volunteering in 3rd world country

  1. I'm looking into voulunteering in Nepal. Has anyone else voulunteered in any underdeveloped countries? What were your experiences.
  2. Visit Cindy-OB RN/CCE profile page

    About Cindy-OB RN/CCE

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 35
    Staff nurse in 8 bed LDRP unit.


  3. by   fergus51
    yOU SHOULD TRY EMAILING SOMEONE At the University College of the Cariboo. www.cariboo.bc.ca . I know their nursing faculty have done practicums there and are involved with Dhulikel in particular. My niece is a student nurse there.
  4. by   tlt24
    There is a book that covers working and volunteering in other countries, it gives a great directory of companies that arrange this service. It is called "International Medicine: Your Passport to Adventure and Romance". I think you can purchase it at this link:

  5. by   Adelai
    Hi there!!

    I have only begun my nursing career, but have experience in third world countries. When I was 16 I went to Haiti, its the poorest counrty in the western hemisphere. In our mission compound we had a very small clinic and thats were I spent alot of my time. Being 16 not even out of high school yet I was able to assist in surgery, take TB tests, blood pressures and so on and so forth. It was the most amazing experience and of course one of my most cherished.

    I was only there for about 13 days, I strongly suggest going on a short mission first to try things out. The people are amazing, they are so HAPPY!!! you wouldn't believe it! Although it was hard for me at the age of 16 to see some of things I saw, seeing pts you know will die even for little infections or crap that they just don't have to treat them there. Alot of unnesecarry deaths. And seeing mostly children you know won't make it. Another kinda weird thing is people would come who weren't even ill, yet we would prescribe vitamins and what not...they just needed to know someone cares.

    This is how I developed a need to help people, it was always in me...but when I look back and I remember the friendships I made and my experiences at that clinic. If you have any specific questions I would be happy to answer them...I also have pics of my experiences I could send!


  6. by   kids
    Originally posted by Cindy-OB RN/CCE
    I'm looking into voulunteering in Nepal...
    Nepal is one of my favorite places...I've been 4 times including 3 weeks at Everest base camp in '95...

    Not to be a spoil sport and as much as I love the country...given the current political climate I would not recommend Nepal right now.
    Check out this story in the September issue of Outside...


    best of luck!
  7. by   WriteStuff

    Hi Cindy,
    I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, French West Africa for two years, and absolutely loved it!! The experience did far more for and to me, than our Health Team did for them I'm sure in the short time we were there.
    But this was at a time when the world was "relatively" safe and terrorism was in the embryonic stage. The only real threat at that time was tribal infighting, so we were secure in that respect.
    I suppose a lot of it depends on why a person decides to do such a thing as you propose: altruistic reasons? pure adventure and the excitement of doing it? just the challenge?, etc. etc.
    Our Health Team was comprised of three of us: me (the Nurse person), another girl (well-educated and couldn't decide what she wanted to do in life), and a guy from Florida who was a Lawyer!! We were given a huge box of basic medical supplies......vitamins, antibiotics, anti-malaria pills, DPT immunizations, de-worming meds (for parasites), dressing supplies, and a whole bunch of first-aid type stuff. We were then sent off to our "post" which was a little village 300 miles north of the Capitol (Lome, on the coast), which took us 8 days to get there by Jeep. The only paved road in the country was 6 miles long, due north, then after that it was 294 miles of dirt, mud, ruts, washboard road, and bicycle paths!
    When we arrived we had a dirt-brick, tin roofed, "house" waiting for us in the village of a tribe of people who had never seen a "white" person before in their lives. In their native language they had no words for: "disease", "bacteria", "germs", etc. The concept of "healthy" was as foreign to them as we were. They had never heard of "America" or the "United States of....", and thought we were Europeans (from Germany, England or France).
    Whenever one of them would spot a high flying commercial airline in the sky above, the entire village would come running, they would gather around, pointing up at the sky, excitedly and animatedly jabbing the air, shouting "something " at what they saw.
    We started out by setting up two clinics a week and people came from everywhere. Everyone had malaria, malnutrition and were infested with all kinds of parasites. We dispensed a lot of pills and found out later that they would take the week's supply home, go to the nearest market (12 miles away) and sell them. We set up mass immunization programs for the babies, and discovered two years later that we had created a monster for them by saving the lives of the children because the mother's couldn't feed all of the surviving ones with only two breasts as a source of survival. What we learned was that in their setting the women had to go through a minimum of nine full-term pregnancies to be assured that even ONE would survive to the age of 5 years old, which was the age of certainty to reach adulthood for them.
    Our arrival also set off an ongoing fued with the local witchdoctor who resented our being there.
    I could go on and on about the experience. It has and always will remain as one of those "highlighted" places in my life. It did far more to impact me in ways I never dreamed were possible.
    In today's world I would have to think very seriously about doing such a thing, for all the "new" reasons that are apparent.
    Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.......

    Bonnie C.