lydia-nurseTo honor this year’s National Nurses Week, Boston-based HireNurses.com named Lydia Nunes, a 28-year-old Ugandan nurse, its first “Nurse of the Week.” Nurses who had been nominated for this honor had to submit a description of their job and why they are a nurse. Lydia’s winning entry was both heartwarming and touched the hearts of the judges.

The first of its kind online recruiting platform for the nursing community, HireNurses.com honored Nunes for the outstanding work she does around the clock caring for and nursing more than 1,000 children, one fourth of which are orphans, at the Mbiriizi Advanced Primary School in Uganda. HireNurses.com has formed an alliance with Sylvia’s Children to solicit health care professionals for upcoming medical trips thereby allowing Sylvia’s Children to fulfill its mission of providing quality health care to the school, its employees, the family members of the children and the village of Mbiriizi in general.

Nunes is the primary nurse responsible for caring for the children at the school, as well as managing the new 6,000-square-foot Medical Clinic and orphan housing unit, which are both located on-site and were donated and constructed by Sylvia’s Children.

On a daily basis, Nunes sees close to 100 children, dispensing medication, opening the clinic, admitting patients from local communities, and even tending to some of the children during the nighttime hours.

Since 2003, the school has been a beneficiary of Holmdel, N. J.-based Sylvia’s Children, a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded by businesswoman and philanthropist Sylvia Allen. Started more than a decade ago, its primary mission is to provide quality education and health care for the children attending the school. The school is learning how to be self-sustaining through revenues generated by various profit centers including a chicken farm, pig farm, agriculture, sewing business and, of course, the medical clinic. Allen’s goal is to make them totally reliant while teaching them entrepreneurship and business models for profitability so they will no longer be dependent on donations but, rather, operate independently.

“When I read Lydia’s submission I knew she would be the one to select,” stated Rebecca Love, founder and CEO of HireNurses.com. “Her passion, her selflessness and her love of the children and her profession represent all the values that nurses represent. We are humbled by her ability and dedication and are thrilled she was willing to be nominated for this prestigious honor.”
For more information, you can visit HireNurses.com and www.sylviaschildren.org.

Lydia’s submission for consideration for this award

I am Lydia Nunes working at SYLVIA’S CHILDREN as a nurse taking care of 1014 children of which 233 are orphans. On a daily basis, I work with at least 95 children. As the day starts at 6:00 am by opening the clinic, cleaning the place, getting the children from their dormitories for medication, especially those that are on daily medication.

From 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., I receive patients from the communities and monitor the patients’ progress from the admission; 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. lunch and checking on our beloved children in SYLVIA’S CHILDREN. 4:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m. make ward rounds of children and patients admitted.
As I work 24 hours, I am also called upon if any need is noticed by the wardens in their dormitories.

As a nurse, I have many things that I cannot forget in my life, for example, Josephine’s life.
It was a sad time for Josephine after her parents had died of AIDS and left her with her grandmother. Her future was obstructed by the death of the parents and left with the grand that also had other grandsons and granddaughters. In the community, the people used to tell their children not to play with her, not eat anything from her, share any clothes and even shaking hands with her because they had noticed skin rashes, diarrhea, fevers, slimness of her body which they compared to the signs her parents showed before death and of which it was confirmed they had HIV.

Josephine had a segregated life in the community until she was discovered and absorbed in SYLVIA’S CHILDREN and tested where she was confirmed positive at her 6 years and is now on medication every day through this home with a happy life.

THANKS to grand SYLVIA and her health team, especially DR.JENNA FINE, the life of MATIA, a 3-month old child, has been saved. MATIA was born of HIV positive parents who had lost all hope of their child being alive for even a year due to spinal bifida and having no money to carry out an operation to save the life of their child. Thanks to SYLVIA’S CHILDREN money was raised to give the child an operation and now the child will live a happy and healthy life.

I have really had many changes in my life since I joined SYLVIA’S CHILDREN because it is always courageous to see that SYLVIA’S CHILDREN has given children a better life in their standards of living.

AT SYLVIA’S CHILDREN HOME, WE LIVE AS A FAMILY.