May 16, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Tanzania offers several fantastic opportunities for those who wish to gain some clinical experience while also indulging their adventurous side. Gap Medics organises medical placements in Tanzania where you get valuable first-hand experience working alongside medical professionals in local hospitals and clinics. While in this exciting country, you’ll find there’s no shortage of things to do to satisfy your thirst for adventure. In addition to several National Parks and Safaris that are not too far from where you will be staying, you can also spend a weekend scuba diving off the coast of Zanzibar or go trekking up the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro.
For those who want to make the most of this trip and get as much experience as possible, you should consider spending some time volunteering at the Huruma Orphanage. If you’ve visited any orphanage in your country, you’ll find that this is a totally different experience.
Set up in 1989, the Huruma Orphanage cares for orphaned and abandoned children from birth till the age of 18. While you may think there’s nothing unusual about this, what sets this orphanage apart is that they offer these kids a safe and comfortable home despite being under-funded and under-staffed. Unlike some of the larger, well-funded and professionally-staffed orphanages in the developed world, this is an orphanage that is run by just a few people who have made it their life’s mission to care for these children.
The orphanage offers a warm, comfortable and safe home to over 150 children at any given time. Despite the lack of funding and the lack of staff, the children are not simply fed and clothed. The dedicated staff, along with committed volunteers, goes to great lengths to provide primary and secondary education to these children. They believe that children should learn to be self-reliant and that they should leave the orphanage as educated and responsible citizens.
At the Huruma Orphanage, you will find that volunteers are always welcome to contribute in any small way they can and for as long as they can. You don’t need to have any specific skills. You can spend time teaching the children life skills such as basic first aid and health care for girls or you can spend your time here teaching the children art, embroidery or architecture if you’re good at it. If your skills are more attuned to administration duties, the orphanage is open to those who will offer any insight or help with their administration functioning.
The orphanage does not specify any fixed period of time for you to volunteer. Volunteers are welcome to help out for a couple of weeks, a couple of months or even longer. If you are interested in volunteering at the Huruma Orphanage, you can contact them directly and work with them to make arrangements that suit both of you. This is an experience that will not just boost your medical school application but will leave you with a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfilment knowing that you truly made a difference to the lives of those few children. You’ll truly come away a different person.