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Millwood, VA, December 5, 2012

Volunteers are fundamental to providing health care and health education to people in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world, says Project HOPE on International Volunteer Day

Project HOPE, an international health education and humanitarian assistance organization, enlists the help of hundreds of volunteer doctors, nurses and other medical professionals annually to participate in humanitarian missions in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, Central Asia and elsewhere.  In 2012 alone, over 500 individuals have volunteered more than 5,200 days of work and donated services valued at $1.7 million. 

Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985, International Volunteer Day is an opportunity for individual volunteers, organizations and communities to promote their contributions at the local, national and international levels.  Specifically, International Volunteer Day is meant to acknowledge the role of volunteers in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, a set of time-bound targets established by the United Nations to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.

Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative

One of Project HOPE’s noteworthy volunteer programs in 2012 has been with the Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative, where HOPE volunteer doctors and nurses train Ghanaian emergency health care providers at the newly constructed Accident and Emergency Center in the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana.Barbara Demman, an emergency room nurse and lecturer at the UCLA School of Nursing in Los Angeles, served as a Project HOPE volunteer for a one-month rotation at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital during April-May of 2012.

“Despite being totally exhausting, the work was very rewarding," Demman said.  "The local nurses are always eager to learn, despite the many challenges.  When I see nurses perform procedures differently, because of the new training they received, my heart just sings."

Many of Project HOPE’s recent volunteer missions have been implemented in partnership with the United States Department of Defense.  Since 2005, more than 1,200 HOPE volunteers have participated in 29 humanitarian missions with the United States Navy and Air Force.  They have provided medical care to over 800,000 people, educated more than 230,000 health care professionals and delivered $33 million of medicine and supplies.

”HOPE volunteers have helped build healthier communities in the developing world, benefitting tens of thousands of people.  I am proud of the positive impact they have had on the lives of so many and grateful for their dedication to medical humanitarian work,” said John P. Howe III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE.

Volunteer Dr. Keith Williams in Ghana

Dr. Keith Williams was the Project HOPE Medical Director on one of these recent volunteer collaborations with the U.S. Navy, the Africa Partnership Station 2012.Dr. Williams, an internal medicine physician from Boston, led a team of six Project HOPE medical volunteers for six weeks on the Africa Partnership Station 2012.The group visited Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Benin, and Togo, where they provided medical care to hundreds of patients each day and trained local health care providers with excellent results.

“My volunteer experience with Project HOPE has been fantastic. The Africa Partnership Station mission has given me opportunities to do what I enjoy most and to utilize my training to truly make a difference in the lives of people in need,” said Dr. Williams.   

Project HOPE is grateful to Barbara Demman, Dr. Keith Williams and all of our volunteers on this December 5, 2012 - International Volunteer Day.

About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health crises, with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education programs in 35 countries across five continents.

Media Contact

Geraldine Carroll Tel. 540-257-3746 gcarroll@projecthope.org