One of the fundamental premises of The Global Health Watch (GHW) is to amplify the voices of those who traditionally are unheard and unrepresented. At the most vulnerable level, we have villagers, slum dwellers, refugees, political prisoners, ethnic minorities, children, women, the elderly, the disabled, LGBTQ communities… the list goes on.
Among them, we have the extreme poor (earning <$1/day); the illiterate; those without education; and as a consequence of these factors, those who have no way to truly share their narrative directly with our project.
One opportunity to address this is through volunteers. Every year, thousands of volunteers from colleges and universities in high-income countries travel to work with NGOs and non-profits in developing economy regions. These student volunteers are often thrown into the mix without a clear role when they could very easily become advocates for the poor and vulnerable through GHW. With proper pre-departure training on responsible reporting and open-ended interviewing techniques, students can help bridge this important communication gap and change the field.