So you see, what had happened was, I needed a change. I quit my job to go volunteer in the Dominican Republic... in a community that has limited electricity and running water, and almost never any hot water. What on earth was I thinking?! After months of debating with myself, I finally gave myself permission to take the leap, and dare to do something different. What I was about to embark on was risky and uncomfortable, which was not me at all.
This article published in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal is an example of why it’s important for us to operate with volunteers from various backgrounds. Dr. Catherine Spaulding, a 4th year resident in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Georgetown University recently served at Project Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, India. She shares many insightful reminders in this journal, on Our Role in Public Health: Taking a Global Perspective.
There is a growing awareness of ethical practices relevant to international service work. Good intentions alone are not adequate in properly addressing a community's needs. Louise Power, our Field Operations Manager in La Merced, Peru, is weighing in on effective and ethical approaches to volunteer abroad.