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Nursing students helping at orphanage
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Nursing students at Doctors Hospital from the RN class at Delta College are pictured with their instructor Donna LeBaron, RN, left, at the Med Surge South nurses station. They are from left Jennifer Carranza, Emily Encinas, Syara Marfo, Loretta Bjorge, Manny Kalket, Madhur Raj, James Smith Megan McKemey and Amy Carrillo. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Nursing students at Doctors Hospital are pledging to stay together after graduation for a week to help open an orphanage in a small village in Ghana.

The orphanage is the dream of fellow student Megan McKemey who has already been there several times.

Jennifer Carranza, who has been working in the office at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church on North Street in Manteca, has been something of an organizer and a cheerleader of a Stockton group’s orphanage proposal to support a village of some 75 adults and children.

Both women said now that their children are older they want to do something that will help others and nursing seemed to be the perfect fit for them as well as for the remainder of the nursing class. 

McKemey graduated from the Venture Academy south of Manteca. She has been on missionary trips to Mexico with her pastor father Wayne Webb, who encouraged her to make it happen. She said he urged her to go ahead with her Ghana mission before he died – asking it be named after him on a website. 

Of the 75 residents of the gold and silver mining village known as Aniatinten; translation: “Eyes Closed Early,” there an estimated 50 are children attending an old brick building for a schoolhouse, McKemey said. Because of the present day mining operations the available drinking water looks like ice tea. There was no well and drinking water has to be transported from 22 miles away, she added.

There is only one teacher at the school teaching all grade levels. She receives a meager wage for her service. 

Jennifer Carranza, of Manteca, said she would like to eventually become an emergency room nurse. 

“Now that my three kids are old enough I can do what I feel I need to do,” she said. 

Student nurse Manny Kalket from Lodi said she is becoming a nurse just to help people – the mother of three children. She recalled the care she received from nurses when she gave birth to her children was just one reason she wanted to go into medicine. 

Student nurse Loretta Bjorge of Oakdale reasoned, “I want to make a difference. My mom is a nurse and our family is a whole line of nurses and even my aunt is a nurse.” 

Emily Encinas simply added, “I like people.”

Tuesday morning the nursing students were busy taking vitals under the guidance of hospital staff nurses. They are on the floor at Doctors Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

The other nursing students from the Health Sciences Division of Delta College are Manny Kalket, Madhur Rah, James Smith and Amy Carrillo.