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Online volunteer for Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa

(Photo: Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa, 2011)(Photo: Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa, 2011)
15 December 2011

Sharing her long-standing editorial experience, Yolanta Cwik from Canada conceived a website and posters for the Deworm Ghana Campaign run by the Ghana-based NGO Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa (VPWA). 3,900 children were dewormed as a result of this campaign, which was the first in a series that the organization will replicate in other West African countries.

According to the World Health Organization, worm infections are one of the most common long-term infections of children in low-income countries, and deworming is the most cost-effective method to significantly increase primary school attendance and a child’s ability to learn in school.

“Our aim is to treat as many children as possible annually with the help of volunteers, teachers and community health care providers while improving education through an integrated school health programme,” says VPWA’s Executive Director, Hayford Siaw. He praises Yolanta as an “exceptional volunteer who was always willing to share ideas and information and delivered quality output leading to the overwhelming success of the medical outreach program.”

It was Yolanta's first time volunteering online and the experience taught her “that you don’t need to be an expert in issues that a local NGO is working on, but that your skills that may come from your job or education can be used to supplement a program.”

It is very likely that this was not her last time to support a local organization over the Internet. “Of all my work experience, I am most proud of my UN Online Volunteer experience and hope to work with more organizations in the future. On a personal level, the best part has been the continued collaboration and contact I’ve kept with VPWA. Volunteering for me is more than just working on a project with an end, but a way to connect with people who work hard on the frontlines of their communities. It keeps me grounded in real world issues that are given little or no news or exposure.“
UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)