Over the years, we have had many volunteers – 117 at the last count – who come to us during the summer for varying lengths of time and with different interests. Some volunteers, who had been with us as students, return to us a second time as graduates which makes us all very happy. We are always looking for medical doctors – particularly OB/GYN’s – and for nurses who can help us teach our student nurses.
The volunteers we welcome are those who are either trained in or studying any of the various health professions such as nursing, midwifery, medicine, biochemistry and so on.
Some volunteers stay for three months or more but we never accept those who plan to stay for less than two weeks. We also accept volunteers who can teach English as a foreign language to our staff and students; those who can help in our library and with cataloging books; those who can help with our computers and IT needs; those who know something about statistics and data collection who can help us with an on-going research on Female Genital MutilationRead a Study of FGM in Somaliland.
Volunteers are expected to pay for their own travel costs, pay for the cost of their Visa to enter Somaliland, and to cover their food and accommodation at the hospital guestrooms while here. We also require a CV and a letter of reference from a college, university, a parent, or recent employer. Our hospital is strictly tobacco, alcohol and drug free.
In return, we offer volunteers a unique experience in a small hospital in a country that is stable and where, unlike neighbouring Somalia, the people in Somaliland are trying to make things work and slowly but steadily reducing maternal and infant mortality rates with the limited resources available in our country.
While here, volunteers live in our guest-rooms, where I too live, and we all eat at my dining table. The comfort and safety of our guests are our priority and we also arrange volunteers to experience cultural and traditional events whenever the occasion presents itself. Volunteers also make friends with staff and students which gives them a chance to see different aspects of life in Somaliland.
We hope that this information will assist with your decision about volunteering at our hospital and would be happy to provide further information if coming to us.
Edna Adan Ismail
For more detailed and important information for prospective volunteers, please review the resources page linked here:
For International Women’s Day 2012, Edna answered a series of questions from the Book Club of Sen. Kirsten Gillebrand, inspired by Half The Sky. In the course of the discussion, Edna discusses in some details what she looks for in a volunteer and the process that goes into their being accepted.