Virtual Volunteer Projects Make a Lasting ImpactAug 21, 2020
In today’s world, almost everything has gone virtual, including international volunteerism, but what does being a virtual volunteer really mean? When you join one of FIMRC’s virtual volunteer programs, it means that you will make a direct impact at a FIMRC site and build strong connections with fellow volunteers as well as with FIMRC staff and our team of global health experts.
When we first launched our virtual programs in spring 2020, our goal was to create programs that could provide as close to an on-site experience as possible. Our programs offer opportunities for students, medical professionals, and anyone with a passion for global health to feel connected to our sites and make a lasting impact by creating a project to improve operations and directly benefit our communities.
Here are a few examples of recent virtual volunteer projects, many of which are already underway, reaching our patients and improving our program operations around the world.
Project Restauración, Dominican Republic: Recycling Program Created by Srinithya Sthothrabhashyam and Aishwarya Grandhe
When the Ecological Society of Restauración reached out to FIMRC Project Restauracion Field Operations Manager Dafne Calderón asking for help to develop a recycling program to combat mosquito-borne diseases, she immediately realized this project would be an excellent opportunity for our virtual volunteers.
“Unfortunately, recycling programs aren’t common here, and many people aren’t informed about how to properly recycle and dispose of waste, which can create spaces for mosquitos to breed and spread diseases,” Dafne said.
Virtual volunteers Srinithya and Aishwarya created a guide with instructions and illustrations to teach our community about proper waste disposal and the benefits of recycling and composting, not only to prevent disease but as a way to develop sustainable practices for their land.
“Our volunteers really understood what our community needed and created a project that emphasizes the importance of recycling and waste disposal that will serve as an excellent stepping stone to true change in our community, planting seeds of knowledge and helping our communities become positive agents of change,” Dafne said.
Project Cavite, Philippines: Health Education Materials for Community Health Workers by Anjali Sundararaman, Courtney DiSangro, and Liezel Lenhart
At Project Cavite, the majority of FIMRC’s work involves health education outreach and working directly with the Barangay Health Workers to reach community members. Anjali, Courtney, and Liezel created thorough lesson plans on subjects ranging from heart attacks (background, symptoms, prevention), to first aid workshops, to an information campaign about maternal and child health -- all three of which are crucial in a rural area like Cavite, where prevention is key as many people live far away from health centers.
“The materials our volunteers created are incredibly detailed and heavy on visual aids, making them extremely useful for engagement and interaction making them easy for our health workers, volunteers, and staff members to share these materials with a wide and diverse audience,” said Brian Park, Virtual Volunteer Program Consultant and former FIMRC Field Operations Manager.
Project Huancayo, Peru: Training of Trainers by CJ Guzman and Jen Kong
Virtual volunteers CJ and Jen created a Training of Trainers (ToT) manual to educate staff at partner institutions on many different health topics, empowering them with a strong knowledge base to help build their own education initiatives in the community.
“This training gives FIMRC a long-term, sustainable impact in Huancayo both within our community and among partner organizations,” said Field Operations Manager Nick Ramos.
These are only a few examples of the many projects that have been put in place or are underway thanks to our amazing virtual volunteers. We have virtual volunteer opportunities for anyone with a passion for and interest in global health, find out more, and join us today!
Interested in volunteering abroad or participating in our virtual programs? Check them out below!
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