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Mario Brûlé (foreground and sitting) and Johanne Toupin (standing behind Mario) in May 2005 while on a internship-mission in Diakhao (Senegal).

Mario Brûlé (foreground and sitting) and Johanne Toupin (standing behind Mario) in May 2005 while on an internship-mission in Diakhao (Senegal).

It was in 2002, in Nunavik, that Johanne Toupin and Mr. Mario Brûlé (both teachers at the time at André-Laurendeau College) converged their passions into a common project: encouraging nursing practice in an expanded role and creating an international clinical nursing internship. A few months later, the first group of nurses: students at the College level, left for a humanitarian internship in the Senegalese bush. Cohorts followed cohorts and quickly found that fundraising was difficult without the support of a charitable organization recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency.

In 2005, to compensate for this and to facilitate student funding, Mario Brûlé, Johanne Toupin, Robert Morin, Francine Hammond and Marc Simard founded Nurses Without Borders (NWB). Without delay, other educational institutions became interested in clinical internships in Senegal and NWB’s expertise in their implementation.

Since 2005, NWB distinguished itself at the provincial and international levels by its legal recognition, its moral charter, its commitments, its general regulations and its committed, stable and multidisciplinary board of directors as well as by its financial credibility thanks to the financial statements audited by the firm Porter-Hétu International Inc. which meets the highest standards in Canadian accounting.

Since its creation, NWB has accumulated over 1,000 members, is an official member of the Association Québécoise des Organismes de Coopération Internationale (AQOCI), shares collaboration agreements with various organizations and institutions in Senegal, Benin, Cameroon, Guatemala and Peru, annually supports about ten projects, some of which are recurring and receives regular support from major donors.

In Senegal, NWB is proud to work closely with its national coordinator, Malick Faye, and to fund the full training of state nurses and midwives selected mainly through the evaluation of the precariousness of their family’s situation. Finally, in keeping with its primary mission, NWB is committed to the accomplishment of a sustainable project that includes two stages: erecting the Maison Alice-Brûlé Pomerantz for humanitarian volunteers and then the Clinique-École, which will provide front-line health care to the local population.