Medical Gap Year Service Projects in Southeast Asia

Medical Gap Year Service Projects in Southeast Asia

From Andy Skipper

I'm raising money to pay for trip fees that go towards purchasing the supplies needed to rebuild houses in Nepal, teach English, perform medical services in Vietnam, and fund other conservation/infrastructure projects.

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Dear potential sponsor,

My name is Andy Skipper, and I am a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee with aspirations to become a physician. The reason I am requesting your financial assistance is to help me fund a trip to Southeast Asia where I intend to work on various medical, educational, and conservational service projects over the span of two and a half months. These projects include a range of activities from building schools and teaching English to assisting with physicians in local clinics, working to improve infrastructure such as roads and dams, locating and storing fresh water, and supporting the conservation of local wildlife through volunteer work at animal sanctuaries. Any assistance you are able to provide will go towards my program fees which help to buy the supplies needed to make these projects happen. I will be working two jobs in order to pay for as much of these fees as I can, but with medical school quickly approaching I am not able to devote all of my earnings towards this trip. I can wholeheartedly assure you that any contributions you make will not only improve communities around the world but also help to expand my perspective and prepare me to make a bigger impact once I begin my career in healthcare. To illustrate some of the impacts that will be made, I’d like to give you a couple of examples from a previous service trip I took to Tanzania.

When I went to Tanzania, I taught English to a local boy named Ismail. Each day for close to two weeks, I worked exclusively with him to continue to improve his English to a point where he could obtain a good job. Several other young people in the village had already learned enough English to basically be fluent, and they were receiving jobs in the tourism industry. Working with Ismail not only gave purpose to my trip but also revealed to me just how much I enjoy trying to better those around me. Seeing the successes of his fellow students gave Ismail motivation to work hard, and I felt honored to be able to provide a service to him that would likely open doors that he never thought he could open. This experience taught me that I am capable of making a tangible impact in the lives of those around me, and it also showed me how much I enjoy teaching.  

Another individual that I met who changed my life and the way I think about the world was a young man named Ibrahim in Tanzania. I learned shortly after meeting him that he was only a week younger than me, but his life up to that point could not have possibly been any more different than mine. Ibrahim and I spent several nights talking about our lives while I was staying in his village, and we shared our personal experiences with family, love, religion, education, and many other meaningful aspects of life. It was astonishing to me how different we were on the surface. Ibrahim was a Muslim, and I grew up a Christian.  He hadn’t lived with his family in years, and I was still dependent on my family for most things. He was lucky to have received as good of an education as he did, and I took mine for granted at times. There were many more examples of our apparent differences, but what struck me the most about our time together was that if he had not told me all of those things about himself, I would have never guessed how “different” we were. Nothing about the way we had grown up, the things we had seen, or the goals we set for ourselves prevented us from telling jokes, laughing together, telling stories, playing soccer on the beach, or just enjoying each other’s company. My experience meeting Ibrahim revealed to me that I could connect with anyone if I took the time to really get to know them and looked past the superficial differences. I hope to carry this realization with me to medical school and into my career so that I can connect with all of my peers and patients, no matter how different they may seem.

These are just two examples of how I was able to make an impact in the communities in which I served and also how they impacted me and my future career goals, but there are many similar stories I could share with you. I hope I’ve been able to demonstrate to you how important service work like this is, and I promise that I will work even harder to make donors like you proud to have sponsored me. Every little bit helps, so I appreciate even the smallest of donations. You can contact me at 865-660-1121 or at [email protected] if you’d like to learn more about the specifics of the projects I’ll be working on or even if you’d just like to get to know me a little bit more!

Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.


Andy Skipper       


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