Durham College collaboration sends life-saving medical kits and resources to Ukrainian frontlines

Leveraging state-of-the-art technology in its Rotary Global Classroom, Durham College (DC) is leading the way internationally through its collaboration with the Global Guardian Project – a local grassroots initiative – delivering life-saving supplies, training and resources to active conflict zones in Ukraine.

In partnership with the Global Guardian Project, DC launched a fundraising campaign with the goal of providing as many medical kits as possible for distribution in Ukraine. On September 21, 220 combat tourniquets and 185 individual first aid kits (IFAK) arrived at DC, packing two skids of medical supplies such as wound dressings, medical shears and gloves that could be used to quickly take life-saving action when needed and improve the odds of victim survival.

In May 2022, DC became the first post-secondary institution in Ontario and only the second in Canada to deliver STOP THE BLEED® training, in partnership with Sunnybrook Hospital’s Trauma Emergency Team. According to the American College of Surgeons, 20 per cent of trauma-related deaths worldwide are due to bleeding or its consequences. Following the on-campus event, members of DC’s Campus Emergency Response team, led by experienced STOP THE BLEED® trainer, Thomas Bezruki, manager, Emergency Management and retired military veteran, recorded two first aid sessions in the Rotary Global Classroom, offering detailed instructions on how to provide life-saving training to those in need.

Led by DC professor Lon Appleby and inspired by Rotary’s international efforts to promote peace, fight disease, support education and combat poverty, the Rotary Global Classroom is a leading-edge facility that connects students and thought leaders from around the world in real-time to discuss issues of importance and to collaborate on solutions by sharing knowledge and skills.

In addition to the medical kits, the Global Guardian Project also received a donation of 18 Chromebook tablets. The tablets will be delivered to Kharkiv Children’s Orphanage, where they will be used to access the Free Reading Program, a free, web-based literacy program led by the Rotary Club of Scarborough. Originally launched to support Syrian refugees learning English, the program is now being offered in many countries where educational resources are limited.

“Durham College has a long history of providing integrated support services for students in need, including those impacted by world events and humanitarian efforts,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “As the war in Ukraine continues, the college recognizes the need to lead the way as global citizens and share our resources with our international community members in need.”

On September 25, members of the Global Guardian team departed Canada to deliver the medical kits and tablets. Once delivered, DC plans to offer continued support, training and resources through recorded training sessions and literacy classes hosted in the Rotary Global Classroom.

“The environment for innovation Durham College has forged is only getting stronger,” said Lon Appleby, professor and founder of The Global Class. “We are building the first live, interactive multimedia classroom and the Global Guardian initiative is just the beginning of a long-term goal to deliver access to high-quality education around the world.”

To learn more about the Rotary Global Classroom, visit www.durhamcollege.ca/globalclass.