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Lyndsey B.

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2 reviews

Review for Child Family Health International, San Francisco, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

This past March, I traveled to the southwest coast of India (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) for four eventful weeks to take part in CFHI’s new and unique program, “Palliative Care in Southern India”. As someone experiencing India for the first time, I was pleasantly overwhelmed with a flurry of new things: new sights, smells and sounds. Magic and wonder are paramount in India, but equally so it is laden with misfortune and sorrow. This program provided the right amount of exposure to help me develop a broad understanding of Indian culture and its place within the healthcare system.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I am proud to say that this program is my second with CFHI in two years, and I can happily say that yet again, I have been fulfilled in more ways than I could have imagined. Personally and professionally. It never ceases to amaze me that what often tends to happen with global health immersion programs is that almost always you gain much more than what was originally expected and the learning experience is by no means confined to healthcare.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

A great mix of emotions! Challenged. Adventurous. Humble. Peaceful. Excited. Grateful. Just to name a few.

Role:  Volunteer & 2. To have a thorough understanding of what palliative care entails, the program includes an even balance between lecture classes and homecare visits, both under the guidance of Pallium India, a reputable charitable organization based in Kerala. .

Review for Child Family Health International, San Francisco, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Child Family Health International (CFHI) is a small, nonprofit organization that invites students to explore healthcare systems of differing countries at the grassroots level. You can find yourself in India, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico and South Africa! I traveled to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico with CFHI and was so moved by my experience that I am soon returning for the third time this year!

CFHI provided me with the tools to gain a thorough understanding of the culture and the healthcare needs of the people of Oaxaca. This was achieved by staying with a local family, attending Spanish class with a local teacher each day, and traveling to various medical clinics to better understand rural and urban medical practices and the structure of Mexico's healthcare system. Throughout my stay in Puerto Escondido, I felt culturally tested and challenged, in a way that could only benefit an individual being offered new perspectives on healthcare, culture and life and opening up their mind to the world at large. I witnessed cases where a lack of access to better medical care was continuously the underlying problem, visited families living in scarce, unsanitary conditions in the smaller, rural communities and was exposed to differing norms and practices in healthcare and within Mexican culture that shared similarities with my own, while simultaneously posing great differences. I learned a great deal from local doctors and nurses, by spending time in the clinics with them on a daily basis and seeing firsthand how culture and economic factors play into the healthcare system and effect their experience as medical providers as well as the patients' experience. With the right attitude you can accomplish so much through CFHI's programs. I was able to maximize my time in the clinics by being proactive and asking to observe additional surgeries and taking the time to build relationships with the doctors and nurses. My schedule offered the perfect balance between work, study and having time to explore the community.

Without question my experience with CFHI has become a stepping-stone for my future goals in global health and has motivated me to begin playing an active role in the field. My time spent in Oaxaca has become a part of who I am and what I continue to pursue today. I am extremely grateful for initiating my global health experience with a knowledgeable, culturally aware, hard working, and kind-hearted organization such as CFHI.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Role:  Volunteer & As a prospective physician assistant student, I volunteered with CFHI to observe medical professionals at work in local clinics and hospitals to learn about rural, tropical medicine on the coast of Mexico. .