For the first time in a while, the number of volunteers in Volta filled one of the big trotros!! We set off for a village near Sokodie for a painting and medical outreach.
At 8 a.m. we met in front of the White House (the one in Ho!), some volunteers chatty and others still sleepy. The village was barely outside of Ho. As we got out of the car we saw the grey school buildings, and happy children curiously looking at this big van full of Yevoo (the local Ewe term for ‘foreigner’)! We interacted a bit, but then their school bell rung and the children went sprinting off to class.
We set up the material we had – about half were medical volunteers, and the other half teaching and care, who would take on the painting of the school building. As the medical tools were set up and suits were on, men women and children began filling the 50 seats lined around the tables in a semi-circle. At first attempting to make a line out of the ever-growing crowd, the medical team just began treating the individuals.
After the paint was mixed and some of the students cleaned the building, the happy painting team began painting the inside of the three classes light blue. It went fast because of the number of volunteers! They then moved to the outside and painted it in a colour named ‘happy blue’ – you’ll see why in the pictures!
Meanwhile, the medical team was efficiently performing basic medical checkups on the crowd, which never seemed to get any smaller even after many went home! That was explained by the fact that people from some surrounding villages had heard about us and had come to walk from far away to get treated! We tried to count the number of people – in vain. Each person in line got blood pressure and blood sugar tested, and if any had symptoms of malaria or other illnesses, our senior medical volunteer, who now mastered the prescription details and the necessary Ewe, would give them the necessary treatment schedule and medication!
After a short break, we could continue the treatments and the painting; by now the painters could start using the stencils to write the alphabet in different colors in every classroom! As we started, it began pouring. For those who haven’t lived tropical rain, just imagine someone pouring a bucket on your head. The medical team and the whole crowd of people had to move inside two different classrooms to continue the work. The painting team ran from classroom to classroom moving the stencils so that we could finish before it was time to leave.
The rain cleared and the crowd around the medical team was finally diminishing, and the headmaster of the school announced that they had a little show prepared for us! As the two teams reunited in the chairs lined up for them, some students set up many different-coloured drums and put on traditional cloths. The first call invited a reply by all the performers, as they began singing and dancing. Some were happy dancers but most were very focused; but they all had obvious talent.
As we waited to be picked up, we improvised a fun game of volleyball which involved staff, volunteers, locals who helped in the project, and some of the older children! The younger ones tried to teach us hand games somewhat in vain, but it was overall a great time, but the best part was definitely seeing the smiles on each person’s face when they saw what we were doing.
Medical outreaches are a great way of helping the local community depending on its particular needs. Recently, I joined the Ho outreach to see what the Volta region was up to! We had a great time with the kids of the Tanyigbe La Primary School.
With Eric as the staff leader and Twi translator, the volunteers Maria, Marie, Michael and Nina were greeted by smiles and cheers as they went into each class first making a quick assessment of each child’s needs.
The children who needed to be treated lined up shyly … The four volunteers did a complete physical examination of about 90 children, and the treatments varied from basic bandaging wounds, head and stomach aches to anemia and malaria. Finally, vitamin C was handed out to the 150 little smiling faces at the school, and to some of the teachers!
Projects Abroad India conducted the Outreach program particularly for the Medicine Volunteers recently. About 12 volunteers attended the program and they enjoyed the day as well.The Volunteers were taken to the MS Chellamuthu Trust Mental Health Centre which is one of the very famous mental health centre in Madurai.
The Volunteers were allowed to interact with the patients of all ages and also they visited hand-made products of those patients.The day was really good and helped the volunteers to get an in-sight view of Mental health and measures in India.