Dr. Emmanuel Ehiwe, a consultant sonographer and public health practitioner from Birmingham, England talks about his volunteer program in Ethiopia. The interview was published on GoOverseas, find the full interview here.
Dr. Ehiwe served in different NHS Hospitals and currently teaches public health with health and social care courses in higher education colleges and universities in the United Kingdom and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He works as a clinical instructor for reproductive health (maternal and child) ultrasound program for obstetricians and gynecologists.
I was inspired to undertake this program as part of the need to give back and contribute to human development and society. My experience of working and providing care to patients gave me the inspiration to meet obvious gaps in practice and level of medical training among youths who are future leaders of the African continent.
The program organizers provided me the forum to meet with some youths who are members of the indigenous communities in Addis Ababa. They helped with local arrangements of lodging and accommodation, as well as guidance on moving around the city of Addis. The organizers also provided me with the training environment.
One piece of advice I would give to anyone considering this program is to be very open minded and prepare to meet new people. This is because I found the Ethiopian community locals to be friendly and warm towards volunteers and tourists. I would also advise that you make detailed enquiries about the specific roles and duties you would be involved in before you set out for the program.
An average day in the program was filled with one tutoring activity or the other. A typical day involved helping the kids review their school home work and getting involved in one public health advocacy seminar or the other in the evenings. Each workshop focused on teaching the youths life saving skills in emergency situations where there is no doctor. We also worked on learning first aid treatments for common injuries and accidents amongst other things.
I did not really have any fears or negative expectations before setting out for this program. This was because I knew and read from the web that Ethiopia is a peace loving and friendly country, particularly when you stay and work within the capital city of Addis Ababa. I had planned and limited my visit to this part of the country.
I participated in the Thailand Medical Volunteering project in Surin province and was placed at Takook Community Hospital. I had initially intended to stay 2 weeks in this program. Yet, since the first week I was there, I knew instantly that I wanted to stay longer which I did. Felipe from Iko Poran was incredibly helpful in sorting out pre-departure fees and was also available to answer all my questions.
As for the program, I was astonished at how hands-on it was and how incredibly lovely and welcoming the Thailand team was. I got the opportunity to partake in wound-dressing on locals of a rather indigent part of the countryside. The team gave us training in the first week, but by the second, we were given a lot of autonomy for house calls, obviously accompanied by one of the nurses. The people of the village were also incredibly friendly and giving.
Furthermore, we had plenty of time after volunteering hours and on our three-day weekends to discover other parts of Surin as well as the beautiful islands such as Koh Samet, Koh Chang, and many others.
I highly recommend this program to anyone who has not previously had much medical experience or anyone who wishes to extend their current skills to communities that cannot usually access such care. – Valérie Pierre-Louis, from France
I volunteered in a creche with children of 0 to 6 years old in Masiphumelele, a Township in Fish Hoek – Cape Town. Most of the time I worked with children from 5 to 6 years old, who at home would speak a language called Khosa, and at school they learn English. So, the volunteers teach them the shapes, colors, numbers, and among other basic things in English. In addition to literacy we play a lot, give hugs, lap, care, dance and sing. It is very fun and rewarding, a unique experience and difficult to explain with just words. My heart has multiplied!
I lived in a house with more volunteers from all over the world, I met and made many friends. Moreover, the region is beautiful and has many places to visit, adventures and food to try.
My advice is to volunteer de maximum of time you can. Just 1 or 2 weeks is not enough! All the volunteers I met that only went for a short time were sad they didn’t stayed for longer. So what recommend that is the perfect amount of time is staying for 1 month. The time will pass so fast that you will not even notice. I know it’s hard because you think you will miss your family and friends a lot, but you will make so many new friends in your new home, will go to so many adventures that the time will fly! – Camilla Bartholomei Santos, from Brazil
Visit our page with the volunteer project at a daycare in Masiphumelele, Fish Hoek in order to find the full information and sign up!
You may also read about more volunteer programs, like wildlife volunteering in South Africa.
Patricia Oliveira & Rui Falhas Santos have been teaching at school in India. Both volunteer teachers com from Portugal and are giving back & making a difference in Jaipur.
As an assistant teacher, you’ll be teaching English at a Community school in India, situated in the southern part of Jaipur. Since the school is catering to children from an economically weak & marginalized area, quality English teaching with all other required amenities provided are a great advance for the young students.
Our in country partners have supported the school with all the furniture, infrastructure & teaching materials like boards etc. There are around 54 students who are studying in 1st to 5th grades. As a volunteer you will teach the students the necessary things that will help them in developing their interpersonal skills. You will also help the local staff in daily operations of the school. The top-most requirement of the project is to develop the overall personality of the students by encouraging extracurricular activities, art & craft, group discussions, teaching & communication.
Visit the teaching volunteer project in India on our homepage, and sign up!
On our blog, you can find more volunteer projects in India.
Emmanuel enjoyed working on Health Coaching for children and youth in Ethiopa and included first aid techniques as well. Great Job!
I had a great experience volunteering and working with children of the Ethiopian Education Foundation (EEF). It was a grand experience coaching the youths on the basics of health and wellbeing lifestyle initiatives. Everyone involved learnt and practiced basic CPR and resuscitation techniques to save lives in emergency situations where there is no doctor.
The students learned how to handle and respond to various forms of first aid treatments for common accidents. It was also a pleasant experience as various groups explored how to recognize and manage signs of worms, diarrhoea and dehydration in children.
The youths loved it as much as I did as they also helped in showing me around the local places of relaxation at the weekends. Would relish an opportunity to work with the staff and organising team again as they made my experience a fantastic one.
I would recommend Iko Poran and EEF to anyone who would like to consider volunteering in Ethiopia. – Emmanuel
Since there are several different ways of thinking about health and wellbeing, students will get in touch with these different kind of exercises. Finally, they will find out, what is best for them.
Understanding the benefits of having a lifestyle in accordance with their body, mind and soul is crucial for health and wellbeing. Moreover, yoga, meditation and physical exercises help to achieve and maintain physical fitness and mental stability. This is a positive definition of health and wellbeing.