Oliva Haste

Supporting the UK Office

Volunteering in the CGHP Office: My Experience

During the past three weeks, I have been volunteering at Cambridge Global Health Partnerships. Having studied a module on Global Health in my first year of Geography at Exeter University, I was inspired to learn more and spend some time volunteering in the Global Health sector. After researching which organisations are based in Cambridge, I contacted CGHP who were happy to welcome me as a volunteer over the summer.

Whilst in the office, I’ve been completing several really valuable and interesting tasks. From volunteer management, to writing posts for social media, work in the office has been varied and diverse. Seeing the range of experiences and significance of global health indicators between countries and regions has allowed me to better understand the link between what I learn in my degree and the shifts taking place in the real world. Compiling a document of information about other Global Health organisations offering voluntary experiences for medical professionals made me realise just how vast and dynamic the sector of Global Health is, and how the work of CGHP fits into the breadth of activities worldwide.

I have also learnt a great deal about the principles underlying health partnerships, particularly by reading around the work of THET and its relation to CGHP. It’s been really interesting to see how the partnerships bring about mutual benefits to CUH and the hospitals abroad, especially in terms of the renewed sense of vigour developed amongst NHS professionals. Meeting with staff from the neonatal unit who are involved with the Botswana partnership was a particular highlight of my time here, since I could put this idea into context and listen to discussion about what they hope to achieve when travelling there this summer. Hearing about treatments and understanding medical terminology has been fascinating, notably Rosinah’s maxillofacial surgery and the pioneering craniofacial surgery techniques of Dr Derick Mendonca.

I’m really excited to get started on my optional modules at university next year, which will be ‘Political Geographies’ and ‘Nature, Development and Justice’. Volunteering at CGHP has given me a real insight into how global issues interconnect with each other, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Global Health intersects with areas such as conflict, asylum, and the environment.

I have noted that current work in Global Health marks a pivotal moment in the future of healthcare management both at home and overseas, and hope that I will be able to engage with this after finishing university. I am incredibly grateful for CGHP welcoming me so that I could learn so much from this fantastic experience!