Phelophepa Train Project

Vision Sciences students have the opportunity to travel to South Africa to volunteer on Phelophepa, the custom-built ‘train of hope’ that delivers healthcare to remote areas of the country.

Opportunity to develop the following Common Good Attributes
Active and global citizenship
What’s involved?
The Phelophepa train project involves students volunteering to work on a healthcare train in South Africa for two weeks during the summer. Optometry and Orthoptic students from the School of Health and Life Sciences join a team of full-time professionals on the train’s eye clinics. During their placement, students provide eyecare under supervision to a large number of patients in rural areas of South Africa.
How will participating in this activity/opportunity allow students to make a positive difference to the communities that we serve?
The Phelophepa train project aims to provide accessible primary healthcare to hundreds of thousands of people living in rural poverty across South Africa. Student volunteers help provide access to eyecare for patients who would otherwise have limited opportunity to access it. This transforms the life of communities as good levels of vision are very important in improving quality of life.
What are the benefits of taking part in this activity/opportunity for participating students?
Student volunteers improve their clinical skills and knowledge, and enhance their practice through experience of working with diverse communities. They experience patients with various eye conditions that are less common in the UK, and improve their communication skills and ability to examine patients who speak a different language.
Which School or department delivers/ supports this activity?
School of Health and Life Sciences
Which students can participate in this activity?
3rd year Optometry and Orthotics students, MSc COVR students. Students’ applications are coordinated by staff in Life Sciences.
Name: Niall Strang
Role: Professor
Department/School: Life Sciences
Telephone: 0141 331 8206