Since 2012, NCFI has focused on working with students and young graduates. By God's grace and the efforts of a great team of South Asia and Middle East (SAME) Regional Committee and local nurses in Nepal, the first NCFI Regional Next Generation (NG) Conference was held October 29 to November 1, 2019, at Dhulikhel Village Resort, Nepal.
What a joy to gather 47 nursing students, recent graduates, and nurse educators from Nepal (32), Bangladesh (8), India (5), and Pakistan (2). The conference theme was “Young Nurses: Leading the Future.” The aim was to encourage and equip young nurses to be future nurse leaders and help educators and current leaders to be part of that process. Under the theme from 2 Peter 3:13, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” speakers encouraged attendees and provided tools through Bible study, together with group discussions to help them grow spiritually, emotionally, and professionally.
Jarvas, a student nurse from Bangladesh, summed up his experiences in this way: “My great experience was to open the eyes of my heart and to look at my nursing profession through the mercy of God.”
Students and young nurses led the conference. The opening ceremony was a wonderful time of being welcomed, learning more about “Why Next Generation?” and getting to know each other. Roshani Khatri, President of NCF Nepal, and her team were appreciated by the leaders and participants.
Each day started with worship led by one of the country teams, followed by Bible studies and professional keynote addresses. The themes were “Growing Spiritually,” “Growing Emotionally,” and “Growing Professionally.” In the afternoons, nurses attended workshops such as “Stress Management,” “Pros and Cons of Going Abroad to work,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Finding a Mentor.” In the evenings, cultural activities included fun times of dancing, singing, and games.
Samuel, a young nurse from India, reflected on his experiences: “I was working as an ordinary nurse, but this conference has made it clear to me that we ‘young nurses’ have a great task in the Lord to lead in the future.”
Akash, a student nurse from Pakistan noted, “I learned many things from this conference, but especially about my role as a Christian nurse, and the importance of a mentor in my professional life.”
Toward the end, Sarfraz Masih (Pakistan), Chair of the SAME Region, facilitated a panel discussion on “Career Paths in Nursing.” During the session, young nurses asked many questions. Panelists were experts in nursing with international experience: Tove Giske (Norway), President of NCFI, Amy Rex Smith (USA), and the following members of the SAME Regional Leadership: Mabel Kuruvilla, President of ENFI; Rekha Folia, President of NCF Bangladesh; Shakuntala Thanju, Senior Member of NCF Nepal; and Akash Waryam from NCF in Pakistan.
“I feel like I need to give something for my country as a nurse, as the healthcare system here is so fragile and needs so much development. I feel a burden for my people and nurses and sense that God is calling me.”
The last session of the conference, “Where Do We Go from Here?” was led by the SAME Regional NG Coordinator, Sudha, a nursing student from Nepal. The NG group explored ways to share and keep in touch with each other and how to continue to pray for one another.
Please keep this newly formed leadership team in your prayers. Read the full report from the conference, complete with photos, at https://ncfi.org/ncfi-regions/south-asia-and-middle-east/.
The NG group of the SAME region was formed and includes Sudha, SAME Regional Coordinator, Nepal; Jarvas, student nurse, Bangladesh; Samuel, staff nurse, India; Akash, student nurse, Pakistan; and Mahima, staff nurse, Nepal.