Do you want to help impoverished communities abroad? IVI are currently looking for nutrition and public health volunteers for both Fiji and Bali.
These outreach programs are suitable for qualified health practitioners or students (Naturopath, Nutritionist, Dietitian, Nurse, Doctor, allied health professional.)
Both countries follow a similar goal, performing free health checks and assessments in developing communities and small villages. You will be working alongside a qualified practitioner at all times, so for students, this can be a fantastic opportunity to put some practical skills into use, whilst making a real impact.
The communities we work with often have heath concerns such as obesity, malnutrition, type 2 diabetes, and a poor diet, such as high sugar and salt. Our mission is to not only offer health checks but to educate these communities on the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise.
The residents may be from disadvantaged backgrounds, and have little or no access to free healthcare, and that which they do, is often overrun or have limited resources.
With support and assistance from the program coordinators, you will be assigned specific health cases and may be involved with but not limited to:
- Conducting individual and group consultations
- Remote island healthcare education
- Corporate health
- Children’s health & education
- Identifying protein deficiency among school kids
- Assisting in the prescription of natural protocols
- Providing educational assistance and local talks (if desired)
- Helping build nutrition and diabetes awareness campaigns
- Designing fitness and exercise programs
- Village exercise programs
- General healthy living programs.
Volunteers on our outreach programs should be willing to ‘go with the flow’ as things often operate at a slower pace than what you may be used to in their home countries.
Our nutrition outreach programs have been hugely popular and successful previously, and we are looking forward to continuing our work in Bali and Fiji. This can be challenging work but so very rewarding!
Here is a snippet from a podcast our Fiji coordinator Jules Galloway did, explaining a little about the work being done in Fiji…
“So, what we do is we go over and we assess, and we measure the health of the local people. We’re looking at things like blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, height, weight, we measure their waist circumference to show if they’re at a higher risk category for diabetes. We do all that to raise everyone’s own personal awareness of where their bodies at, where their health is at. Some people can go all their lives, like right into their 33’s, 40’s, 50’s and on, without ever having these checks being done. It’s quite common over there for people to be a bit wary about going to the doctors, so some people don’t even know that they’ve got high blood pressure or high blood sugar until it’s too late.
We’re also increasing awareness of sugar rich foods that people be avoiding, through education. And again, it was mind blowing, the lack of education that was happening around these sorts of foods, especially which foods have got the sugar in them. We do a lot of work showing people which foods have got the sugar, we actually even take props with us now, thanks to the people behind ‘That Sugar Film’, Damon and his crew.
I had a chat with someone from that camp and they showed us how to educate people. They said alright, we’ll go and buy the local foods. Go and buy the local tins of baked beans and the fruit juice and jam and the biscuits and all the things. Go and buy them, and then buy a bunch of zip lock bags. Then we got some big bags of sugar, and we measured how much sugar was in each of those products and put in the zip lock bag. We labelled them e.g., ‘baked beans: 42g of sugar’ and then we put down how many teaspoons of sugar that is, say ’10 teaspoons of sugar’. And we would stick that to the baked beans, and we would do the same with the fruit juice, the same with the jam and the biscuits and so on.
We visually showed people what was in their foods, and their minds were being blown all over the place! Some of the reactions were priceless, we had one lady freaking out because we showed her what was in the flavoured yogurt, and she was like “I give this to my daughter every day! My daughters always hyperactive, I never knew why. I’m going to get her off this, I’m going to tell all the other mums at the preschool as well”. We thought “my god, no-one’s ever told her this before”.”
Each program is for 2 weeks, and this can be extended if you wish to stay and join another project afterwards, or just to travel around a bit!
We are currently looking for nutrition outreach volunteers in Fiji starting, the 6th November 2022 and 16th January 2023.
For Bali, starting 9th January 2023.
For more info on these projects please take a look at the project pages…
Fiji nutrition outreach: https://www.volunteering.org.au/projects/fiji/clinical-nutrition-and-dietetics-health/
Bali nutrition outreach: https://www.volunteering.org.au/projects/bali-2/bali-public-health-outreach/
*Places tend to fill up quickly, so get in fast to secure your spot!