Volunteer Healthcare Corps
AIHA’s Volunteer Healthcare Corps (VHC) was a distinct yet complementary component of our HIV/AIDS Twinning Center’s institutional partnership program. The VHC recruited highly skilled health and allied professionals for placement at institutions in sub-Saharan Africa as a way to provide long-term technical assistance and mentoring to strengthen human resources for health and improve health service delivery, particularly for people living with HIV.
The Ethiopian Diaspora Volunteer Program
Alongside its traditional volunteer program, the Twinning Center aimed to mobilize Diaspora communities to contribute to HIV/AIDS capacity building efforts through its Diaspora Initiative. This unique approach had the benefit of recruiting highly-skilled professionals with a particular motivation to return to their countries of origin, allowing them to quickly engage in both professional and personal activities while confronting less cultural barriers.
With this program, there was a strong potential for repatriation, contributing to the developing world workforce. The Diaspora program also addressed some of the negative effects of “brain drain” as volunteers were able to transfer knowledge and skills back to their country of origin.
The VHC Experience
In addition to building the capacity of local communities, organizations, and institutions who were working to deliver effective and sustainable solutions to HIV/AIDS and other healthcare challenges in Africa, the VHC program also provided learning opportunities for the volunteer. This booklet highlights the work of a handful of volunteers who have participated in the VHC program and is illustrative of the many other dedicated individuals who have voluntarily contributed their time and skills to the Twinning Center’s efforts to combat the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. Read More.
VHC volunteer Dr. Aelaf Worku shares information about his volunteer placement at Debre Berhan Referral Hospital in Ethiopia.