Winnie Barron first traveled to Africa in 1994 to volunteer with a medical mission team during the genocide of Rwanda. She became enthralled with the rhythm of the land and captivated by the people and culture, and the children in particular stole her heart. In 1997 she returned to Africa to volunteer in a rural hospital in Kenya, and saw many children in desperate need of help. A local Kenyan woman shared with her a vision and dream to create a refuge for these kids, and they joined together with many Kenyans and Americans to found Makindu Children’s Centre in August of 1998. Working in Kenya as the centre’s local director for many years solidified her respect and admiration for the people of Makindu, and she continues her participation with them now as a stateside board member.
Trained as a physician’s assistant from Duke University Medical, she treats patients in both a family practice clinic as well as an emergency facility in Oregon. She also maintains her paramedic certification, and volunteers on a local fire department as a fire fighter/paramedic. She holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from Duke University, a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College, and hopes to start a MPH program in Global Health in 2008.