The medical volunteers work at medical projects mainly in the mornings. These include clinic work, home based care, hospice care, and health education talks. Volunteers will learn how to provide care and how each of the projects works at the medical orientation session.
All volunteers (medical, sports, and teaching) mix together for the afternoon projects. These include art club, reading club, building, painting, farming, working at the old people's home, YCTC, after school club, adult literacy club, sports, and Holy Cross futball.
Health Talks - Heath talks are given weekly on a variety of topics that include hygiene, nutrition, infant care, HIV, infectious diseases, etc. The talks typically take place at clinics, but it is also possible to give talks at the local university or at the old people's home. Volunteers are expected to prepare posters for these talks, and there is plenty of old reference material in the house to learn from. The talks will be in English, but also translated by one of the medical program coordinators. Volunteers should expect to give health talks for either one morning per week, one morning per two weeks, or for a longer week-long session that takes place in the afternoons.
Clinics - There are a variety of different clinics that African Impact volunteers are sent to on a daily basis. Typically 2-3 volunteers will go to a clinic together (you will never be on your own unless you have had ample clinic experience). Volunteers spend approximately 2-3 mornings per 5-day week at a clinic. Duties at the clinics include:
Home Based Care (HBC)- There are about 5-7 different communities that African Impact volunteers visit three days per week for home based care. Typically 2 volunteers will be matched with a "caregiver" (a member of the community who translates, finds patients, and keeps records) who will walk with you to patient's houses. Volunteers spend approximately 1-2 mornings per 5-day week doing HBC. Duties include:
Hospice - Hospice responsibilities are quite variable depending on your previous medical experience, the staff working that day, and the things that need to get done. Volunteers should expect to go to the hospice about once every two weeks. It is helpful for volunteers to express desire to do certain tasks at the hospice (as long as they are capable), because sometimes the nurses aren't sure what jobs you should be doing. Nevertheless, some of the things you can expect to do include:
Old People's Home - When elderly people in Livingstone cannot take care of themselves and have no family, they are often moved to the Maramba Old People's home. These people generally have poor hygene and many health problems. African Impact volunteers are sent to the old peoples home for "check-ups", where they will be responsible for taking vitals and giving health/hygene advice to the people who live there. Volunteers should expect to go to the old people's home once every two weeks.
Art Club - Volunteers will prepare for art club by designing a project using materials found in the resource room. Typically the material choices include old cereal boxes, milk cartons, plastic bottles, paper, cardboard, and string. There are also plenty of markers, scissors, and glue, making the possibilities for art projects essentially endless. 2-3 volunteers will be sent to a classroom of usually about 20-40 kids where they will help the students make art! There are some cute photos of art club in the slideshow above.
Reading Club - Volunteers will be responsible for collecting books from the resource room of the house. Books are organized according to skill level, and most students know which skill level (color) they are. 2-3 volunteers will be sent to a classroom of usually 20-40 kids where they will read with the children. Often times the children want to play games like hangman, which is also perfectly acceptable.
After school - This is basically a free-for-all, with children of all ages running around, playing games, and ripping your hair out. Many volunteers find this to be the most fun and fulfilling afternoon program! 2-5 volunteers usually bring a plethora of old games, toys, and sports equipment... and the kids go nuts! Expect to play lots of local games like "chi tomato" and "do like I do".
YCTC - This is essentially the same idea as after school, but the children are the exact opposite. Volunteers will bring newer games, puzzles, coloring books and sports equipment to YCTC where children of all ages come to play. These children are often very calm, quiet, and shy. Expect to approach many coy children and ask them to play games with you.
Sports - In Zambia, "sports" basically means futball. 2-3 volunteers will go to one of the local schools where children from all over will gather for a game of futball. Volunteers are free to join in the game or referee!
Holy Cross Futball - This is a more intense version of "sports", where older kids on a futball team come to practice with their coach. The practices are organized and the kids don't need a large amount of direction. Volunteers are responsible for helping as needed with refereeing, etc.
Farming - There are two local farms that volunteers are sent to on a daily basis. The farms are community run and most of the food from the farms is given to members of the community who cannot afford food, or sold for the same purpose. Volunteers should wear clothes that they do not mind getting dirty, and shoes that they should expect to get wet. Some of the duties at the farm include:
Building/Painting - Many of the clinics and schools in Zambia are run-down and could really use some fix-'er-up! African Impact makes it a point to help renovate old buildings by painting them, or sending volunteers to aid in the building of new schools/clinics when there have been funds donated to the community. Therefore, volunteers should expect their duties to be just that! Building and painting!