Posts tagged #Volunteer

Staff Spotlight : Dayan Alvarado

Meet Dayan Alvarado – our Health Education and Volunteer Coordinator at Project Alajuelita! Dayan has been part of the FIMRC Costa Rica Team for over four years and is beloved by the clinic staff, community, and volunteers! Below, you will find an excerpt of Dayan’s interview for GoOverseas.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of the FIMRC team.

Every single day. When I talk to my family, friends or have the opportunity to share about my work with FIMRC, I cannot hide the excitement and fascination I feel for my job. Having the chance to help people, to see them getting better not only physically but also emotionally is rewarding. I also have the opportunity to be a role model for the kids in the community and I enjoy watching them grow up.

On many occasions my work comes with big smiles, hugs full of affection and in some cases tears to express how grateful our patients are for the things we do for them.


Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you? 

There are so many reasons why going to a place and being immersed in the culture is very important. When FIMRC volunteers come to be part of our program, they get the chance to be integrated into the community, interacting with local people, and understanding the way others live. Seeing a country or community with your own eyes is invaluable. Many FIMRC volunteers are interested in medicine and I believe that to be a good physician you must understand that health is not only about physical ailments but also that emotions and the environment where people grow and live affects a person's well-being. Taking a chance and being immersed in another culture opens the possibility of creating more open-minded people.


What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

FIMRC has been very successful over the years as it becomes well established in each community. Programs in each country differ as FIMRC focuses its efforts on each community’s specific needs. Our clinic is Costa Rica has developed a reputation as a nice and welcoming place where patients feel very comfortable and confident that they are receiving high quality medical services.


What country have you always wanted to visit?

I have always wanted to visit INDIA! My father who, in fact, is the person who has influenced my life the most had the opportunity to visit India several times while I was a child. Every time he returned, he would bring lots of pictures and stories that were just like fairy tales for a kid like me! Growing up, I realized that even though India is a very beautiful place full of colors, music, and beautiful clothing; it is also a place that has a lot people in need. So I see myself traveling to India in order to help people and, at the same time, enjoy the beauty of this magical country.

Have you volunteered with Dayan in Costa Rica? We would love to hear your story. Leave a review and tell us why you feel proud to be part of the FIMRC family!

Posted on March 31, 2016 and filed under Costa Rica, Project Alajuelita.

How to Choose the FIMRC Program for You!

FIMRC is proud to offer a variety of programs to prospective volunteers looking to spend anywhere from one week to one year (or more!) at our project sites! We have compiled a guide to help volunteers choose the program that best suits their needs and availability.

Let's start here:

The main differences between our programs is length of time spent on site but there are a few other factors that go into distinguishing our three main programs.

Site Choice
Our Global Health Volunteer Program allows volunteers to choose their site as well as their length of stay; this program offers the most flexibility, especially for short-term trips like Spring Break and Winter Break.
The Summer International Health Fellowship (SIHF) Program is our most structured program and is offered at our sites in Peru, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Uganda, the Philippines, and India. 
FIMRC's Internship Program allows applicants to choose their top three site choices, however, our Internship Team reserves the right to choose which site would be the best fit based on the applicant's skills and interests as well as the needs of FIMRC project sites. 

Volunteer Responsibility and Immersion
While all of our programs offer opportunities for volunteers to take on responsibilities on site, the Summer International Health Fellowship Program and Internship Program give participants the opportunity to work on independent projects. Because the length of time is longer than a typical volunteer experience, SIHF participants and Interns are able to become more immersed in the culture of the country where they are serving.

For more information about our programs, visit out website here.

For more information about the application process for FIMRC's Internship Program, email the Internship Team here.


Posted on February 18, 2016 and filed under GHVP, SIHF, Internship Program, Internship.

Spotlight on Project Las Delicias

Volunteers often wonder what they will be doing while on a FIMRC trip. We try to keep volunteers up to date with a schedule for their time on site, however, activities are always subject to change - especially in the world of global health! Two Project Las Delicias Alumni, Lois and Lipsky, share their day-to-day activities from their time in El Salvador last month!

Tuesday Morning: Community walk with the group (a few more women joined) to get to know the community, the problems and resources. We sketched a map of the area. Lois spent the morning with Tania, the clinic physician who is a pediatrician doing family practice; observing and discussing some of the health management issues due to the limited resources of the clinic.  All medicines are in limited supply, e.g. having only Amoxicillin for antibiotics. We also observed needs in the clinic building itself, including new paint, cleaning, and repair. A brigade to help spruce up the clinic, build some furniture and storage space, and improve the clinic sink and bathroom facilities would be incredibly helpful.

Tuesday Afternoon: Lois trained the group on fluoride application, discussing the causes of dental decay and prevention and the role of fluoride. After demonstrating how to apply the fluoride on Molly, we all practiced on each other. We sorted the toothbrushes/paste and packaged them individually for distribution during the dental campaigns. 

Wednesday morning: We held the first fluoride campaign outside next to the clinic. We treated 66 individuals, mostly children and their mothers. Each person treated received a toothbrush and paste. We put up large paper for people to write down what the community needs were and what people liked about the community. Only a few comments were made.

Wednesday afternoon: We planned for the health fair to be held on Friday.  We divided up the charlas (health education talks) for the fair and the following week. As part of this preparation, Lois demonstrated the talk on sexually transmitted infections. 

Friday morning: The group organized and held the Health Fair at the community center, starting with the fluoride applications—76 individuals were treated, including children, women and men. Each person treated was given a toothbrush, but we ran out of toothpaste early on. It is clear that dental care is greatly needed in this community as there are no local resources currently to provide dental care.

We set up a couple of long tables for the children to color in the coloring books we brought—the childcare teacher brought her children from the daycare center and there were many other children who came and participated. We gave several coloring books and crayons (donated by a U.S. friend of ours) to the daycare teacher for her center as well. We also had purchased a piñata and the kids went crazy over it (we filled it with small toys instead of candy--in keeping with our message of dental health).

Two women from the training group and Lois gave a charla on nutrition for the children and then the adults. The three teens held two trainings on first aid—one for the children and one for the adults. 

As you can see, each day on site is a bit different, but the focus remains improving the health of those in the communities we serve! For more information about volunteering at Project Las Delicias, click here.

Posted on December 23, 2015 and filed under Project Las Delicias, El Salvador, GHVP.