Health education is a tool that has the potential to impact massively on the lives of the ordinary Cambodian people. There are several projects available where you can help and, depending on your experience and qualifications, you may also be asked to volunteer and help at Doctors health outposts.
Jointly with the provincial public health department, volunteers on this program have worked in some of Cambodia’s remote locations to deliver health care and to assist in medical outposts and centers.
Education is not the only tool either as there are follow-up projects available where volunteers can travel the country to at need villages and communities to replenish medical aid kits and offer advice and guidance.
This projects is suited perfectly to motivated, educated individuals with backgrounds in medicine. Qualified nurses, doctors and medical students are all more than welcome to apply for this posting. The role allocated to you will depend on your level of experience, as well as on the professional judgment of the local doctors and directors that oversee the program.
The are you will be working in form some of the poorest in Cambodia. Malaria is a serious concern in these regions, and so personal vaccination is an absolute must. The Medical Outreach Project in Samraong runs from Monday to Friday, although the last Thursday of the month, as well as weekends, are days off.
Week 1 Introduction week to Cambodia.
This action-packed week will get you sightseeing, learning about local Buddhism, interacting with the people and culture of Cambodia and more! Explore the lively Siem Reap, a backpacker’s hotspot in the North of Cambodia with lots to do, a world famous temple close by and a vibrant night life. Then, dive into the untouched Samraong in the quaint Cambodian countryside. This is your chance to experience Cambodia from a local perspective while you see and feel how most of the population live.
Week 2 – onwards
The Medical Outreach Project in Oddar Meanchey offers a range of diverse activities. You will work with your project coordinator to develop lessons for students, and you will help to build medical networks with local school principals. Prior knowledge of lesson planning is helpful, but not essential. Your lesson plans should be designed to include and cover the following areas: basic health care, personal hygiene, dental hygiene. Throughout your stay you will also be allowed time where you can introduce elements of your own health care knowledge.
Elaborating on basic healthcare concepts is an important part of this program, so ensure that you come prepared to teach class and answer questions. Good communication equals good education. As well as developing lesson plans, you will also teach alongside other doctors and volunteers – not only does this project allow you to help and teach others, but you are also sure to be introduced to methods and techniques that you will not have encountered previously.
The standard schedule for the Medical Outreach Project in Oddar Meanchey has you working Monday to Friday, with the last Thursday of the month off. It is worth remembering though, that changes can sometimes be made, and a full-time project coordinator is on hand and willing to coopoerate with you to maintain as flexible a timetable as possible.
Your schedule will be made up of various activities and you will be matched to the areas of roles that you best suit as much as possible. If you posses certain skills or knowledge that would be particularly useful in a specific region then this will be taken into account too.
Your schedule and daily tasks can differ drastically from week to week during the course of this program as many areas are differently equipped. Adapting to the situation and resources available is a necessity if you are educating in Cambodia.
During your time in this project you will closely with the coordinator and with the principal of the school that you are assigned to. You will develop classes and plans to discuss methods of dealing with the different situations that the local area is likely to have to deal with. On top of this, there will be a range of other volunteering options related to events that cannot be foreseen.
Throughout the program, your medical knowledge will be tested; you will interact with people who have learnt their own skills in many different ways and, as mentioned, this is likely to push your own understanding of medicine forward too. It is up to you to communicate in a way that your audience and pupils understand, and it is important that you are able to justify the choices you make during the course of your program.
Your role within the program will be dependent on your rapport with the local coordinators, as well as on the trust that exists between you, them and the other volunteers.
A high level of professionalism is recommended for internal work, and a calm and informal approach is better for dealing with students. For those who are dedicated to the program, this is likely to be a rewarding and highly engaging opportunity. You can undertake your daily schedule safe in the knowledge that you are making a real difference to the lives of those people that you are working with and treating.