Nurse Volunteer Placement
- Student nurses and midwives who are in at least their third year of training are eligible to apply.
- Volunteer timetables are scheduled around these specific dates, so the dates of the placements are not flexible.
- Volunteers will live in groups and will be housed in accommodation in the community. The houses are basic but are very secure and comfortable.
- Building project
- Nurture Africa Community Library and Playground
- Nurture Africa HIV Community Healthcare Programme
Other aspects of the timetable:
- Support systems for volunteers
Please click on the links below for more information
Following its grand opening in October 2011, this Nurture Africa Paediatric Health Centre will provide primary healthcare and lifesaving treatment for up to 20,000 of the most vulnerable children living in the district.
A strong emphasis is placed on volunteers’ opportunity for cultural interchange; to share skills and knowledge with Ugandan staff members and learn from one another.
Nurture Africa partners with public clinics that are close to our projects. These government clinics operate with nominal funding and resources, and the minimum training standards for nurses may be far lower than in Ireland.
You will have the opportunity to work in different areas of your assigned clinic, so nursing activities are likely to include examining patients, dispensing drugs, and educating patients.
Volunteer teams prepare and deliver practical workshops on topics of use to the local staff, e.g. ‘correct hand-washing technique’.
Volunteer teams may also be required to prepare and deliver informal workshops to patients on topics such as ‘nutrition for pregnant women’ or ‘family planning’.
This project provides HIV infected children with access to the life-saving medication they desperately need, allowing them to live a normal life like any other child. Nurture Africa works closely with the children and their guardians to monitor and support their progress as they gradually regain their health and strength. Nurture Africa Community workers regularly visit the families at home to ensure that the children are taking their medications correctly and their health is improving. They also make sure that the HIV infected children are getting adequate nutrition and that sanitation is sufficient to prevent the transmission of opportunistic infections. Volunteers will assist the Nurture Africa Community staff with home-visits and subsequent evaluations.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS PROJECT IS SAVING CHILDREN’S LIVES
For this placement we do not expect you to have any specific knowledge or experience of HIV/AIDS.
It is more important that each volunteer is respectful, sensitive, empathic and willing to engage with the families on a personal level.
One or two days each week will be spent working with our experienced construction team in Uganda on a construction project; building a house for a vulnerable family or a community building (e.g. library, children’s centre or clinic). You will be involved in the building process, from clearing the land of vegetation, digging foundations, collecting water, mixing cement and laying bricks. Previous volunteers always comment on what a tremendously rewarding experience it is to see a house rise up before your eyes and to be able to say that “I helped build it!”.
- Please note that absolutely no knowledge or experience of the construction industry is required. You will be working under the supervision of professional Ugandan builders, using local materials and methods. You don’t need to be very strong or fit; just be willing to work as a team, get stuck in and get your hands dirty!
Each week, thousands of kids attend the three Nurture Africa libraries with their primary schools. Nurture Africa stocks our libraries with books donated by Primary school children in Ireland through our “1 Book 4 Africa” campaign. Most of our 28 partner schools do not have any books. The children attending these schools are very enthusiastic about being able to hold a book in their hands and have the opportunity to read a story. It’s also hugely significant in terms of accelerating the development of their literacy skills.
With the help of the Nurture Africa Librarians and school teachers, volunteers will lead reading groups for the children, helping them improve their language skills. After reading lessons, the kids have time to use the playground area for skipping, playing football, volleyball or other games. Volunteers will supervise the children and organise age-appropriate songs and games.
Pre-trip orientation (Attendance at both workshops is compulsory)
A lot of practical and mental preparation must be undertaken before you leave Ireland. This is necessary to ensure that you are fully geared up for the trip and that you know what to do and what is expected of you when you arrive in Uganda. Although it always takes some time for every volunteer to adjust, volunteers who are well prepared in advance tend to adapt easier to life in Uganda. For that reason, Nurture Africa places great importance on preparing every teacher for his/her placement.
One Induction workshop will be held in Dublin in August (date to be confirmed) and a second Orientation Workshop will be held in September (date to be confirmed). These sessions will help you prepare for the trip, plan for the placement and get to know your volunteer team-mates. Fundraising tips and resources will also be provided.
A specific timetable will be created for you before departure so that you know where you will be working and what your role will be. The clinics are often lacking in even the most basic of medical supplies, so you may be able to source some useful equipment to bring with you e.g. stethoscope, thermometers, kidney dishes etc. The clinics will provide us with a list of which items they most urgently need and they are immensely grateful for anything that we can supply.
Orientation schedule in Uganda
Your first couple of days in Uganda will be spent on our general orientation programme, to familiarize you with your new surroundings and help you settle in.
- A Nurture Africa Volunteer Coordinator will visit you at your workplace and be available to assist you should any issues arise.
- Weekly evaluation meetings take place with all the volunteers to assess and monitor your progress.
- Regular informal meetings are held with your link nurse. These meetings are designed to look at areas both you and the clinic are happy with, and address any areas that may need attention.