Notes from Volunteers
I found the experience to be "life changing". I use quotes because it's what everyone expects from a trip like that, and it's kind of cheesy but there really is no other way to describe the trip.
Until practicing in Kenya and the Gestalt counseling sessions, I wasn't sure how great of a practitioner I could be, but I felt that the experience has helped me to become more confident in my skills as a practitioner, and as a person who is able to help others in a significant way. With the Gestalt sessions, I feel as though I have come to a point where I can appreciate myself fully and command respect from others. I love your saying "be careful what you swallow". Before your sessions, I was trying to figure out myself, and would go to different people for an answer, taking in what they said, although it didn't always "ringtrue" for me (another one of your sayings that I love, hope my honesty doesn't make you feel too uncomfortable, but it's true!) Just learning to give other people feedback was an incredible experience, because I had to learn to tell people what was on my mind.. not an easy thing to do! Thank you for facilitating that, out of all the things I have learned while in Kenya, my Gestalt situations with you and the girls will last longer than any pictures I have taken while in Kenya.
Sherri Anne, CCNM Student.
My experiences in Africa have been amazing. In just a few weeks (that flow by too fast!) I have learned so much about treating patients in an environment so different that the one I'm used to. I'm indebted to Ameet for his enthusiasm to teach, his clinical insights, and his supervision. which helped me grow as a naturopathic student and future ND. The counseling sessions were a fun way to learn interviewing/counseling skills and test clinical muscle. Thanks Ameet!
Irene Chang, 2nd year CCNM student volunteer
Volunteer - Personal Growth Program
Volunteering with FIMAFRICA is not limited to medical volunteers only. Business people and other professionals are encouraged to apply, since there is a strong personal growth part of our program.
Personal growth is a large part of FIMAFRICA's volunteer experience. Through carefully designed exercises and using Gestalt therapy counseling, Ameet works with individuals to bring about their emotional awareness. Gestalt is an emotional growth therapy, and allows for "in the moment awareness" to develop regarding your feelings. This empowerment technique teaches you to be present with your emotions in situations where you would normally be overcome with emotional reactions. This journey is a powerful way to change the way you live your life, to help you develop personally and to help you improve on relationships and communication.
For Health Practitioners and Students (3 week program)
Volunteering with FIMA is a unique experience that challenges each student to fully surrender to practice and avail themselves to the people they are treating. With FIMAFRICA, your ability to practice is encouraged in a way that fosters self involvement and self growth. You will have a chance to use your skills in the field and also be guided by the other practitioners. These trips are more than just the administration of therapies - they are the chance to include yourself in your practice and allow you to work with people at a very human level while you deliver your services to people in need. The mobile clinics and working with our partner organizations are a fun way to explore different clinical experiences. Your stay with FIMAFRICA will include personal growth sessions which involve group work as well as individual counseling sessions. Ameet works with you to develop clinical muscle and counseling techniques through developing emotional awareness. As part of your practice, you will notice that human contact is very important, it reawakens the spirit and brings about healing.
For Business Groups and Other Professionals (2 week program)
The personal growth program is a way to raise funds for FIMAFRICA's mobile clinics. These excursions involve group work and individual personal work with Dr. Ameet Aggarwal in the bush as well as in towns where poverty is experienced. You are likely to experience a shift in emotional awareness through this program, and participating in these exercises helps with emotional intelligence. This is important for individuals who want to improve on relationship skills, effective communication, business relationships and empowerment, leadership skills and personal growth.Your program will include some stay at a luxury camp in the wilderness of Kenya, where there is abundant wildlife and a nautre walks available as part of the package. This setting is ideal for you to discover yourself amidst nature. You will also possibly stay in towns and possibly camp in remote areas with our mobile clinics, where you will be expected to help develop FIMAFRICA and its program.
Volunteer Disclosure Form
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As part of your continuing education in medicine, what better way is there to learn about tropical medicine, enhance your skills in naturopathic medicine treating various diseases of a diverse nature, enrich the cultural sensitivity of your practice with knowledge of cultural issues that may come up in practice, and also deepen your clinical skills by working as a team with other doctors and naturopathic physicians.
The next group of naturopathic physicians will be taken by Dr. Ameet Aggarwal in a group maximum of 6 people. Practitioners are encouraged to apply soon to ensure proper preparations are made for you on this trip.
Excursions will include clinical rotations, some cultural exposure to local tribes of Kenya and possibly some observation time in surgery with a local community hospital. We likely will see some wildlife, depending on weather and group agreement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your trip.
Expenses for food, basic accommodation, travelling on the mobile clinics, organizational fees, including support towards continuing the project will be approximately $2000.00 for 3 weeks. The Business Professionals program fees depends on group size and will be discussed on a group basis. Airline tickets should cost you between $1600 to around $2000. If you can bring extra medical supplies with you, that would be really helpful, including homeopathics, gloves, probiotics, vitamins, etc.