India, the seventh largest country by area and second most populous country in the world, is located in South Asia. It is known for its incredible cultural and commercial wealth. It has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but still faces immense challenges with poverty, malnutrition and adequate public healthcare.
Kodaikanal, or "The Gift of the Forest" in Tamil, is a hill station located in the mountains of the Dindigul district in Tamil Nadu.
Despite the global attention Kodaikanal receives for its beauty, the health system has failed to show significant progress and a number of social, political and economic factors have inhibited the community’s development.
We began by partnering with the Betsey Elizabeth Trust. We learned, we adapted, we have grown. We partnered with additional crèches and opened a rural clinic. We live and breathe healthcare in the area and implement programs and services based on the actual, current needs.
Creative solutions to difficult problems has been key to our work in Kodaikanal. By partnering with local crèches, we find creative ways to tap into a community that oftentimes finds both the mother and father working during the day. After listening to the crèche teachers, parents and community members, we have reshaped our program and expanded services. With the support of our volunteers, we dedicate our resources to three main areas of focus: clinical services, health education and special initiatives. Below are a few examples of our work at Project Kodaikanal.
- Primary care services offered in our rural clinic
- Medical care in local crèches/span>
- Observation in local hospitals
- Preventative health education in the crèches
- Ten local women's groups>
- Nutrition education in the crèches
- Dental opportunities in local hospital
- Surgical brigade support for burn victims
- Chimney construction project
The volunteer experience at Project Kodaikanal allows exposure to a number of different initiatives based on our on-going programming and partnerships. Whether it is giving a lesson on gastrointestinal illnesses to crèche teachers, attending one of ten women's group meetings to teach about women's health, or spending the afternoon taking vital signs in our rural clinic, volunteer efforts allow us to better serve the residents of Kodaikanal and the surrounding communities.
All volunteers have the opportunity to participate in both the clinical and health education aspects of operations on-site, and activities range from participating in check-ups in the crèches to observing in one of the local hospitals
Over the course of their trips, volunteers receive an unfiltered experience in health care field work abroad, and learn about the tremendous impact that even one person can have.
Want to volunteer in India in the future? Fill out the form below to get in touch with us and let us know you’re interested, and we’ll keep you posted!
"Volunteering at Project Kodaikanal with FIMRC was truly a rewarding experience and I'm incredibly grateful for all that I learned during my trip. Through shadowing physicians at various hospitals I was able to get a closer look at how the healthcare system in India differs from the United States and how physicians approach patient care... Participating in health education activities was also a great way for me to directly interact with students and teachers in the community to address fundamental gaps in knowledge that can truly make a difference in their lives. "
- Ramya P.