What Volunteer Say

Charlotte Vanvoast

Colorado, USA

Charlotte Vanvoast
In summer 2010, I have worked in NCDC as a volunteer. During my stay I basically involved for health and hygiene education for school children and community people in Ilam municipality. Initially I met with various groups in Ilam to gain a better understanding of the needs of the community and learn how to effectively implement an education program. I also met with District Water Supply Office, Health Education Head at Municipal Hospital, Ilam Municipality and attended UNICEF H1N1 training.

After this, I have involved with national Health and Sanitation Week. In this ceremony, we mobilized community volunteers to educate the greater community about the importance of a clean environment, health, sanitation. Emphasized the significance of how these topics are interrelated. We generated ideas, found necessary materials for the various demonstrations, and prepared activities. On the market day at Ilam bazaar the methods of Clean Drinking Water, Enviroscope, Reed Bed model (waste water treatment), Steps of Effective Hand Washing have been demonstrated and provided. Beside this, we also worked with Youth Red Cross for environmental lessons, drawing competition for the school children and tree plantation at schools of Ilam. Similarly, I have also engaged with waste water treatment plant which has been implementing by NCDC in partnership with different stakeholder organizations.

My main responsibility was to brainstorming on ideas for a poster to educate community on “how water gets dirty”. Additionally, revised and edited Reed Bed Maintenance Manual, met with doctors of Ilam hospital to learn more about hospital procedures and determine what behaviors we need to reinforce among hospital staff basically in proper disposal of used and unused medical waste (needles, medications, etc), mainly not onto reed bed, what NOT to put down the drain and DO NOT pipe waste directly onto the reed bed, must pass through septic tank first. Besides, I have explored possibility of doing a health survey in Ilam and brainstormed on Male/Female pairs, GPS, use of primary and secondary data collection and finally epidemiologist to analyze data and cost of printing surveys and cost of coordinator.

I have considered to use a shortened survey that addresses a specific area of health of interest. Then after implementing a project see how the project impacts that specific area of health. Sample a portion of the population then use data to make estimates about the population as a whole. In conclusion information is more easily digested by the community when education materials contain pictorial representations rather than just words. Street dramas were also believed to be effective but this was not necessarily backed up with any study or data. And finally Educational programs need to promote positive behavior change. My gratefulness to all of NCDC’s members, youth Red Cross, community people of Ilam and my friends at the Colorado University for accepting my volunteer work in Ilam. Thank you. Charlotte

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