Former Community Health Improvement/Saving Mothers Giving Life Volunteer at Peace Corps
about 2 years ago
Something important to remember about being a Peace Corps volunteer abroad is that you are a volunteer 24/7. It can be as flexible or as rigid as you would like. The Community Health Improvement position is a bit different from the Saving Mothers Giving Life position, as the latter is a specific initiative within the health sector. As a Community Health volunteer, if you live in a remote village, your day may begin by fetching your water for the day from a nearby well or borehole. You may or may not live with a host family and can spend your morning cleaning and cooking/eating with them. In the afternoon, you may head to the health post and facilitate a health talk about family planning or malaria prevention. In the late afternoon, you would head back home, cook dinner, and prepare things for the next day. Without electricity, once it gets dark you're likely to stay near home.
As a Saving Mothers Giving Life Volunteer, you might find that your days are a bit more structured. You would be working out of a district or provincial health office, and therefore living in more of a town than a remote village. You will likely have running water and electricity as they might be needed to complete some work at home, unlike what would be asked of you as a community health volunteer. You would go in at around 8am and head out with different district health officers to assess outcomes at a health post or conduct community needs assessments. Working at the district level, you will have the opportunity to visit multiple hospitals and health posts throughout the district. This might mean sleeping away at these posts when doing outreach for mother and child health initiatives. It will feel more like working in an office, but you will still be going out to do a lot of outreach and health education.
I hope this gives you a picture of your potential future!