Wasted human potential creates a cycle of poverty.
We believe that breaking that cycle through health care and education is the key to ending poverty.
To holistically support Nicaraguan medical and nursing students throughout their studies and professional careers.
Through educational and financial support, we envision a day when every Nicaraguan will have access to sustainable, locally-driven, quality health care.
Acknowledging our ignorance and being open to criticism allows us to best serve our students and learn from our mistakes.
Local communities should guide their own development, and we encourage this through individual empowerment, regional partnerships, and by sharing tools that can help communities drive sustainable change.
The top priority of our Canadian volunteers, donors, and stakeholders is to stand in solidarity with our Nicaraguan doctors and students.
We think long-term by advocating and investing in the future of Nicaraguan doctors so they may give back to their own communities.
The best programs and strategic directions cannot be developed without a solid foundation in evidence-based research and existing knowledge.
Empowering local leaders is the fastest and most effective way to create healthier communities.
Every person has a fundamental right to accessible health care and education, regardless of gender, race, age, or wealth. Championing these rights is a necessity of our Vision.
In order to deliver on our objectives, we must be a strong, unified, and democratic team that enjoys the journey, and takes the time to celebrate successes.
Want some more info about who we are and what we do?
Check out our official government and CRA documents below:
Dr. Andrew Wilson
Andrew is the Founder of Doctors for Doctors & Nurses for Nurses and manages the strategic direction of the project as he is passionate about Global Health.
Andrew brings to the team his diverse experience in international development and knowledge as a healthcare professional. He graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 2014 and then worked in Africa in both Tanzania to manage the construction of a healthcare clinic and Botswana working with World Spine Care as a chiropractor in their local health clinic.
Director of Strategic Operations
Gabrielle joined Doctors for Doctors in 2018 as an International Development Intern. Since then, she has supported the organization in Fundraising, Candian Operations, and Program Development. Gabrielle joined the Board of Directors in 2021 and remains dedicated to DFD's mission, supporting rural healthcare and advocating for student leaders.
Gabrielle is currently a Master of Global Affairs student at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. She graduated from Queen's University with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Development Studies and a minor in Life Sciences.
Director of Operations
Michael oversees the day-to-day operations of the project as well as the overall fundraising plans.
Michael is mixed-Indigenous from Winnipeg and holds a Masters of Teaching (MT) from the University of Toronto and a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of British Columbia. He is a generalist by training and experience, having worked in policy, politics, science, tourism and education. Mike joined the project in 2014 and is always excited to put his energy into changing the world, by fundraising for one medical student at a time.
Ahmad Israwi, PhD(c)
Director of Research
Ahmad is Director of Research and leads partnerships with Nicaraguan Universities. As an undergraduate student, he helped found the UTSC student club chapter and continues to engage students all across Toronto.
Ahmad has been with the organization since 2015, and has served as a director since 2017. He is passionate about international development and is a strong advocate for rural access to quality healthcare. He is also a published researcher, and is currently a PhD candidate in Neuroscience in the department of Cell & Systems Biology at the University of Toronto.
Director of Communications
Marcelline is a senior government and stakeholder relations practitioner with progressive leadership experience designing and delivering communications strategies for high profile organizations.
Marce comes to DFD/NFN from the Ontario public and international private sectors, specializing in economic development initiatives. She enjoys working with diverse stakeholders on complex issues to help clients position themselves positively to advance their goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Founder of the Organization, Andrew Wilson, was travelling to Nicaragua to volunteer in local health clinics. While there he spoke to a young girl named Maria who wanted to go to Medical School but her family could not afford it.
Andrew came back to Canada and was determined to find an organization that could help this young girl go to school; however, he couldn't find anyone to help, and the government of Nicaragua does not offer student loans.
It was then that Andrew connected the dots. He knew that Nicaragua is the poorest country in the Americas and has some of the highest rates of chronic and curable diseases and the best way he could help would be to support local students.
Then Doctors for Doctors came into existence.
When will you work in other countries?
DFD has no plans to expand into other countries. As one of our favourite expressions goes: We are not just another international development organization.
We are Life-Long, Local and Life-Saving.
We understand that in order to have the best programs, we must have strong relationships that are set in local contexts. Moving our program to another country (and thereby changing the political and cultural context) will not guarantee our success.
There is enough work for us in Nicaragua.
If you are an individual that would like to start a similar project in your own country of interest, we are more than happy to support you so please reach out.
Do you have an Annual Report?
Yes we do!
Click the Icon to the left to see our most recent Annual Report.
What's your overhead and how much do your staff get paid?
100% of all individual donations go straight to our Nicaraguan programs and students.
Doctors for Doctors & Nurses for Nurses operates in Canada with a fully volunteer team of dedicated volunteers. We understand that operating strictly on volunteers in Canada will be unsustainable in the long term, but currently our dedicated team are able to support our programs and students.
How can I go to Nicaragua to help?
First, thank you for your support and desire to make the world a better place.
Second, unless you have specific skills (professional designation, Spanish speaking, contacts in Nicaragua, etc.), you could do more harm than good by travelling to a new country trying to do good. We struggle at DFD because we so often have excited individuals approach us who wish to help by going to Nicaragua - where these individuals would do the most good by helping us raise awareness of these issues in Canada, or reaching out to 10 friends to help support a student. Please contact us if you wish to help, and please keep an open mind about what helping might look like.
I want to know more about the culture of DFD
Click on the icon to the right to see more pictures and learn about the history of DFD with our Volunteer Orientation Package