team Philippines first started in 2013 and has established a number of specialist community projects including a medical clinic and pharmacy, a dental service, a women’s health clinic and an eye clinic.

The donations collected go directly to supporting these community projects and are used to buy vital resources such as folate supplements, iron supplements, pharmaceuticals, medical and dental supplies, glasses and other healthcare equipment.

Dr Hespe said besides helping people, one of the greatest benefits of Team Philippines is the opportunity for students to be part of an ongoing project that is demonstrating measurable benefits for the community.

“They become part of a real medical team and get to see how small projects can grow into significant health benefits for people who experience disadvantage when it comes to quality healthcare,” she said. For more information about the team visit:

Media Contact – Antonia Maiolo +61 2 8304 4141 | 0431 856 077 |