We are almost into the month of “Movember”,
We have a couple of awesome groups of medical students visiting Nepal over the next two months. This is a great opportunity to travel with other young Aussies, stay with a local family and learn about living and working in a foreign country. The host family are hugely welcoming and the host mum is one of the best cooks in Nepal. The medical students spend time at the local hospital to learn about local conditions and resources. Then, they venture out into the local community to volunteer their time and training by teaching reading, health and hygiene skills to school children as well as at the local school and hostel for deaf children. Happy reading and warm regards, Karin and Derek. P.S. Check us out on Facebook too!
Volunteering on our Doorstep – in Paradise
Our newest destination is based in the historic and very beautiful village of Balibo in East Timor. Balibo has a tragic history following the incident with the five Australian journalists reporting on the fight for independence in 1970’s.
Dentists are desperately needed for their dental clinic. A one week visit will be invaluable for the local people while staying in the luxury new hotel built within the fort. After work, there is so much to explore in the area.
More information here or please contact us on: email@example.com
Dentists are also needed in many of the destinations where we are working including Fiji, Cambodia, Nepal and Tanzania.
Why do we volunteer?
Why? One day you wake up and decide to jump on a plane and travel to one of the poorest countries in the world to do volunteer work?
A friend of ours (a surgeon) was flying across the Pacific when the plane was struck by lightning. There was a huge bang and the aircraft reacted as if going through really bad turbulence. The reaction of some of the people was one of shock and horror, some let out a scream while others gripped their armrests until their knuckles went white.
The Captain announced it as turbulence and to please fasten your seat belts – all will be ok…..
As our friend was leaving the aircraft, the Captain was standing by the door nodding to all who made a comment. Our friend whispered to the Captain “we were struck by lightning, weren’t we?” His answer was ‘yes’. Is our friend religious? No. However, he made the decision that he HAD to give something back. An epiphany, maybe?
Within a couple of months, he was off to Burma to join an Eye Clinic mainly doing cataract surgery. The conditions were an ‘eye-opener’ compared to the sterile, luxurious clinic he works in and all the mod-cons he has to play with while treating patients. He was totally out of his comfort zone; however, as the days went by he became more accustomed to his surroundings. He adapted to the daily routine and enjoyed the banter around the dinner table with like-minded people.
So what are the most popular reasons for placing ourselves in a position of discomfort, enduring many challenges with limited resources, foreign languages and difficult conditions?
In no particular order, here is our pick:
- Using your very useful skills to teach the locals about new systems and techniques.
- Your desire to explore outside your comfort zone and see something beyond the usual.
- Not having the support and creature comforts you have at home.
Experience and learn more about another culture. A village or a slice of live that most tourists don’t see.
- Learn another language ( or at least some key words so that you can communicate ). The locals appreciate your attempts to learn their language and relationships become closer.
- Meet other international volunteers, share stories, make new friends
- Work and live with the locals in home stay accommodation. It may sound confronting however it is really good fun. Become a part of a local family; eat, cook and take part in their daily lives.
- To learn new skills (perhaps 101 uses of a rubber glove?). You will be exposed to basic medicine, improvising and learning alternative ways of doing things. Work and life back home will seem ‘easy’ by comparison.
- Enhance your resume, fulfill university requirements or earn CPD points.
- Travel and volunteer in fabulously interesting countries.
- BUT BEST OF ALL – The reward and satisfaction of being able to help other people who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Placements in Sri Lanka
Medical students and electives are ideal at this large, busy teaching hospital in beautiful Sri Lanka. You will have the opportunity to observe and assist in the busy emergency unit and in two surgical areas. Spend time in the operating theatres, participate in ward rounds and learn from the local doctors.
During the afternoons, spend time in the community projects (including orphanages, disabled children’s centre and aged care facilities) to help improve the lives of the local people.