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International Medical Aid volunteers International Medical Aid volunteers

Global Volunteer Placements Developed at Johns Hopkins

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Haiti 2015

This was my third trip to Haiti. This was an amazing tip! I am so thankful for the opportunities from IMA to make these three trips. I would not want to make one of these mission trips without IMA. All the preparations were again made by IMA. This year we stayed in a bed and breakfast. It was my home away from home. We had beds and more than one bathroom and showers. We also had breakfast and diner each night cooked for us. We even had my favorite food, pizza!! The hosts really catered to us. They even made arrangements to get ice. Having ice was wonderful!! We had great reliable safe transportation!!
This trip was a little more difficult for me personally. I had a hospital stay for several days, a month before we were supposed to leave. My doctor wasn't too excited to let me go but she gave in. I was not 100% healthy yet and probably should not have went. The thought of not returning was horrible. I could not imagine not going. I was very determined to go. So I made the trip. The clinic days were long and tiring but very successful. The last clinic day I got pretty ill. I was close to passing out and had to have an IV in the field. The great nurses that I was working with, Tiffany, Dustin, and Sharon were right there with me and got my IV started and meds going. My translator went to praying for me. I didn't want to leave but Homayon insisted that I go back to the house and rest. He made the call and got me transported back to the house and took over my job. He was awesome. We were there to treat the Haitians but when one of his own was down, then that was what was most important. I was taken great care of. From the nurses in the field, to Homayon, to the transportation, to the host of the bed and breakfast, everyone took care to make sure I was ok and on the mend. I hated to miss the last half of the day but I am forever greatfull for the awesome care I received!! As we prep for our next trip, which is just a few months away, I am so looking forward to returning with IMA. I have thought of Haiti and the people there every single day since my first trip. Each and everyday I think of how blessed we are here in the United States. I love being able to go there and know that I am making a difference in the lives that we touch in the clinics. Can't wait for my fourth trip to Haiti!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Haiti 2014

This was my second year to Haiti. All of the planning and preparations were done again by IMA. This was another awesome trip. This year we stayed in a house that was right in the middle of a community. We had running water and cold showers! We were better prepared this trip as we knew more of what we should pack and bring with us. Clinic days were long, emotional, and very tiring. But each day was a success. As I got to work with an amazing translator, who by now is an awesome friend, I learned so much about the people of this country. One thing that rang true this year as it did the first year, was that these people have amazing faith. Looking around and seeing the conditions that they live in and the conditions of their health but yet they still have an amazing strong faith! We had an extra person join us this year and it was a lot of fun. I went to nursing school with her and I would never have thought that all these years later we would be working side by side in a third world country. WOW
Safety was never an issue. We had reliable transportation and a safe place to stay and always plenty of water. This trip was an amazing trip as was the first one. I made new friends and spent time with the old ones. It was a successful trip to Haiti again this year and am greatfull for Homayon and IMA.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Haiti 2013

This was my first trip to Haiti. Needless to say I was so nervous and scared and excited all at the same time. The planning of the trip was very easy to do with the help of Homayon. Because of his planning and preparedness, I never once worried about our safety. IMA took care of all the planning making sure to speak with us as we were just a part of the team. We all stayed in the same house together which was really nice. Each evening after a long day at clinic we were able to meet together and relax and talk about our day and the patients and situations we encountered. Homayon made it known that we were important and we were part of this group. We immediately started setting goals for our next trip. At the time I kept thinking to myself, "will I return to Haiti?" By the end of the trip I was certain that I would return. I knew that traveling with IMA was the only way I would return. I am very greatfull for all of the hard work and dedication that Homayon put forth.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

IMA Tanzania Volunteer Trip

As a medical school applicant, this experience was worthwhile. As a volunteer at Mt. Meru Regional Hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, I got a chance to further my medical knowledge all while making a lasting impact within the local community. The doctors were so welcoming and went out of their way to explain unique clinical cases in depth. Following my volunteer experience, I can truly say I have a greater appreciation for medicine. The IMA staff were really friendly and ensured everything I needed was taken care of. I have done multiple volunteer trips in East Africa and I can say without hesitation that IMA is top tier when it comes to providing students a seamless experience. In the future, I would strongly consider doing an elective with IMA again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Haiti 2015

This was my second trip to Haiti. On arrival everything seemed but I was so wrong. This year we were staying some place different and our transportation was very different. I have to admit that the first day I was very scared as we made our way up the mountain. Our driver had a little trouble getting to where we were going to be staying. I look back now and laugh as I would allow our amazing driver Andy to drive me any where. He over that week became a dear friend who I stay in contact with frequently over social media. Once we finally go to where we were staying we were made to feel at home. Rocky and Meliana who run On a Hill Guest House went out of their way daily to make us feel like we were part of their family. A couple of us ended up sick this time and Homayon made sure we were taken care of. He had transportation make special trip to transport the sick back to the house, and made sure someone was watching over them as clinic went on. We did not see as many acute illnesses this year. We did however continue to make a difference as we educated people at every opportunity that was given. As we were concluding our trip it was obvious that the elections were starting to take place and people were not happy with what was happening. Homayon was constantly checking on the situation to make sure we were always safe. I have never felt unsafe knowing he was going to take care of our safety. I had some doubts as to if I would go back in 2016 as I was physically and emotional exhausted at the end of this trip. Because of the amazing people we have taken care of and I have come to love I will definitely return next year. I feel I have a calling from God to help take care of them. I also met some amazing people who we get to work with. I know we go to work very hard which we do daily. By helping them they have helped me be a stronger and better person. We give them jobs and in return they give us so much love. I stay in touch many of them and can't wait for 2016.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Haiti 2014

This was my second trip with IMA to Haiti, and my third trip overall. I thought I was ready for what we would see, but found out just how wrong I was.
The details of this trip were handled by Homayon and IMA, taking into consideration the suggestions offered by our team. They were able to discuss time frames for the trip, and we were able to make the arrangements for time off from work. They purchased the tickets and than we paid them back, and it made for a very smooth transaction. They made arrangements so that we all arrived about the same time to the airport, so there was no delay in being picked up. So we never felt we were "stranded" in a foreign country.
Transportation was with a large, enclosed vehicle. This made me feel very safe, and our entire team was together. It was also very nice to have the translators travel with us at times, which I feel just made our team gel even more.
The housing was separate this year, and this made me very grateful. I didn't feel as if we were in anyone's way. I must admit, I did miss the time sitting around discussing the events of the day which we did the previous year. This year, each person went to their rooms and there was not much interaction after the end of clinic. If there had been a more central area to gather, with a table and chairs, this might have happened.
We came prepared and packed food for our trip. Homayon made sure that there was plenty of fresh water at the house, so no one had any issues with dehydration. The house was secure and I felt safe, and we were right across from Pierre, one of the translators and a local Pastor that I had worked with before.
This year was very different from the previous year. There were so very many sick people to treat. One that will always remain in my mind was Ode. He was a little one who was very sick. After being treated for 2 days in the clinic, he came to where we were on Sunday, and we knew his condition was grave. Homayon altered the plans for the day, and we spent several hours at a local hospital, before traveling to where Ode could receive more definitive treatment. But he died the next day. This was very hard for me to deal with, as being a nurse we think we can "fix" everything. I was having some problems dealing with all the emotions from this. And even though I was thousands of miles away from home, I could feel that I was surrounded by people who cared. Never once during this did Homayon try to push me to work, and I feel was very caring for what was happening to me during this time. This meant a lot to me. And, because of what I saw and heard, and how people were around me, I was able to come to terms with Ode dying. It still hurts, but I feel this was my way of learning that we can't fix everyone, we fix the ones that we can. And because of the actions of others, with everyone pulling together as a team, we did make a huge difference during this clinic.
Again, Homayon made everyone feel important, and never made me feel like my suggestions were unimportant. This leadership caused our team to pull together, and the teamwork was like we had all worked together for years, instead of just a short time.
I appreciate the professional way that IMA deals with the trips, how they make everyone feel important, and how the encourage eveyrone to be an active participant in planning future trips. This will lead to continued trips for me with IMA.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Haiti 2014

I was introduced to IMA through a coworker who had gone on previous trips to Haiti with them. My family had many questions and concerns about safety which I was able to get answered for them prior to me departing. My first was very eye opening as to how people live in a third world country. We were well prepared for little food being available and no electricity most of the time. This is from the planning done by IMA. I felt the entire time that I was safe and well taken care of. I we were getting low on water Homayon made sure we received more. We have worked with great translators and been made to feel very welcome. This trip was hard for me at times as I had a mother bring me a deceased child looking for help. Homayon saw the emotional impact this took on me even though I didn't want to admit it. He stepped in and took my place so I could step back and gather myself. I didn't have to even say anything and he was able to see this. After my first trip I felt we had changed the lives of many. We saved so many that year just by being able to educate, give medications, and IV fluids. I knew I would go back the following year after the impact this year had made on me. After the trip Homayon encouraged us to give positive as well as negative feedback as to how to make the trip better. I felt like the organization did listen as I prepared for my second mission trip to Haiti.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Haiti 2013

I was introduced to IMA and Homayon through his father, who worked at the same facility that I did. Upon returning from a mission trip to Haiti, I had the feeling that there was so much more that could be done. Upon "meeting" Homayon, he worked hard to try to make this first trip happen. He followed through on contacts that I had made, and our first trip with IMA was born.
I was impressed with the way that Homayon interacted with other members of the team. Being on my first medical mission trip, I was really outside my comfort zone. But Homayon reassured, watched for problems, discussed the events of the day, and made us feel like we were an important part of the team.
Being all together in the same house location was very nice, but the person we were staying with did not follow through with some of the things which were discussed before arriving. We were made to feel like an outsider there, even though she had invited the team to stay with her while we were in Haiti.
Booking the flights were handled by IMA, after discussing with us our ability to get to and from the airport. The time frame for the trip was worked out well in advance, so time off work could be arranged. Again, we were made to feel as if we were an important part of this team, and that helped make this initial trip a very good one.
Because of the attentions that were shown by IMA, we were able to see the need in Haiti, and left knowing that we needed to return. And knowing that this return trip would be with IMA made it all the better.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Haiti 2015

Our team joined with IMA for our repeat trip to Haiti this past May. Working with IMA is a really wonderful experience. They listen to suggestions and always balances out these when making plans. They are always willing to listen and consider, and talk to the team members on a 1-1 basis, discussing plans. They also listen when the discussion revolves around the translators, and work hard to have the translators that we work with best. They make you feel very valuable in the entire process, and they make you feel that you are truly a part of the team.
This year, because of the tensions in Haiti, the decision was made to house in a different location. I will admit, sleeping in a bed each night, having breakfast and supper cooked and waiting for us was really nice. I do feel bad regarding the cost of this, as I know we could have found a different way to spend this money. But I also know that safety is a prime concern with IMA, and never during the time did I feel like I was not in a safe environment.
Purchasing tickets and making arrangements to join the rest of the team was very easily accomplished.
Transportation while on the ground this year was different, as the team was split into 2 different vehicles. I much preferred being all together when we travel instead of apart. But know that this isn't always possible.
Haiti has, once again, touched my heart in ways that I never thought possible. I feel that, while we did impact the community, that there is much more that can be done in this area where many live on less than most of us spend on soda for the month. I hope that we can continue to serve this area, and can expand what can be offered in the future.