Public Health in South Africa: Experiential Learning to Foster Activism

We are six Oberlin College students travelling to South Africa to work with the organization Across Borders in Peitermaritzburg and to shadow two doctors in Durban.

For the first two weeks of January, we will work in a squatter camp called Site 11 in Peitermaritzburg, South Africa, with family, friends, and colleagues of Mark Charles, founder of Ohio-based nonprofit Across Borders. We will perform manual labor on a community center, give motivational talks to youth about health and education, and tutor community members in computer technology.

During the second half of the month, we will shadow two young doctors in Durban, South Africa. Reshmi, specialist and lecturer at the top AIDS research hospital in South Africa, Albert Lithuli Hospital, focuses on mother to child transmission of HIV. Her husband, Rafael, is an obstetric anesthesiologist who takes part in caesarean sections and other surgeries. In addition to mentoring us during the week, Reshmi and Rafael will take us to an orphanage on the weekends where we will spend time with children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.


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