She’s a global traveler who believes in building a sense of community at home and abroad.
Sande Irwin of Port Elgin is about to head off for six and a half months on a solo journey through Central and South America, including Honduras.
In Honduras, Irwin will be working with other medical volunteers in a local hospital, who are focused on maternal care.
Irwin is a doula, also known as a birth companion, birth coach or post-birth supporter, a non-medical person who stays with and assists a woman before, during, or after, to provide emotional support and physical help if needed. They also may provide support to the mother’s partner and family.
Unlike a midwife, doulas are not classified as medical professionals and therefore cannot administer medication. Doulas are typically certified with some courses taking over a year to complete. Practical training is involved to become certified.
Irwin’s goal is to develop her ‘Love & Kindness Tours’ into a global movement that focuses on ‘responsible’ travel.
“I am very passionate about responsible travel,” says Irwin, “and that means no exploitation of children or animals. Experiential travel is what true global ‘connectiveness’ is all about.”
According to Irwin, there are alternative ways to travel with homestays, work-away and volunteering among others.
Irwin, whose husband is also planning a motorcycle trip, plans to meet up with him in Argentina on New Year’s eve.
She has been searching for travel companies, NGOs, social organizations and individuals who believe in helping others throughout the world.
On her upcoming trek, Irwin will also be volunteering in a ‘hands-off” animal sanctuary in Costa Rica. “It is a sanctuary where animals are not handled by humans so that they can eventually be released back into the wild without becoming familiar with human involvement.”
In a recent yard sale, Irwin raised $694. “We would appreciate any financial help or items that may help us to help others,” says Irwin. For further information on how to help, contact Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org