Global Volunteers’ community service in the areas of children’s and families’ physical and mental health centers around education, disease prevention and hands-on care. We work to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3, which seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life. Our work worldwide begins with pregnant mothers and extends through adulthood. Students as well as working and retired professionals can be instrumental at various stages of our community partners’ health and wellness projects.
Health care professionals and students from all disciplines are needed to share their expertise in Peru, Tanzania and Texas. You can change the arc of a child’s life in just one or two weeks through patient care, health screenings, checkups, and health and wellness instruction. Translation is provided by our staff or bilingual students. Every health professional abroad makes a genuine and lasting difference on health care projects in clinics and in home visits throughout the communities.
Global Volunteers’ healthcare work assignments include:
- Providing direct heath care assistance, including mental, physical and dental therapies
- Teaching health, nutrition, disease prevention and stress reduction workshops
- Assisting caregivers in home visits and at educational presentations
- Supporting mothers and pregnant women at home through staff caregiver visits
- Demonstrating proper handwashing and dental care in schools
- Caring for expectant mothers at Global Volunteers’ pre/post delivery residence
- Distributing bed nets to families
- Installing safe, low-smoke stoves, chicken coops, container gardens and hand-washing stations
- Nurturing babies and toddlers at children’s homes, childcare centers and hospitals
You can work alongside local caregivers, healthcare professionals, families, teachers and community leaders at the front line of local medical care to promote better health, nutritious food and disease prevention. The scope of your volunteer work depends on the current need in the partner community and your specific interests, experience and qualifications. Our experienced Volunteer Coordinators will help you select a program.
Food, Diet and Nutrition Projects
Good health starts with nutritious food – in the mother’s womb and throughout life. It seems simple, but many populations around the world don’t have easy access to enough nutritious food. Understanding the importance of nutrition is fundamental to any program supporting children’s and families’ health. The World Food Programme (WFP) reports “the right nutrition at the right time can change lives and break the cycle of poverty.” In some communities, meager meals are supplemented by packets of micro-nutrients or fortified porridge. Global Volunteers works with local leaders to help ensure that the populations we serve have access to healthy meals and basic nutrition education.
In Tanzania and Peru, you can share your professional knowledge in diet and nutrition with parents, teachers and school cooks. Teach workshops on healthy eating habits, hygienic food preparation, efficient cooking methods, and diversity in meal planning. The basics of all these topics can be understood by and taught to youth and adults alike. Lessons are offered in schoolroom classes and parent workshops in group settings where you can teach what you know.
In partnership with Rise Against Hunger, Global Volunteers team members help distribute fortified meals to families participating in the Tanzania Reaching Children’s Potential Program (RCP). Families’ health and nutrition are monitored by RCP caregivers, who engage volunteer health care professionals in their daily home visits in the five villages of the Ukwega Ward.
In both Peru and Tanzania, you can help plant and maintain EarthBox container gardens, and teach these skills to families. If you have specialized skills in raising poultry, maintaining chicken coops and employing low-smoke, fuel-efficient stoves, you can contribute to on-going lessons in these areas.
Direct Care and Wellness Projects
Global Volunteers’ community partners rely largely on rural health and wellness facilities. In the most impoverished communities where we work, families may access local dispensaries and traditional healers for care. Under the direction of community leaders, we provide assistance in the areas of greatest need with the most modern facilities available. We focus much of our healthcare development work on children in the first 1,000 days of life – starting in early pregnancy and extending through the first 24 months of infancy – because this is when babies’ brains are developing. Many interventions are initiated with the goal of ending childhood stunting.
In Tanzania, you can provide primary patient care, physical therapy, mental health screenings and counseling, blood pressure checks, and dental and eye exams at Global Volunteers’ modern Ipalamwa General Clinic (IGC). In home visits and workshops, you can counsel pregnant women and their partners to help ensure thriving pregnancies, healthy deliveries and successful breastfeeding. Teach basic health care using the text, “Where There is No Doctor,” provide first-aid instruction and HIV AIDS & STD education.
In Peru, non-invasive assignments include pre- and post-natal counseling, pediatric care, psycho-social interventions, maternal heath and nutrition, breastfeeding support, physical therapy, diabetes screening and education, dental hygiene, proper hand-washing, first-aid training, disease prevention, eye exams, and blood pressure checks at a clinic and home visits.
In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, dentists, and advanced students in these disciplines can be extremely helpful at the local clinic serving area families living in conditions of severe poverty. Assignments may include blood pressure checks, diabetes screenings, well-baby checks, mental health interventions and related services.
“My long-term commitment to Global Volunteers is largely due to the fact that they keep their eye on the ball, and work with the communities they serve, not for them. They make every effort to leave a helpful, lasting footprint when they are not present, as well as to develop a sustainable, ongoing program.”Dr. Bud Weiner, 4-time Global Volunteer
Health and Wellness Projects for Group Volunteering
Global Volunteers’ Partnerships and Group Coordination department will work with you to customize volunteer opportunities for students and professionals looking to serve together as a group. Your role balances upon three critical touchpoints – clear group service goals, guidance from our community partners and team leaders, and expert program management by development experts.
College and university groups apply their academic training to projects that help parents and local organizations deliver mental and physical wellness services to children and their families. Community project leaders draw on every undergraduate and graduate students’ discipline to advance community healthcare goals.
In just one to three weeks, you obtain “real life” understanding working directly with youth and families on our long-standing service programs. We’ve got you covered!