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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Empowering a Community Towards Better Health

By 6 years ago
Categories Cape Town

From studying global health and social medicine, I learnt about social injustices relating to healthcare. I joined GVI to gain insight into the real-world applicability of those teachings in order to reverse their effects. The biggest injustice I would see at the Masiphumelele Educare was that these individuals would not have otherwise had the opportunity to learn about their health.
GVI provided a curriculum and the carers guided the lecture topics, choosing ones most valuable for the children they clearly love. At the end of one lesson, the principal, Shirley, offhandedly remarked that she couldn’t wait for it to be her turn at her women’s group. She wants to spread the newly acquired knowledge she painstakingly jotted down every day. When I started, the sense of bewilderment on this middle-aged woman’s face when she learnt there were actual hand-washing techniques was humbling.  In the end, the lessons learnt by the children and carers went beyond what was taught about healthcare each day, it extended to an empowering confidence they gained in themselves.

In Xhosa “Masiphumelele” means “we will succeed.” I have no doubt in my mind that the individuals with which I had the pleasure of meeting will succeed through healthier lives and go on to make the difference which is at the core of GVI’s mission.

Emily Hogan – Healthcare Workshops Volunteer