Last November occupational therapist James Bardy visited two hospitals in Nepal and trained health-care workers on how to recognize the signs of traumatic brain injury and orthopedic injuries.
On Thursday, Bardy, also a painter, will open a show of his works inspired by the trip, in support of NepalAbility, the non-profit organization, with which he travels. He plans to return to Nepal to lead “train the trainer” workshops this fall.
“The idea is that (the Nepalese health-care workers) are not going to be dependent on us in perpetuity for years and years,” said Bardy, who joined the volunteer collective based on its grass-roots, zero-overhead structure.
“The idea is to give the front-line workers the skills, so they can diagnose or treat any of these conditions themselves.”
Bardy will be a part of the 10th team to travel to Nepal in the interest of improving rehabilitation and support training since the University of Toronto-affiliated group of consultants, dieticians, neuropsychologists, nurses, physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists was formed four years ago.
“There’s a lot of fantastic work that’s being done by the Nepalese, by the health-care workers and the hospitals, given the very few resources and money they have,” Bardy said. “We’re there to support them to build their hospitals and programs any way we can.”
Bardy’s paintings are on display until Sept 21 in the main gallery space at the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria in the Arts Centre at Cedar Hill, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd.
“The show features day to day people,” he said. “I’ve seen Nepal profiled in the media in the past and a lot of the coverage has shown the extremes – the earthquakes, the civil war. What I’m hoping this show profiles is the beauty of day to day people.”
The opening reception runs Sept. 6 from 7 to 9 p.m., with admission by donation.
All proceeds support NepalAbility’s on-the-ground initiatives.