Teaneck volunteer helps fight HIV and AIDS in South Africa
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Teaneck volunteer helps fight HIV and AIDS in South Africa

 

Ariella Applebaum (Courtesy YU)
Ariella Applebaum (Courtesy YU)

Ariella Applebaum of Teaneck, a senior in Stern College for Women’s S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program, is a volunteer with African Impact, an organization offering a host of volunteer opportunities in Africa.

The most powerful moment of Ms. Applebaum’s summer came during a home visit she paid to an elderly patient suffering from HIV in the village of Khula, South Africa. The woman had suffered a stroke that had left her unable to walk months earlier. “But she never lost hope,” Ms. Applebaum said. Each week, the patient worked carefully with health care volunteers in the country — like Ms. Applebaum — to regain her strength.

The visit was one of many Ms. Applebaum made while volunteering for African Impact; she chose a track that would reflect her interest in improving the quality of life and access to health care of impoverished communities in South Africa. On a typical day, her duties included everything from volunteering in orphanages and working alongside medical professionals and caregivers to facilitating educational workshops about HIV and AIDs that addressed topics such as nutrition, basic health and well-being, and family planning. She also provided support and assistance at in-home visits.

According to Ms. Applebaum, a biology major with a minor in computer science and art history, her education at Stern played a big role in inspiring her to seek out experiences like African Impact.

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