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Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students

Care Work in Senegal with Projects Abroad

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Care project in Senegal

I chose to spend 5 weeks in Saint-Louis, Senegal over this past summer because I wanted exposure to hands-on medical work that could help me decide whether I wanted to become a volunteer aid worker. Projects Abroad staff were very helpful from the get-go, providing advice on how to choose a country to travel to, and booking my flights for me. After doing some of my own research as well, I was ready to visit Senegal.

When I arrived, I was picked up from the airport by a Projects Abroad staff member and driven to my host family. They were very kind and made sure I always had more than enough food and water, and that I was comfortable. I quickly became close with my host sister and usually helped her prepare meals or do chores around the house.

My placement, which was a care project at a talibe center in the neighborhood, was a short 5-minute walk away from my house. The first day, I was shown around by other volunteers and quickly became accustomed to the flow of the work at the center. I learned how to clean and disinfect wounds, bandage them, and clean the infirmary. Other activities included teaching English and French, cleaning the places where the kids lived, and preparing meals for them every Thursday.

Every Friday the volunteers and staff members met up at a hotel for drinks and just to hang out and chat about the week's events. This was nice because during the week the volunteers normally do not get to see one another, as we all worked on different projects. Staff members also met with volunteers individually to check in and make sure our accommodations were acceptable and we were having a good time in placement.

Overall, staff members, my placement, and the other volunteers made this experience worthwhile. I had an amazing time in Senegal and I can't wait to go back!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

One of the best experiences of my life!

My volunteer experience in Senegal from July-October 2011 with Projects Abroad was absolutely incredible. I was supported by the organization's staff from the day I first made contact with them, and have felt that contact through this day-- even after my experience has ended.
I reviewed several organizations before making the choice to volunteer with P.A., and I would not have changed one thing about my decision. Through Projects Abroad, I found the perfect balance of support and independence, which is exactly what I was looking for in an organization. I didn't feel confined or overly directed while in Senegal, but someone was always there to help me if I needed assistance. The desk officer, social manager, and on-site staff were available 24/7, which is certainly a comfort to many individuals who volunteer in a foreign country.
The excursions and social activities allowed for the chance to get to know other volunteers, and the projects themselves were extremely fulfilling and enlightening. Most of all, the structure of the program allowed for true immersion into the local culture. This is a vital element for volunteers to gain as much as possible from an experience while giving back to the residents of the community in which they work. My Senegalese family was fantastic and I came to think of its members as my very own.
The time I spent in Senegal genuinely changed my life, and Projects Abroad made that possible.

Health and Safety:
I felt safer in Saint-Louis and other parts of Senegal and surrounding countries than I do in many places in the United States.

Social Life:
Projects Abroad coordinates many social activities, and there was plenty of time for individuals to form friendships with other volunteers and even local people to make plans for themselves.

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association