Volunteering Experience Feedback 2015
In July 2015, I enrolled in a volunteering trip to Nepal. The program that I signed up for was the medical volunteering program as I am a student currently studying physiology at McGill University.
Whilst I was nervous due to the earthquakes that preceded my trip, I was mentally motivated, determined to help make a change. The program set up by VolunteeringSolutions allowed me just that. I arrived and was picked up by the designated driver on time and was shown around the city on my way to the residence. I stayed with Miss Uma, who felt like a mother to me by the end of my experience. Her children, both adopted and not, felt like siblings and the hospitality was unforgettable. Daily her food made us feel like we were local residents of the community, and the humble accommodation showed us what life was truly like. Miss Uma was also extremely understanding of each individual’s background and facilitated the processes of travelling throughout the country. She also assisted in establishing relations with the appropriate volunteering programs by dropping us there, introducing us to the appropriate people and setting up a proper plan for our stay.
The hospital that I volunteered at was Shahid Memorial Hospital. The walk to and fro the hospital was 25 minutes and provided me with time to take in my surroundings and prepare myself for the day. Once at the hospital, my duties varied. I had a schedule which changed between departments throughout the hospital ranging from the emergency room, the ICU, the general ward and the operating room. The tasks assigned were appropriate to my skill level; as I am still studying the profession and have not been exposed to appropriate hands on activity, the program allowed me to learn practical skills such as taking vitals and patient interaction as well as theoretical understanding by access to medical professionals. The most engaging and interesting experience throughout my time at the hospital was working with Dr. Deepak in the operating theater, he allowed us to assist on surgeries in ways that were appropriate for us, taught us how to scrub in and explained to us his procedure.
Furthermore, the city of Kathmandu was beautiful, there is so much to do in and around Kathmandu that allowed me to engage with the city and make me want to stay. There are cultural excursions to temples such as the ‘Monkey Temple’ and ‘Pashupatinath’, there is night life in the Thamel area which is always buzzing with life, there is beautiful nature and forestry surrounding the city and I truly felt connected to the people by interacting with them. The freedom in the program allows one to travel throughout the country, explore particular interests yet the schedule allows one to make a positive change.
I felt appropriately equipped as the handbook that was provided before the trip had prepped me well for the trip. However, the one suggestion that I had was keeping some more money than recommended as there are costs such as eating out, travelling around the country, activities and transport.
I strongly believe that the program that I was enrolled in taught me the practicalities of the medical industry in a developing nation, and throughout the facilitation of our host parent, I was able to interact with local orphanages, and specially-abled individuals’ homes to help in as many ways as I could.
A beautiful product came out of the experience; friendships with people that I had never met before. In one room, we sat and had dinner representing over 10 nations who all got along and connected through a common goal of making a change and learning something new. I can positively say that I did just that and I had a lot of fun along the way!
I am definite on returning to VolunteeringSolutions to try and volunteer more and explore more of the programs available as I believe that I have developed as an individual and learnt to have a more positive impact on the global community.
Thank you VolunteeringSolutions,