So as a very late first post for the year PZ 2011-12 I thought it would be nice to hear from last years PZ members that went to Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe about what they were up to in Zimbabwe in the summer of 2011! Here goes:
What were the aims That Medyouth wanted to achieve in Summer 11'?
Medyouth were focusing on 4 major aims:
- to form a committee of dedicated students to mirror the UK committee
- Outreach: organise an outreach programme (medyouth life skills programme) both in Bulawayo (with doctors/dentists) and at UZ (with healthcare students) in collaboration with Childline/Say What
- Resources: Provide support to the Bulawayo Hospital Library Project set up by the junior doctors sending texbooks to a library being set up in mpilo hospital; and help with clinical resources at UZ
- Newsletter: Set up a quarterly newsletter with a collaborative effort from UK students, Bulawayo healthcare professionals and UZ healthcare students about interesting medical cases, news, etc
- -Partnership: establish a long-term partnership between students in the UK and healthcare students/professionals in Zimbabwe
Were these aims executed?
“We managed to meet most of the aims however it’ an ongoing process that’s still being established. We have formed a committee involving 3rd and 4th year students.”
Gamu Mawoyo (President of the PZ comittee)
“Our main success was finding groups to get involved! We were able to encourage students and professionals both in Bulawayo and Harare to undertake tasks. Within both groups we elected persons to lead each of the projects; both students and professionals showed genuine interest in getting projects up and running, and were keen to get things moving as quickly as possible.”
Were there any hindrances?
“Our main hindrances were communication. We were a totally new group, none of the UK members from last year were present so it was a bit confusing meeting members in zim from last year, discovering who was who and what they’re role was in medyouth. But it was fun meeting new students and how they find medical school in Zimbabwe and comparing our experiences. Discovered that the system was very similar to ours but it was an injustice that they didn’t have the same access to educational resources as we have.”
“It was difficult at first to get good contacts and meet people. We also had to stress the importance of commitment and how it is essential for success and completion of projects.
Another hindrance was money; as we had a very limited budget, there was not much we could do in terms of bringing resources with us.”
How did you find zimbabwe- the country, the people, the food and the culture?
“I loved it all! I loved travelling in between Harare and bulawayo and our trip to Vic falls was nice.”
“It's an absolutely beautiful country that is unfortunately not seen in its "true" light by reports in the media. I would definately encourage people to go and visit the country; the people are lovely and there is a lot to see and do. The one thing I was disappointed about was the lack of variety of Zimbabwean dishes! Also, it is quite expensive due to inflation”
“Loved the people, they were friendly, upbeat, caring and so willing to show us around and invited us warmly into their culture. The city of Harare is small but busy all the time, the public transport was cheap and effective (at most times!) and the shops had everything we needed, even though the coffee was so expensive!”
Victoria Bakare (Fundraising Officer)
What was the highlight of the trip?
“The highlight of the trip was vic falls. However in terms of Medyouth work it was all fun, i loved how chillaxed everybody was, the whole rush factor was taken out of it and alongside work we could enjoy the sun”
“My favourite parts would be Victoria Falls and Mtare (Eastern region)- absolutely stunning!”
“The highlight of the trip was the roadtrip we took with some friends we made from the church we joined in Zimbabwe. We took a roadtrip from Harare to Mutare in the Eastern Highlands and it was amazing. We spent two nights in Osborne Dam and had a very interesting journey getting up there which consisted of jumping into the truck of a stranger because our car was too low to carry all of us and stopping in the pitch to help a burning house full of bags of maize!”
Would you go back again?