ANDREW DAVIS

Andrew Davis left school in Year 10 to pursue a mechanical apprenticeship. Last year he founded a non-profit medical organisation in West Africa. He recently shared his inspirational journey with the St Stephen’s Alumni Team.

“I left St Stephen’s School Duncraig mid-way through Year 10 in 2011… I pursued a mechanical apprenticeship at Paceway Mitsubishi [but] after four years working as a mechanic I realised I was not satisfied with my career,” Andrew said.

“My next move was to Fuji Xerox as a mechanical operator in the production facility.

“During the same period, I volunteered at my local Sate Emergency Service Unit located in Stirling.

“During my time volunteering in the SES I was driven once again to upscale my career in the Emergency Department; my intention was to join the Australian Army however there were not many jobs available at the time.”

In 2018 Andrew travelled to West Africa as a volunteer to work under a construction program where he helped to renovate schools and repair government healthcare facilities. He took on a leadership volunteer role and then moved into a medical coordinator position.

“During this time, I worked alongside some very talented medical professionals ranging from abroad spectrum of medical expertise,” Andrew said. “Some were qualified trauma surgeons, EMTs, Nurses, Doctors and Paramedics.

“I spent many months learning and studying clinical medicine and prehospital care to allow me make the correct decisions as the medical coordinator.”

“This position was still a volunteer job roll and did not provide me with a salary or benefits, however I was passionate and continued to work for the company untilI was financially unable to do so.”

This year Andrew returned to Ghana in the same medical coordinator position but was sad to seethe company had moved towards more of a focus on profits than human life.

“I had spent over a year developing an effective health care program that served some of the most isolated and poverty-stricken areas of the local district,” he said.

“The medical program focused on providing general health care to over 30,000 people in 17 different locations.”

The company requested he cancel the program to make way for the more profitable areas of the business. This didn’t sit well with Andrew who refused and resigned soon after.

“My intention was to found a legitimate organisation and continue to carry out medical work in the district for the benefit of the local people who rely solely upon the medical program to obtain adequate medical care.”

Andrew has unfortunately faced corruption, false allegations, arrests and intimidation.

“It was quite risky to continue working in the area as I have been scratched by the violence working here before, however there were thousands of people who were relying upon us to succeed and found a Non-Government Organisation that catered for their health care needs.”

Andrew joined forces with Alex Dring – the pair pushed through the long weeks to cofound the NGO Freedom for Health Asuogyaman, which currently has registration for the incorporation and district-level NGO status, with National NGO status pending.

The organisation’s vision states: ‘Here at Freedom for Health Asuogyaman we believe everyone on this planet should have the access to health care. The medical NGO’s sole purpose is to provide every community within the Asuogyaman District with free health care. This medical program focuses on reaching the most isolated and poverty-stricken areas of the Eastern region. Our program will give each qualified medical volunteer an opportunity to make a big impact on the communities within the Asuogyaman District and within the Eastern Region.’

“Working in the medical field is very stressful in Africa. The medical cases and situations here are heartbreaking,” Andrew said.

“Nearly all medical professionals I have worked with have had a life-altering experience working in the field.

“Living here is very different, in every way imaginable.”

Find out more about Freedom for Health Asuogyamanat freedomforhealth.org.