Are you eager to provide medical support to communities that are most in need of health care? Would you like to experience new places while committing your time to a good cause? Then join us in Peru as part of the Otra Cosa Network team!
About Otra Cosa Network
Otra Cosa Network is a well-established UK Registered Charity and Peruvian registered not for profit (NGO),addressing the educational needs of children and vulnerable adults in an extremely impoverished area of Northern Peru. We work in informal settlements where many community members have been displaced by climate change, disaster and political instability. They live in precarious circumstances, few have running water, sewage provision and there is only sporadic electricity. Additionally, many children are forced to work instead of continuing their education, in order to boost family finances and there are no community-based facilities for learning and developing new skills in a safe environment.
Our dynamic range of activities address language skills, environmental awareness, women’s entrepreneurship, youth, employability and gender empowerment. we are seeking volunteers to work in project implementation in our new Recreation and Education Centre as well as our field office. Projects will restart as soon as the community is safely able to come out of isolation, post coronavirus. Our range of activities are implemented by national and international volunteers, allowing them to express solidarity whilst boosting their field experience. We also partner with several institutions like medical clinics around Huanchaco.
About the Medical Clinic Volunteer position:
You will be working with local Peruvian healthcare workers to promote, protect and guarantee good health and quality of life for the local population. In this role you will not only aid in the day to day operations but also participate in outreach and public service campaigns. The local medical clinics run on a very tight monthly budget, they can only afford a handful of part time employees. With such a large number of people in the community, all external support really does help.
Please note that all volunteer positions are also available as Internships. With this add-on you will receive an extra level of mentorship and where necessary all appropriate liaison with your academic institution to ensure compliance with internship placement requirements. Please see our separate internships listing for further in-depth information or check out our website at www.otracosa.org.
This position includes tasks such as:
Implementing human values, respect and trust, with the health office’s main objectives being to adequately serve the local population
Interacting with the community through family visits, outreach work and public campaigns.
Sharing information about nutrition, vaccines and the services available for expectant mothers and children.
Observing and assist doctors and nurses while they are attending patients
In the case of certified healthcare professionals, specific roles and tasks will be developed, depending on your skillsets and the needs of the clinics, health offices and local communities.
Organizing trainings and workshops on preventative care, vaccinations for children and families will also be very valuable.
What you can expect from us:
Personal pick-up upon arriving and walking tour through Huanchaco
Thorough introduction to the organization
Certified training in First Aid and Child Safeguarding.
24/7 emergency support
Organized activities & trips (barbeques, game nights, volunteer-lunch, team building trips) with like-minded people from all over the world
Working in a friendly beach & surf town right next to many historical sites
The satisfying feeling of committing your work to a good cause whilst gaining insight into a new culture.
Certificate of completion detailing your role, the project(s) you participated in and the dates you volunteered in.
Current background check from your home country.
Spanish Level: Intermediate, ideally Advanced (unless being mentored by an English speaking staff member)
If you are undertaking medical, nursing or any other related field of study, you must show paperwork to prove how far along you are in your course and what procedures you are qualified and authorised to undertake.
If you are a qualified professional seeking field experience, please bring all relevant paperwork relating to your qualifications.
Volunteers who are not qualified but interested in the medical field can support in a general volunteering capacity.
Specific roles can be arranged in medical anthropology, epidemiology, midwifery, nutrition, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and community health. Please contact us for further information.
Time Commitment: Minimum 2 weeks
Generally, 20-40 hours per week, Mon-Fri
Desired Skills and Competencies:
Knowledge or experience in healthcare.
Interest in Community Health provision.
Must have a strong will and do well under pressure.
Compassionate and able to empathize with others.
Effective communication skills.
Related Fields of Study:
Medical Sciences & Medicine
Whilst there is a lot of variety in this role, you will arrive at the clinic for an 8am start and assist in community health initiatives, either based at the clinic or in teams of outreach workers who go out to visit patients and community members in their homes and community centres. Tasks will depend to a great extent on your specialisms and currently community health requirements.
Previous volunteers have undertaken vaccination drives, community health and hygiene training and initiatives.
Working hours are usually from 8am - 1pm, Monday to Friday. Should you be interested in working full time, we can supplement these standard hours with different activities in other clinics and community centres, or by creating and delivering training to community members in our own projects.
After work there is plenty of time to catch one of Huanchaco’s world famous sunsets from the tranquility of the beach, or indeed from a surfboard. Then there are various options to fill your evening, socializing with local and other volunteers, sampling the famous Peruvian cuisine, attending talks and cultural events, music, dance, theatre, movies- the list is endless.
Huanchaco and free-time activities
Huanchaco is a beautiful coastal town where the waves are perfect all year long, which makes this place popular among surfers. The long beaches and relaxed atmosphere attract both Peruvians from nearby cities and backpackers traveling through Peru. This gives the small town an extremely welcoming and friendly vibe where the locals, volunteers and travellers interact and getting to know each other on a daily basis. The city has adapted to this mix and hosts many cafés, restaurants, yoga studios, surf schools, gyms and other activities and sports that are available for everyone. However, the town still remains a quiet, easy-going place that retains its fishing-village ambience. Over the last three millennia, locals have stuck to traditional ways of fishing, going out on their caballitos de totora (traditional reed fishing boats), and using their nets to gather their catch for the day. Furthermore, Huanchaco is surrounded by mountains where it is possible to go hiking (tours are arranged by local guides, at reasonable prices). If you prefer cultural activities, the district is home to Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian city in South America and is only a few minutes away from Huaca del sol y de la luna, which are among the most well-preserved temple ruins of the old Incan empire that can be found in Peru. Trujillo, Peru’s third biggest city, is only a 30 minutes bus ride far away. The colonial city of Trujillo offers many shopping and sight-seeing opportunities accompanied by a lively big city feeling.
Enquiries and Applications
To make an application, please visit our website at www.otracosa.org or contact us on email@example.com for further information.
Promote education and social development in our local communities.
Otra Cosa Network is a registered Peruvian non-profit NGO (no. 11126841) and a UK Registered Charity (no. 1133680) based in Huanchaco, Trujillo on the coast of Northern Peru.
Otra Cosa Network runs five of our own projects, which are all part of the Huanchaco Education and Learning Programme (HELP). HELP is dedicated to advancing the education possibilities and resources for those living in lower-income communities in Huanchaco and the surrounding shanty towns. Alongside this, we support several partner organisations in the area, as well as in two remote locations in northern Peru.