Tenth edition of UMH volunteer program in Rwanda begins

This summer, fourteen volunteers will be collaborating in the hospital and schools of Nemba and Ruhengeri, in north Rwanda, as part of the UMH volunteering program that in 2023 is celebrating its tenth edition after a two-years hiatus because of Covid-19. The first summer group, which is comprised of six volunteers and participating under the coordination of UMH volunteer manager, Lis Gaibar, arrived in the African country on Sunday, July 2.

Among these first volunteers is a student of medicine who will work alongside health personnel and lead sessions on health and hygiene to the rural population. A physiotherapist will train health personnel and work with the unit of physiotherapy at Nemba Hospital. Two psychologists will collaborate by monitoring patients of psychiatry and provide training to the local population on mental health. This group’s biotechnologist will work in the hospital laboratory, and its graduate of audiovisual communication and journalism will train the ESSA Ruhengeri high school community on radio journalism, as well as document university activity at the location that is known as the UMH “fifth campus.”

In August, an additional six volunteers are traveling to Rwanda to continue with programs on mental health (two psychologists), training health personnel there (one medical student), and logging UMH documentation in Rwanda (one journalist). The biotechnologist from this second group is going to attend to the functions of biology classes at Nemba schools, and the one UMH Services & Administrative Staff employee is going to provide classes of English and computer science. Coordinating this second group is a UMH graduate of medicine and volunteer on several occasions in Rwanda, Irene Payà.

During their stays, these volunteers will also undergo training on topics related to development cooperation, volunteerism, sustainable development goals, and Rwanda history, among others. They will also have the opportunity to take part in social and cultural activities of many types in the country during their free time, such as a visit to its genocide memorial, Akagera National Park, lakes Kivuo and Ruhonda, as well as the national volcano park, among others.