One of the most exciting events for Antelope Park’s medical volunteers is when they are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to observe a birth. Here are the experiences of two Norwegian medical volunteers who were recently present at different births at Mkoba 4 Polyclinic:
‘We arrived at the Mkoba Polyclinic around 9 in the morning. We got the message that a woman was in labour so we got to see the birth of her child. The woman in labour didn’t want to push for some reason, but the midwife and the nurses helped her push the baby out. At the same time another woman also gave birth in the next room. After that, I got to see dressing of some peoples wounds. I also got to go and see a health inspection for a man who wanted licences so he could by a local shop. I got to help measure and weigh babies as well. It is interesting to see all the differences between Norwegian hospitals and the culture and the way they do things at the clinics here in Zimbabwe. It is quite interesting to experience what they do and how they do it. Like the birth, the woman didn’t scream, I don’t know why she didn’t do that. There were a lot of high voices from the nurses and the baby was taken away right away and not given to the mother straight away like they do in Norway.’ Linn-Terese Jehansbakken
‘When we got to the clinic the power was out and no pregnant ladies. There was just one candle there. So around 2am a woman started to give birth. Because it was so dark, I turned on the flashlight on my iPhone so the nurse could see the baby. A very, very cool experience.' Mailis Hanningsvag
Meanwhile, Antelope Park community volunteers are also kept busy visiting local orphanages in Gweru, where the children are always excited to see them. Midlands Children’s Home, often referred to as Rosedale, is home to around 60 children, ranging in age from five to 17 years old. During a recent visit, volunteers were pleased to be able to present a donation of shoes and clothing; t-shirts, trousers, dresses, etc, to orphanage staff. The items had been collected by present and past volunteers and were gratefully accepted on behalf of the children. Maddy and Lucy Stirton, two sisters from Australia, were at the orphanage when the donation was made:
‘Today we visited Rosedale Orphanage, handing over a selection of clothing to the Matron who will sort through the items and allocate them to the children. The clothes were very much appreciated, especially as the weather is beginning to get cooler. Along with the clothes we handed over multiple pairs of closed toe shoes, which the children will also benefit from in these cooler months.’
Emily Zufelt, a community volunteer from Canada, had an equally worthwhile day at Mkoba 4 Primary School, where she helped to assist the children in their studies:
‘I spent the morning in the special needs classroom. First we did a spelling bee which the kids really enjoyed because we could not spell correctly. Later we did maths and English which are always difficult because they are at such different levels, but their excitement when they get an answer correct is always worth however long it took to explain to them. Break time is always great too because the kids are so excited to play.’
Why not experience volunteering in the local community yourself? You can find out details here.