Volunteered in Rwanda in October 2011
What do you do?
I work as an audiologist in a special school, testing and fitting hearing aids to children and young people with additional needs.
Why did you choose to support Jubilee Action/Chance for Childhood?
I have always felt a deep sadness for the deaf children in the developing world who cannot access even basic audiological care. There have been huge advances in audiology in the West with more and more sophisticated digital hearing aid technology and improved speech processing for cochlear implant recipients. I was delighted, when approached by Jubilee Action, to volunteer to go to Rwanda to assess the needs of the area and try to lay the foundations for a rudimentary service for deaf children.
What did you find the most challenging about your visit?
Probably being confronted by suffering, injustice and inequality and seeing disease and poverty which would be unthinkable in the West, knowing that there are easy cures, treatment and prevention available on the world market which are completely out of reach for the majority of Rwandan people.
What did you find the most enjoyable about your visit?
The children, who were so full of vitality and enthusiasm for life and derived so much pleasure from so little. It was a valuable lesson to remind myself of the corrupting influence and hollowness of western consumerism. It is people, and not things, which matter in life.
At times it is almost unbearable to live with the gross inequalities of the world as it is today and feel so powerless to change anything. But it is a very rapidly changing world and maybe the collapse of the old order will give birth to a new and better way!