Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer with FIMRCMay 26, 2021
Get To Know FIMRC
FIMRC is a global nonprofit with a mission to provide access to healthcare around the world. With project sites worldwide, our team connects staff, volunteers, and global health experts with communities in medically underserved countries, and it doesn't stop there. We emphasize sustainability, education and special initiatives in our work so that each community gains what they need most, as well as tools to help them later on. If you're interested in the field of global health but don't know where to start, we would love for you to join us! Here are the top ten reasons why you should volunteer with FIMRC.
1. Chapters: If you're a student interested in the field of global health, Chapters are a great way to get integrated. These groups are made up of individuals studying in either undergrad, grad school, or high school who are committed to the FIMRC mission. Our network extends across the United States and around the globe with more than 70 active chapters, and if your campus doesn't have one, you can start your own! FIMRC chapters help advocate for our mission by raising funds for special medical projects, coordinating volunteer groups, raising awareness of public and global health and providing services within their communities. Chapter members also leave their lasting mark on FIMRC sites by participating in the Adopt-A-Project program, where chapters take ownership of specific initiatives at sites and raise money to support these efforts. Our chapter network also includes virtual opportunities, such as the Virtual Chapter Trip, where students have the chance to network with fellow chapter members and connect with FIMRC staff and communities from the virtual space.
2. Immersive Cultural Experiences: When you volunteer with FIMRC, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of various FIMRC communities around the world. Learn how to cook the native food of Costa Rica, witness a spiritual blessing in Uganda, learn about children's nutrition in Ecuador, plant a community garden in Peru and much more. Learn about the many facets of global health as they pertain to each project site, including community outreach, cultural practices, nutrition and food, social engagement and language.
3. Sustainable Volunteerism: At FIMRC, we work alongside community members to teach them how to care for themselves long-term and educate them on how to spot signs of illness early on so they can seek proper care. Our sustainable health care practices help to increase the overall wellness of communities even after we're gone. Our staff and volunteers provide healthcare and health education to help community members stay healthy in the long-term by introducing tools they can use in their daily lives. Our site staff, over 90% of which are from the local community they work in, works diligently to understand each community's challenges and specific needs to build programs around the current health situation, so they are supported and cared for. Some examples of sustainable practices we may implement at project sites include planting community gardens, implementing a clean water filtration system and teaching health education topics such as HIV, menstrual hygiene and nutrition.
4. Access: The first of three pillars in our FIMRC mission is access. We work to ensure that the communities we serve can seek a healthcare professional, and if no infrastructure is present, we build it. We always ask ourselves the following questions: “Can our community members get to a clinic easily?” and “What do they do in case of an emergency?” These are the first steps toward ensuring our community members are well cared for, and when you volunteer with us, you're helping to plant the seeds for access to a healthier world for all.
5. Education: The second of three pillars in our FIMRC mission is education. We collaborate with partners, governments and community members to build health education programs tailored to prevalent needs. Our staff and volunteers work to integrate into our communities to address local needs better and launch outreach programs. We listen to our community members, the Ministry of Health and other health organizations in the community, and build health education programs based on the feedback. When you volunteer with FIMRC, you'll help educate community members on various global health topics, including menstrual hygiene, nutrition, drug and alcohol prevention and prenatal care.
6. Participation: The third of three pillars in our FIMRC mission is participation. We engage with communities, volunteers, donors and partners to improve health from the ground up. Participation from community members is vital and very strong at all of our project sites, but we also believe in participation from the global community. That's why FIMRC engages volunteers from all walks of life to participate in our programs and learn about global health in a unique and transformational way. Our volunteers help make it possible to improve the health of those we serve, and when you work with FIMRC, you'll gain hands-on experience and knowledge to take with you wherever you go. We truly view our volunteers as the future leaders of global health.
7. Special Initiatives: FIMRC focuses on healthcare, but our work doesn't end there. Health is multi-faceted, and that's why we make sure to include special initiatives tailored to each project site in our work. When you volunteer with FIMRC, you'll participate in an array of special initiative programs focused on improving physical and mental health while also aiming to increase the overall quality of life. Some of our unique initiatives include art therapy, yoga lessons, dance therapy, youth empowerment camps, developmental program for kids living with special needs, in-home care and counseling for those living with diabetes, net malaria treatment and more.
8. Hands-On Global Health: When you volunteer with FIMRC, you won't just be sitting on the sidelines, you'll be out in the field! Learn about global health as you observe clinical consultations, shadow psychological evaluations and work on your very own project that will then be used at one of our FIMRC project sites. FIMRC volunteers gain access to cross-cultural medical assessments that they may not have the chance to experience anywhere else. You'll learn about the social determinants of health on a global scale and connect with experts in the field while also gaining insight into FIMRC's project sites and how they operate.
9. Virtual Opportunities: FIMRC now makes it possible for you to volunteer from anywhere! During the pandemic, FIMRC was significantly impacted by the halt placed on international travel, and with this, our team worked hard to adapt our experiences to the virtual world. We launched an array of virtual volunteer opportunities to continue providing care to our project sites, and we'll be keeping virtual volunteer opportunities available even after travel opens back up. Each Virtual Volunteer Program provides participants with the chance to learn about global health through readings, case studies and virtual shadow opportunities while also connecting them with on-site staff and fellow volunteers. Our virtual volunteer programs provide versatility and flexibility, so you can participate even with a hectic schedule. FIMRC virtual volunteer programs include Virtual Global Health Volunteer Experience, Virtual Global Health Leadership Training and Virtual Global Health Fellowship.
10. FIMRC Family and Alumni: When you volunteer with FIMRC, you're a part of our family forever. Once you've traveled to FIMRC's project sites (virtually or in-person) and have experienced our programs first-hand, it doesn't stop there! Our FIMRC Alumni Program is made up of over 4,000 volunteers, where you'll be able to build relationships with fellow alumni and continue to remain connected with FIMRC project sites and communities.
Hear What People Are Saying:
"Public health and global health are so important for everyone, but especially future health care providers. Taking the time to educate yourself about health care conditions worldwide will help open your eyes to the backgrounds and social conditions of those around you. Understanding the social determinants of health can be the difference between a good provider and an amazing provider. This is the kind of organization you want to be working with if you are passionate about global health!" – Danielle U.
Interested in volunteering abroad or participating in our virtual programs? Check them out below!
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