In December 2021, On Call Africa (OCA) applied to become a member of the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (known as Forum). One of the main motivations for wanting to become a member was the idea of sharing our way of working and learn from others on how we can continuously adapt and change to reflect the needs of the communities we work in through international volunteering.
We are really proud to now have become one of the newest members of Forum. Forum is the leading global network of organisations, including non-government and state, that work with volunteers to create sustainable development impact. It also promotes good practice and cooperation across the volunteering for the development sector.
We are now one of the 32 organisations worldwide in Forum. Other members include GIZ, VSO, Raleigh International, Jica, Action Aid and Crossroads International to name a few.
In the past 2 years, ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, OCA has gone through lots of changes as an organisation and the way we work with international volunteers. We have shifted from front-line patient support through mobile clinics to a quality improvement and systems’ strengthening approach which we are currently piloting with two rural health facilities, Kanyanga and Chalimongela.
Our rural health service package addresses all aspects of health system strengthening, and brings together Ministry of Health, health workers, community volunteers, our staff and international volunteers to deliver projects and build capacity within the health system. Projects focussed on infrastructure development, WASH, accessibility of facilities and community structures are led by Ministry of Health with support from our staff. Skilled volunteer doctor focus on building capacity of staff, strengthening referral system linkages and health promotion planning in collaboration with district teams, health workers, community volunteers and our staff.
Becoming a member of Forum comes at a perfect time for us as we review our international volunteering programme and make sure we work our way through Forum’s new Global Volunteering Standard. We are keen to provide the best experience we can offer to international volunteers and are excited to have the support, knowledge and expertise of Forum to hand for the next chapter in OCA’s volunteering programme.
‘On Call Africa is a learning organisation that aspires for excellence in everything that we do. We are always keen to learn from the experiences and expertise of others and to share our own experiences with like-minded organisations to promote positive change. Joining the forum presents us with an exciting opportunity to improve volunteer experiences and the work that we deliver in Zambia, and a forum to share learning as we implement new and exciting projects with the help of skilled volunteers.
Volunteers have always, and continue to play a crucial role in our work, and I am excited to see us working towards the Forum’s Global Volunteering Standard to ensure that we deliver high quality volunteer experiences that meet locally identified needs.’
Ben Margetts, CEO, On Call Africa
For more information about volunteering with OCA, please contact Michaela: firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 7389 842809
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