University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing students headed to Malawi Jan. 6 are hoping to bring along some extra baggage to help people in one of the poorest areas of the world. The College of Nursing is asking for donations to help pay the fees for 25 students to take one extra bag filled with clothing, shoes and other supplies. This is the third year nursing faculty and students have spent UWM’s winter session, UWinteriM, visiting clinics, orphanages and hospitals in southern Malawi. Like most of sub-Saharan Africa, Malawi’s economy and family structures have been devastated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, leaving many children orphaned and single parents the sole support of rural families. Each year, the students bring along as many useful supplies as they can gather, stuffed into their luggage. This year, students, staff and faculty have gathered more donated items than they can bring in their own carry-on luggage, so they are trying to raise the money needed to pay extra baggage fees. A donation of $50 covers the cost of one extra bag per student, and the group is hoping to raise $1,250 so every student can bring an extra bag, according to Anne Banda, director of the college’s Center for Cultural Diversity and Global Health. Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu, who grew up in Malawi and does research on health issues there, is the lead faculty member on the trip. Banda and Patricia Stevens, professor of nursing and HIV/AIDS researcher, will accompany her and the students. UWM’s Office of Development has set up a separate fund to support the College of Nursing’s work in Malawi. Donations can be made in a variety of ways: UWM Gives to UWM payroll deductions, check, cash, and via credit card using the UWM Foundation’s online giving form at: http://www4.uwm.edu/give_to_uwm/makegift/online_giving.cfm. To designate your gift to this fund, go to the Gift Designation drop-down box and select Nursing. Then, in the Additional Designation Instructions field, type UWM Nursing Malawi Fund, #3838. Since the students fly out of Milwaukee Jan. 6, donations should be sent in by the end of the day Jan. 4. Any donations received above the amount needed for this year’s work in Malawi will be put toward the UWinteriM 2012 Malawi experience. For questions or more information, contact Clearwater at [email protected], 414-229-5617.