Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HOPE Volunteers Complete South Africa Mission

We've completed our two weeks in the West Rand District outside of Johannesburg. What a busy two weeks it has been! Aside from meeting some wonderful South Africans and a great group of Project Hope volunteers and staff, we managed to complete 77 needs assessment surveys of the informal settlement Zenzele over the course of 5 days, provide two educational days on chronic disease to 28 community health workers, and conduct a facility assessment for the Randfontein EMS station and the Beckersdale Clinic. We also managed to have some fun as well, spending our day off in a Lion & Rhino Wild Animal Reserve and seeing some cool caves in the Cradle of Humankind. We even celebrated one volunteer's birthday during the trip with lots of laughter and a home made chocolate cake.

While this portion of the South Africa volunteer trip has come to an end, the real work is only beginning. The surveys have to be analyzed, the facility assessments results need to be turned in, and the education of the community must continue. I look forward to seeing the future work of Project HOPE South Africa build from the results of this experience. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of this pilot volunteer project.

By HOPE volunteer Michelle Pena

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