Sharing stories of the day around the dinner table with team at the main lodge

Transformative Volunteering: A Psychiatrist's Journey at Tshemba

June 2024
Volunteer story

In November 2023, I had the opportunity to fulfil an old dream:volunteering at a foundation that combines medical assistance with education.For six weeks, I worked at the Tshemba Foundation, located in South Africa, as a psychiatrist. My mission was to see inpatients and outpatients in the medical ward and the psych ward, supervise local doctors, and provide lectures on mental health. At the hospital, my routine included supervising doctors in the medical ward, attending to patients in the psych ward, and seeing patients at the clinics. Additionally, I gave lectures to the doctors I worked with, sharing knowledge about mental health and discussing various treatment methods.

Volunteering has always been a dream of mine. Coming from Brazil, I have witnessed the unfairness of the world, and volunteering is a way to contribute positively. I chose Tshemba Foundation because it not only focuses on practical help but also emphasizes teaching local doctors, which aligns perfectly with my values. Three key strengths of the Tshemba volunteer program are the dedicated Tshemba staff who provided unwavering support, the camaraderie among volunteers fostering a warm and collaborative environment, and the visionary approach towards sustainable change.

Living in a game reserve was an extraordinary aspect of the experience. Waking up to the sounds of nature, with the possibility of seeing animals like lions, elephants, and rhinos, added a unique and unforgettable dimension to my volunteer work. This proximity to wildlife was not only exhilarating but also provided a serene backdrop that enhanced the overall sense of purpose and connection to the environment.

I would definitely volunteer with Tshemba Foundation again and highly recommend it to others. The experience was enriching, and the connections made were invaluable. I am also excited to continue my involvement as a Tshemba Ambassador, sharing my experiences and encouraging others to join this remarkable program. Thank you, Tshemba Foundation, for this incredible journey!

Guilherme Kling 

Psychiatrist, Brazil