Student Action Volunteer Effort is a small non-profit organization that organizes medical mission trips to help under-served populations in Myanmar since 2012. Students, parents, medical professionals, and volunteers work together to set up clinics in rural areas of Myanmar and provide medical screenings and medication to the people of Myanmar both in their monastic homes and in various orphanages.
Meaningful Work. Unforgettable Experiences.
What We Do
Student Action Volunteer Effort is a small non-profit organization that organizes medical mission trips to help under-served populations in Myanmar. Students, parents, medical professionals, and volunteers work together to set up clinics in rural areas of Myanmar and provide medical screenings and medication to the people of Myanmar.
Video courtesy of Zoie Wong
COVID-19 caused Myanmar to shut down to visitors, but we are planning on returning in
We'd love you experience the joy in helping these amazing people.
Student Action Volunteer Effort (S.A.V.E.) is a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Marna Geisler with the purpose of bringing medical aid to underprivileged countries. In 2005, Dr. Geisler went to Myanmar on a family vacation where she learned about the way the citizens of Myanmar live. Her time there gave her the opportunity to fall in love with Myanmar and its people. However, her trip also made her realize there are so many people left without access to vital and crucial resources. With this enlightening experience in mind, Dr. Geisler went on mission trips to Nicaragua and Sierra Leone to help provide medical aid.
These trips proved to that change was not only possible, but within our grasp. In 2006, Dr. Geisler teamed up with Myanmar Compassion Project (MCP), , who sent her on the medical mission trip that returned Myanmar, the country that started her entire journey. Over the years, her love for and dedication to the country only grew. She began forming her own teams and continued aiding the people of Myanmar until, in 2012, she was able to establish her own organization, Student Action Volunteer Effort. Since its creation, S.A.V.E. has gone on a trip to Myanmar every year, bringing along students, volunteers, and any person who is eager to help.
Today, S.A.V.E. still works closely with MCP as well as utilizing the help of native medical professionals to provide the vital care to people who are otherwise forgotten.
Meet Our Board
S.A.V.E's team consists of volunteers from all walks of life. We have doctors, parents, medical students, college students, and high school students.
DR. Marna Geisler
Dr. Geisler first visited Myanmar on a family vacation in 2005. After seeing the state of the country and the life style of the people there, she knew she had to do something. She reached out to fellow doctors and started Student Action Volunteer Effort (S.A.V.E.) Myanmar with a goal of providing much needed medical care to the people of Myanmar and to invite students interested in the medical fields to help make a difference of those less fortunate. Medical Missions where not new to Dr. Geisler, from1990-2012 she had been on teams in Sierra Leone, Honduras,Nicaragua, Cuba, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka. Dr. Geisler is a board-certified pediatrician and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Nebraska, and earned her medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine. She then completed her pediatric residency at the University of California, Irvine, and currently practices at California Kids Pediatrics, in Los Angeles, California.
Alison is the Outreach/On-Site Coordinator for S.A.V.E. Embarking on her first trip in 2015, she has since then taken an active role in the group’s organizing. Her roles include reaching out to prospective volunteers, donors, and coordinating tasks while on the ground in Myanmar. Through S.A.V.E Alison has made many meaningful connections with local organizers, initiating resources focusing on sustainability and preventative health measures. Alison is deeply inspired by Aunty Ma Mu, a retired Burmese Nurse who is active in her community not only partnering with S.A.V.E for the past six years, but also participating in mobile clinics and aiding in running a handicraft gift shop to raise funds for women raised in orphanages to attend pharmaceutical schooling. Alison is currently attending The Evergreen State College, hoping to pursue a career path bridging her interests in Reproductive Health, Womxn’s Advocacy, and Public Health.
elizabeth Martinez HAHN
Elizabeth is an educator and school administrator with deep passion for social justice and equity. She was born and raised in Mexico City where she learned and experienced the hardships of a developing country while growing up. She now lives in Los Angeles, California and is a parent of two young adults who are Dr. Geisler’s patients since they were babies. While bringing her children to doctor’s visits, she learned about Dr. Geisler’s medical missions and started to join the trips to Myanmar in 2016 as a volunteer. Elizabeth is now a board member at S.A.V.E. serving as a treasurer and administrator. She also recruits volunteers, collects supplies, donations, and runs fundraisers for S.A.V.E. Elizabeth is very passionate about helping people in need and her favorite activity while traveling is connecting with the S.A.V.E. team members who speak other languages. She enjoys traveling and seeing the positive transformation of the student volunteers once they travel with S.A.V.E. Therefore, she has encouraged her own children to join Dr. Geisler’s medical missions. Elizabeth is inspired by the hard work of teachers and monks in the monasteries they visit during the medical missions in Myanmar. She truly believes that we all can have a better planet if we contribute to humanitarian causes no matter how and where.
Amy is the secretary on the S.A.V.E board. She attended her first trip as a volunteer in 2016 when she was fourteen and has since become involved in planning trips, facilitating board meetings and helping things run smoothly in our clinics. Amy loves getting to know our patients, doctors and volunteers and learning about making small change through human connection. She currently attends Pitzer College and is exploring a career path in the social sciences.
Jessica is a student representative for S.A.V.E. and attended her first trip in 2018 as a junior at Palisades Charter High School. She learned about the trip through a family friend and began shadowing Dr. Geisler where she started helping to coordinate the volunteer effort. She works to send out emails, coordinate plane tickets, organize finances, and pack/collect supplies. Jessica’s favorite part about traveling to Myanmar is experiencing something completely unique, and interacting with the kids and teens within the monasteries. Jessica is now studying Chemistry at University of California Santa Barbara. Largely because of her experiences in Myanmar, she’s planning on eventually starting a career that is health/policy focussed.
Franklyn is one of the Student Representatives for S.A.V.E. She joined S.A.V.E. in 2018 after learning about the program from Dr. Geisler. Her first trip was in December of 2018 at the age fifteen. Since then, she has revamped the pharmacy system and has been managing S.A.V.E.’s social media. Franklyn’s favorite part of the trips are the hands on medical experience, playing with the kids, and learning from the volunteer doctors. Franklyn is on the pre-med track at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Health Services specializing in Community Health Assessment. She is hoping to end up working with kids as a pediatric anesthesiologist or in emergency medicine.
S.A.V.E. is a 510(c)(3) nonprofit, operated completely by volunteers, and all donations go directly to our organization. Every donation will help us expand our reach to more patients and volunteers every year. All of board members, volunteers and doctors contribute there time and own donations and receive no salary, stipen or payment.
Your donations provide assistance with
The People Of Myanmar
Our Volunteers & Doctors
Transporation In Myanmar
We always appreciate the generosity and involvement of people like you. We will provide you with the correct and appropriate information pertaining to your mode of support, so don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions.
The S.A.V.E. Board
If you're interested in joining us on one an upcoming trip, have questions, or would just like to learn more about what we do, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you and have you on our team!