A Partner West Africa Testimonial
Testimonial 57 of 102
PWA Volunteer Taylah working on the malaria prevention programme in Ghana, West Africa

Taylah - Australia

Programme Completed: Malaria Prevention Programme (MPP)

Date Posted: 29/02/2016

Hi, I'm Taylah and I recently spent three weeks volunteering with Partner West Africa. I am a Science student from Australia.  My major is in pathology so I worked with PWA to plan and start to implement their Malaria Prevention Programme.  I cannot believe that I am not in Ghana anymore. It seems that all of the past volunteers say this, but it is true that my time volunteering flew by so quickly

"Hi, I'm Taylah and I recently spent three weeks volunteering with Partner West Africa (PWA) through their internal volunteering department Volunteer West Africa. I am a Science student from Australia.  My major is in pathology so I worked with PWA to plan and start to implement their Malaria Prevention Programme.  I cannot believe that I am not in Ghana anymore. It seems that all of the past volunteers say this, but it is true that my time volunteering flew by so quickly. 
 
I volunteered with PWA when the Malaria Prevention Project was very new. PWA had designed a project outline which defined the overall aim of the project, and provided me with a series of key objectives to be met in the project. We had a meeting together about this and then I got stuck into the work. I started by doing a lot of research into the level of knowledge that people in the local communities had about Malaria. This was really important, because it enabled me to then develop education programs and resources that would be most appropriate and therefore effective in sustainably preventing Malaria in the community. We had found that there was not a widespread knowledge about Malaria and Malaria prevention and that there were many misconceptions about it. I became even more passionate about the project after conducting this research, because I gained a deeper understanding about the issue of Malaria in the community that PWA works with, and how incredibly important it  is for the project to be carefully planned and successfully implemented. 
 
After doing this research, I spent a lot of time creating education programs for children in the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre as well as the parents of the new children in the nursery. In addition to creating the program, I also created a series of resources, such as visual aids, that will be used to help deliver these education programs. I was very specific in the way I went about creating these resources, keeping in mind what we learned from interviewing people in the community. I was really happy with the amount of work I achieved in the three weeks that I volunteered for. 
 
Volunteering definitely isn't just a one man show though. Inusah, PWA Project Manager, communicated with me regularly to touch base with the progression of the project, as well as helping me communicate with parents and gather valuable research. Inusah was really accessible, as all of the volunteers would sit down with him each morning and discuss what we were all doing for the day. Here we had the opportunity to use each other for ideas, make sure we were all on the same page, and raise any concerns or issues. I found this to be a really effective way to communicate daily with each other. The PWA daycare & nursery teachers were also really helpful in the development of the project. Before delivering the education program to the children, we sat down and talked about it with the nursery staff and modified bits of it from their suggestions. I also worked together with Brooke, a paediatric nurse from the US who is volunteering with PWA for a whole year. We regularly discussed the best way to approach different aspects of the project so that it would be culturally appropriate and sustainable for the community that PWA serves.  
 
During my time volunteering for PWA I was challenged, encouraged and supported. This pushed me to get the best out of myself so that I could most effectively do the work I had set out to do. I really feel that it will make an impact not only in the children's lives who attend the nursery, but also their families, and down the track the wider communities too. 
 
If you are reading this and wondering if Partner West Africa is a worthwhile NGO to volunteer for, I'd like to emphasise that I could really see how much thought and consideration was put into every decision that PWA makes for programs to be ethical, culturally appropriate and sustainable. I could see how much PWA empowers Ghanaian individuals and communities. I could also clearly see the positive relationships built between PWA and the community. PWA also made sure to prepare me to be an effective volunteer during my orientation which covered aspects such as safety, culture and how to appropriately deal with a variety of situations that I might encounter in day to day life whilst in Ghana. I think this again reflects how PWA is a responsible organisation and absolutely NOT one that promotes 'voluntourism'. 
 
I am so glad to have been able to volunteer in Ghana with PWA, and hope to return soon!"
 
 
How can you help?
  • If you would like to also volunteer on the Malaria Prevention Programme, please click here.
  • If you would like to volunteer or partner with PWA on any of our other projects or programmes, please click here.
  • If you would like to make a donation, of any amount, on a one-off or monthly basis, to the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre, please click here.
  • If you would like to make a donation, of any amount, on a one-off or monthly basis, to the Malaria Prevention Programme, please click here.
  • If you would like to make a general donation, either on a one-off or monthly basis to our charity, please click on one of the three 'Donation Payment Methods' boxes below. 
  • If you would like to support our charity in any other way - for example by donating goods like children's clothes or materials like mosquito nets, or helping us promote our charity through social media or identifying like-minded potential partners - please download the 'How you can support  us' Brief which is located in the introduction text of our Donate Page here.
  • Or, finally, if you would like to talk to our team about any other issue regarding our charity, our projects, or our volunteering & partnership opportunities, please click here.

Thank you

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