Through longer stays in Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya, as part of a framework, volunteers and internships in healthcare allow one to become familiar with knowledge of the problems regarding medical provisions and the social environments surrounding persons with psychiatric illness in these countries. Past volunteers’ own medical backgrounds and research has allowed us to develop an understanding of the current conditions in the field.
From this, not only have we been able to identify significant lack of knowledge regarding mental illness in these populations, but we have also determined that doctors and medical personnel possess minimal education levels in the psychiatric and therapeutic fields. This leads to affected patients not nearly being cared for adequately, if at all.
Due to these reasons, we organized in the summer 2015 the first ‘Brain Awareness Week’ in Ghana, through which we supported neuroscientists and professors from Harvard Medical School to present lectures. Main themes of the teaching program included: project and station work in schools, lectures and discussions in hospitals, communities, and reaching out to entire communities through radio broadcasts and newspaper articles.
This pilot project not only received absolutely positive feedback from the general population, but it also received substantial interest and relief from participants for its continuation and emphasis on meeting great need. By working together with the Ketu South District Hospital in Ghana we were able to secure the lasting establishment of the Brain Awareness Program in Aflao and surrounding area. In this way, we were able to meet the community’s additional needs. We led local workers and technical staff in this field and taught them so that with the help of supporting material, which we provided, the Brain Awareness Program can continue.
After this, as we saw the effectiveness and efficiency of our method turn out to be valid, we established the Brain Awareness Program also in Kisumu and surrounding areas in (Kenya). In Kisumu, there is also a similar big need in the community. On the basis of alternative structures there, we made a local connection with a Kenyan NGO (Tinada Youth Organization). We also trained its staff members in mental health.
When you would like to become engaged with our Brain Awareness Activities framework and possess a corresponding background (anthropology, medicine, psychology, sociology, teacher, …), then please get in contact with us and we will work to identify which component of the program will be most suitable for you. This volunteering project requires teamwork from all and asks for special flair and creativity for the public.
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Submit an email to email@example.com with your application documents and follow the steps below.
The processing and organizing takes about 4 weeks. Please pay attention also to the lead time with respect to procuring a visa and vaccinations, and remember that airfares may be less expensive when bought earlier.