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2 Weeks Special Volunteer Programs - Palampur

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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Volunteering Solutions Review - Palampur Maternity Volunteering

As a 2nd year student midwife in the UK, we have to complete a short period of Elective Placement where you chose another hospital in which to gain some experience. After deciding on India as my destination, I researched many projects to get involved in and ended up choosing to volunteer through Volunteering Solutions and boy am I glad that I did! After a Language and Orientation week in Delhi in which we learnt about the Indian culture and some basic Hindi, toured the sights and visited the world famous Taj Mahal, I headed up to Palampur and the wonderful team at the Vidya Bhupendra Rotary Women & Child Care Hospital where I was made to feel very welcome straight away. The hospital has around 10-15 normal deliveries and around 10-12 caesareans a month and I was lucky enough to experience one of each during my two weeks there. The nurses and doctors spoke very good English and were almost as excited as I was for my time there where we had a lot of fun and I have made some truly amazing friends. During a shift, I would observe (and participate in where I felt comfortable) Antenatal appointments, ward rounds and deliveries as well as learn about the culture of maternity in India. The hospital is run by a charity and had a good level of resources but not quite to the level that I had become accustomed to in the UK which provided challenges and many learning opportunities for me. As well as this, the practices were generally the same but with some marked differences such as it being illegal to reveal the gender of the baby which was very interesting to me!
The accommodation was nestled down a little path in a valley next to the Himalayas. The views that could be enjoyed over breakfast, from the gardens or from the roof were frankly breathtaking. The rooms were practical and well equipped and the food that was provided three times a day was local, vegetarian (apart from on Wednesdays) and down right delicious! The staff were very attentive and visited every day to see how we were getting on and to take us on 4-5km hikes with their children around the local area every evening. They also helped to organise some amazing weekend activities as part of my 'two week special' programme such as visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the Dalai Lama's home monastery at Mcleod Ganji. Overall, I had an incredible time and learnt so much about Indian culture as well as maternity services and practices within India. I would say that it has changed my perspective on so many of aspects of life and really opened my eyes to other cultures and how wonderful some people can be. I would recommend this experience to anybody!

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WYSE Work Abroad