Published on 2 December 2019
A junior doctor at the William Harvey Hospital is helping people at home and across the world after setting up a healthcare charity.
Rathaven Gunaratnarajah founded The Little Things in 2013 after an eye-opening experience volunteering at a hospital in Tanzania.
He was shocked at what he described as ‘needless suffering’ and decided to raise money to support the hospital.
The charity has now raised more than £250,000 for projects across the world, mostly raised by teams of student volunteers at more than 25 universities nationwide.
Rathaven, who completed his medical degree at the University of Manchester after studying biomedical sciences at the University of Kent, said: “The Little Things relies on voluntary effort and I am constantly overwhelmed by the kindness and enthusiasm of our supporters.”
After funding an eye clinic for St Elizabeth Hospital in Tanzania for their first healthcare project, the 26 year old’s charity has equipped a premature baby clinic in Sri Lanka, provided medical equipment for two other hospitals in the country’s northern province, and funded specialist cardiology and gastroenterology equipment for a hospital in rural Nepal.
Rathaven said: “Fortunately, I have always been on the ground documenting the completion of each of our healthcare projects.
“Seeing everything come together, all of the team’s hard work materialise and improve healthcare for the local population is an incredibly rewarding feeling.”
The latest project aims to raise £80,000 to renovate and develop a pioneering paediatric centre in northern Uganda.
The Little Things will be rebuilding the children’s unit, installing piped oxygen, and providing medical equipment such as incubators, phototherapy units, nebulisers, and vital signs monitors. The charity is aiming to complete this project by March 2020.
The Little Things combines Rathaven’s passion for travel and adventure with his skills as a medic and his desire to help people – and he was recognised by former Prime Minister Theresa May as one of the UK’s Points of Light in 2017.
For more information about The Little Things Charity, visit www.thelittlethings.org.uk
To support the charity with a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/thelittlethings