Well where do I start – I can’t believe I’m actually doing this! I think I’ve been living in a dream world and that this is not really happening, it didn’t seem real and a long way off , it’s not and we’re going in just over a weeks time…..eeek ! ( That’s excitement !! ) Then as I’m collecting all I need together to take the worry and panic set in. Omg ! ..what am I doing? Can I do it……….of course I can . I get a phonecall or text from Michael and I feel reasured and confident again as his enthusiasm rubs off !
After hours of researching about volunteering programmes I chose Volunteer Medics because of the genuine, altruistic and confidence building vision that Michael was able to share with me. From my first meeting with Michael, he was very transparent about the program fees and was able to share with me the programmes Mission and their past projects. Once I decided to join Volunteer Medics, they consistently had excellent communication. Michael set up a group chat with all the other volunteers which was nice as we could all share tips or asks any questions about our preparations. Although it would have been nice for all the volunteers to meet prior to departure so everyone can familiarise with each other. Secondly, Micheal was great at distributing useful pre-departure information about our host country such as brief description of the village we would be working in, a hand book with the local language and phrases, kit list and vaccination information. I found this helpful as it helped equip myself to serve once I actually hit the ground running. One of the requirements to volunteer was to raise money for the projects abroad, it would have been nice for all the volunteers to host a fundraising event together which we were unable to do due to time constraints. This would also have been a great opportunity for all the volunteers to meet. Overall my experience so far with Volunteer Medics has been and enjoyable one. I have found the team to be professional and organised and I look forward to continue working with them.”
Enjoyable, hard work – Consider telling prospective volunteers how physically demanding it can be due to heat and lack of sleep till heat acclimatised etc. in the village especially.
The contrast between Moshi and Mitsu en Temba is very marked – consider telling volunteers not to expect anywhere near the same in Mitsu.
The food is excellent in Mitsu, but many palates may consider it bland – consider telling volunteers. I thought the food was really good
You attempted to reduce the expectations as above but while you did a good job, and set the groundwork the reality was not obvious till you personally experienced it.
I thought the balance of hard work and time off was right, I’m not sure all volunteers would necessarily think that, but I appreciate that finding a balance is difficult, so as not to ‘unoccupy’ personnel.
The ‘people’ balance was really good and important – There were no egos and everybody interacted and supported each other whatever we were doing.
The people in the village were superb and again different to those in Moshi You and Kevin attended ‘meetings’ and did the political bit, which was good, and you kept us up to date