This week our spotlight is on Katy Bladen and her experience with Global Brigades and Medical Aid International.
Tell us about your volunteering.
Medical Aid International offers medical, human rights and business volunteering opportunities with the charities Global Brigades and MedLife. I took part in a medical brigade with Global Brigades for 9 days in Honduras. We ran a mobile medical clinic which treated 834 patients who had no access to healthcare. We also built hygiene stations for 3 local families.
Sounds great! What impact does your volunteering have and who benefits?
Both Global Brigades and MedLife offer sustainable projects to disadvantaged communities in Central America and Africa. The work we do benefits the people of the communities we visit as we can provide them with healthcare such as dentists, optometrists and GPs. Through the business and human rights brigades we offer sustainable business and legal aid.
What do the people who volunteer say about the work they do?
'Going on a medical brigade was one of the best decisions I've ever made! To be able to make such a difference to the lives of so many with your own two hands is so rare and I can't believe how much fun I had doing it! I've been on two brigades now and both times it's been really great! You learn so much and meet so many amazing people, I can't wait to go again!' - Bethany, a volunteer from the past two years says
Amazing! What do the volunteers gain from their volunteering experience?
From my experience in Honduras, I have come away with so many new friends and amazing new memories. Being on brigade completely opened my eyes to the healthcare situation in a deprived country. I felt so privileged to work alongside Honduran medical professionals who had given up their time to help others in need.
What advice would you give to students thinking about volunteering?
Go for it! Even as a non-medical student doing a medical brigade was one of the best experiences I have had and I would not change anything about my time in Honduras.
For more information about international volunteering opportunities please visit the University of Edinburgh's Careers Service website page on International Volunteering