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Kenyan Village Medical Education (KVME)
KVME is a preventative medicine campaign in rural Kenya which aims to improve health outcomes through culturally-specific health promotion. Volunteers conduct a training program to educate rural communities about how to mitigate the effects of commonly fatal but easily preventable diseases.
Throughout much of rural Kenya at present, there is a significant lack of information and understanding about many easily preventable and manageable diseases, which result in increased mortality and morbidity. Such rural communities are particularly at risk due to lower education levels, poorer economic conditions, and poorer baseline infrastructure.
We seek to target influential senior leaders of communities since training them means that their increased understanding is much more likely to resonate with their communities. To this end, we explain our health suggestions focusing on the cause of disease, symptom severity, prevention strategies, and treatment to these leaders in a way that is clear and easy-to-understand.This is complemented by additional education in schools and orphanages to improve health awareness amongst children.
In the past, we have focused on three common but manageable diseases: pneumonia, diarrhoea, and trachoma, which were selected since they would have the most likely achievable impact on health outcomes. We also aim to encourage tangible changes such as the introduction of water filtration systems and first aid supplies where possible.
We pursue a partnership model enabling direct and equal interaction between people and communities in developed and developing countries. To do so, we seek to break down the barriers between donors and recipients so that the relationship becomes one of equity that is mutually beneficial and rewarding for all parties concerned.
We believe that supporting communities in developing countries goes far beyond just financial contributions. It also involves establishing a substantial dialogue, supporting the exchange of culture, information, and ideas. It is about establishing lifelong friendships with real people and recognizing, realizing, and respecting all that we have in common.
When can I apply?
Applications for volunteering with KVME are open throughout the month of August every year, during which we hold two information sessions for interested applicants. Interviews with shortlisted applicants are held during the beginning of September followed by several training sessions with selected volunteers from September until December.
The KVME volunteering program itself runs during the entire month of January each year. It consists of a couple of days of orientation in Kenya followed by a few days in a local Kenyan clinic. For the next couple of weeks, KVME makes visits to four Kenyan villages interspersed with volunteer work at a local children’s shelter. Please have a look through the testimonials of past volunteers and direct any questions that you have to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond promptly.
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