Daily News | Oct 19, 2018 | 1
Apply to volunteer in Africa
Education, healthcare, and child protection: three words about the African Hungarian Union. As globoport.hu writes the number of the AHU’s humanitarian missions are constantly growing year by year. The 10-year old AHU is now organizing a volunteer programme, which offers exceptional experiences for the participants in exchange for their charity work.
It all started in Congo with the children of war aid programme, organized by AHU and initiated by Sándor Balogh, founder and president of the Union, when Hungarian medicals provided help in a refugee camp of the eastern part of the country. Later, they went back to the camp twice and then further medical missions began: 13 missions were done in 6 countries, as of now.
As Zsuzsa Orzói, AHU person responsible for protocol and education, and Dorka Horváth, humanitarian referent told, the medicals took care of more than 30 thousand people altogether in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Madagascar, Guinea, Malawi and Uganda.
30 thousand Hungarian medicals participated in the mission all together, they all sacrificed their holidays to be able to spend a month in Africa. They cured people in jungles, in impromptu surgeries made in schools, outdoors, and in jails, traveling around countries just to be able to help as much as possible.
They cured and treated pretty much everything: malaria, an arm that has been broken for more than half a year, a hole in the heart, festering wounds, and all kinds of different problems. It was the first time for many of their patients to meet a doctor and receive medical care.
However, all their efforts seemed to be not enough, for, when they left, everything went back to how it was before them. Therefore, they also needed to give advice to people, even simple ones, such as they should do the washing on a table rather than on the ground so their back would not get hurt. But, it is not an easy job either, finding the perfect tone between lecturing and kind-hearted helping.
Of course, though, the easiest would be if they could have been present permanently and keep on doing all the things they started, because, when the turn their backs to these people, unfortunately, nothing works as it is supposed to.
Therefore, the plan is the following: establishing a Hungarian hospital and medical centre in Kapeke, Uganda, where the Hungarian medicals already have great experiences, and the distribution is 1 medical per 1 million locals.
The blueprints are already finished and the foundation has also been put into its place. However, charity costs money, and the medicals have cancelled two missions so they could spend its money on the centre, but further supporters are needed and waited for.
Also, they are preparing to do research in the Hungarian hospital, such as examining the effects of medicines in a much more natural environment than in Hungary, as, unlike Hungarians, the locals of Africa have not been “ruined” by the numerous pills and antibiotics yet.
Although, it is important to note that a new mission will be sent there in October, which is said to bring something new to the table: the help was GP-like earlier, but this autumn Hungarian surgeons are going to Malawi to perform neck and head surgeries.
Besides the medical missions, AHU brings other kinds of humanitarian projects to Africa, as well. The most well-known and popular might be the children supporting programme, by which orphanages and schools are helped in Mali, Kameron, Ethiopia and Uganda by the AHU in cooperation with local foundations and organizations.
Anyone can join the programme, take a look at the photos of the children on the website of the AHU, and choose the disadvantaged little one, whom they might help with a donation in a personalized way.
Furthermore, AHU is collecting material donations as well: these are constantly transported to the locations by the workers of the Hungarian Trade and Cultural Centre. People are gathering donations in schools and visit the AHU HQs bringing something to help.
Once, there was an elderly lady offering her glasses for someone else who might benefit from using them. Usually toys, clothing items and sustainable foods are offered as donation for the African kids in need.
For instance, the volunteer programme of AHU aims to help these children: the participants may spend a few days in the orphanages, distribute the donations and take a look at what this whole volunteering and charity thing is about.
They might teach the kids English, wash their clothes, talk to them about all the possibilities of thinking and living somewhat differently from the way they do. They can also work at the sample farm in Uganda, the possibilities are almost limitless.
And in exchange they will get the experience of a lifetime, and they can also go on a great safari with the help of the HTCC leader of Kampala. Applications for the programme are already on, should you be interested, make sure not to run out of time and miss the opportunity.
But bear in mind that humanitarian works are on not only in Africa, but here in Hungary as well. The volunteering medicals and healthcare workers of AHU helped the people at several humanitarian stations, such as Bicske, Nagyfa and Debrecen.
They also contributed to the starting of the humanitarian station of Körmend. For instance, MD Anna Jekkel, who has done several African missions, is rather experienced at curing African diseases. There were occasions when she traveled from Kecskemét to the western part of the country, by car, in order to provide help.
Also, in the first month of its operation numerous AHU medicals and volunteering nurses worked in the camp. Moreover, AHU is planning to purchase an ambulance car in Hungary. Besides, the staff of volunteers is complete, and they have a base site as well.
Their plan is to work a few days a week in cooperation with the Hungarian National Ambulance Emergency Service and to visit the villages on the remaining days where there is no permanent medical care provided. Another great plan of theirs is a medical mission to Csángó people.
Photos: globoport.hu, AHU
Copy editor: bm