Michaela Rossmann

 

What’s your role?

I’m the Volunteer Engagement Officer. My role is to recruit volunteers and make sure that they are safe, supported and happy throughout their volunteering experience with OCA.

What made you decide to work for On Call Africa?

I really like the concept of sharing professional skills and knowledge through volunteering in an international development context. I have a passion for health inequalities, having worked with cancer patients and people experiencing multiple disadvantages when trying to access primary care.

What were you doing before you joined On Call Africa?

As this role is part time, I continue working to improve health inequalities for a project in the UK as a Systems’ Change Officer.
Before that, I lived and worked in Nepal through the EU Aid Volunteer scheme. I also worked for VSO and Macmillan Cancer Support. All these roles focused on volunteer management.
I also volunteered in Sri Lanka, Peru and South Africa.

Why should someone give up their time to volunteer for On Call Africa?

I think that volunteering is about ‘giving and getting’. So volunteers who get involved with OCA will be able to share their skills and knowledge and get an intercultural exchange and unforgettable personal experiences in return. Volunteers will also get a sense of achievement and will see first hand their impact on improving people’s lives. They also contribute to sustainable change in the healthcare system.

What’s your biggest challenge for the year ahead?

It’s an exciting time for OCA with new ways for volunteers to get involved in the pipeline. My challenge for the year ahead will be to ensure that the volunteer experience is the best it can be and to maximise the benefits for everyone involved.

Tell me something about you that no one else knows…

I’m very much an open book, so there’s not too much people don’t know! But some might not know I use to ski competitively as a child growing up in the Italian Alps, until I crashed against a fence and broke my leg when I was 8.

Have you got any tips on Zambia for future volunteers?

I would suggest that volunteers need to be flexible, kind, respectful and go with the flow. It’s about trying to be resourceful and resilient whilst enjoying the sense of being integrated into a different community and culture.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I love to cook, growing my own vegetables and in the cold UK winter months I like to knit and be crafty.

Why should we support On Call Africa?

I think that OCA is in a unique place to make sustainable change in rural healthcare happen by working closely with the local communities, harnessing their expertise and influencing decision makers to address health inequalities.

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