By Muhammad Asfandyar (YES 2012-2013, Pakistan, Hosted by CIEE in Indianapolis, IN)
What is volunteerism? Why do people volunteer? What benefits does it provide? These are the questions I ask myself whenever I see people volunteering. I would like to thank the YES program for teaching me the concept of volunteerism. I remember doing my community service in the U.S. and wanted to take the concept of community service back home -- so I did. Recently, I teamed up with other YES alumni to organize a community project regarding health.
We organized a medical camp in one of the villages in Peshawar (a city in Pakistan) with the help of the village members. The patients not only received medical checkups but also were provided the proper medicine. This medical camps focused predominantly on women because it was the women in the village who had the most medical ailments. Most of the mothers in the village are not aware of the disease and how to prevent them. Also, many people in the village are unable to afford regular visits to the doctor and medication. Therefore, the main focus of the project was not just to give treatment to the patients but also spreading awareness about different diseases and the way to prevent them.
The program took place in the morning and we had a team of doctors and nurses to provide patients with a free medical checkup and medine. Along with YES alumni, local volunteers also helped to organize the camp. During the medical checkup, patients names were recording and prescriptions were documented.
We also focused on giving the locals the idea value of volunteering and community work. This medical camp made sure that the locals are being heard and that they matter. In the end we were able to serve over 400 people.