Participant: Jana Ondrejková
Dates: 14 September – 14 December 2015
Venue: Volta region, Ghana
Hosting organisation: OSDA (www.osdaworld.org)
EYCB completely self-funded this volunteer project and we convered: a return flight, health insurance, visa, compulsory vaccination, accommodation, food and monthly allowance
Dissemination of project’s results: In cooperation with Břeclav Town Library EYCB organised a disscussion with volunteer Jana Ondrejková. You can find more info about it here.
Volunteer’s job description:
Voluntary Health Worker (Volta Region of Ghana)
- Volunteer health work in Ghana would not only help in developing a career, but also increases prospective healthcare worker’s sense of compassion, self-worth and skills.
- Volunteers/Interns will work with local clinics by assisting the staff with minor procedures and also provide valuable educative information such as safe motherhood, healthy eating and nutrition or consult with individuals and groups.
Assist in coordinating community meetings, trainings in the target communities and work with trained nurses to give additional support as needed in the target communities.
Thanks to the cooperation of aforementioned organizations – EYCB and OSDA I was sent to Ghana to fill the position of a voluntary health worker in the name of a project “We volunteer with fun”. I spent in Ghana almost three months and it was a truly life changing experience. During the first week in Ghana the members of OSDA organised so called “Orientation week”, when I was introduced to the Ghanaian culture and traditions, I learnt the basics of language ewe, which is used next to English in Volta region. After that I was moved from the capital Accra to Agbesia in Volta region, where I met the other volunteers working for OSDA. Most of them are volunteering in the local schools. They help teachers to keep discipline in the classes and assist them with teaching subjects like English, ICT and Art.
Regarding my position I worked at Have Health Centre, the OPD (out – patient department). My duties involved dispensing prescribed medicines and informing patients about the proper use of the medicines. I assisted medical staff with administrative tasks such as filling the health insurance forms, sorting patient medication forms, record keeping etc. As a pharmacist I was responsible for checking and storing medicines. I also participated in the weekly weighing and vaccination of children in the maternity unit of the clinic. My normal working day started at 9 am and finished at 4 pm from Monday to Friday.
My work at the clinic was very interesting, I was occupied most of the time. Medical staff at Have Health Centre was very busy thus I believe that the extra help was really needed. Normally there was only one dispenser present and he was too busy with administrative tasks. With my help he could focus more on different tasks while I was taking care of patients. What I liked about my position is that I could do the work I understand and I was able to interact with the patients. At the beginning people were a little shy but eventually they got used to my presence and I became a part of the community.
Apart from the work experience I was able to discover African way of living aka “African culture”. It is impossible to mention everything but the most importantly the Ghanaians are very kind and friendly and I have never felt threatened or unwelcome. It is not difficult to get in touch with the local people, they are always willing to spark the conversation. I was able to socialize quite quickly thanks to the help of the people from OSDA who introduced me to villagers. I made friends among local people and I was often invited to their houses for chat or for dinner. After three months I felt that village people and people from OSDA became my second family.
Finally I want to thank both organizations for giving me this opportunity. I hope that I represented them well and as a first volunteer sent by EYCB to Ghana I would like to encourage future participants and partners to support this project. Even a small help means a lot for the community and even one volunteer can make the difference. I believe that people from both organizations do a great job and they deserve a recognition.