Life after co-op

AHS graduate Christina Marchand was recently inducted into The World Association for Co-operative Education’s (WACE) International Student Honor Society. WACE is an international organization based in the United States that promotes co-operative education programs to businesses and educational institutions.
“I was honoured,” Marchand said on receiving the award. “It was a nice conclusion to my co-op experience at Waterloo.”

Marchand, who is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health from UW, did an eight month co-op term in Uganda with Save the Mothers, an NGO that provides assistance to mothers and their babies in developing countries. Marchand helped deliver babies, audit hospitals, and promote the significance of maternal health.

“With Save the Mothers, I was definitely putting myself outside of my comfort zone, long enough to really understand what it means to be Ugandan, what it means to be a mother in Uganda and to really live life with Ugandans,” Marchand said.

“Leaving Uganda, I felt a little hopeless at first ... I realized the story wasn’t over yet,” she said.

Marchand’s experience in Uganda inspired her to start FullSoul Canada, a non-profit organization that raises money to purchase medical delivery kits for Ugandan hospitals.

“One delivery kit will likely deliver two babies a day. The kits last for 20 years,” Marchand said. 

The first shipment of kits, which are being developed with the help of a research team at UW, will be delivered in December.

In the future, Marchand said she wants FullSoul to become a social enterprise. She hopes to widen FullSoul’s scope by creating scholarships for students in Uganda and potentially expanding into other countries.

Marchand credits a lot of her success to UW and her co-op experience.

“There’s something special about seeing things unfold with your own eyes. Being in the moment can create different experiences and make them very valuable learning experiences,” Marchand said.