I am a Trainee Healthcare Scientist specialised in Rehabilitation Engineering in the UK. When I was offered the chance to do a 4 week placement of my choice, I knew I wanted to travel to a developing country to work in rehabilitation, but I was unsure where to go. My friend mentioned CRP to me after she had done some volunteer work here at the inclusive school, and mentioned that they made wheelchairs and provided special seating. It sounded like the perfect opportunity to work in a field of work so close to my own but in a completely different cultural context.
I have spent a month here working alongside the metal workshop and the special seating unit sharing work practices and developing new ideas. There is never a dull moment and I have been lucky enough to meet and work alongside such wonderful, inspiring and talented people. Everybody here is so welcoming; I hope to return to CRP when I next get the chance.
My name is Miriam Currie, I’m 25 years old and I’m in my final year of studying Occupational Therapy (OT) at York St John University in England. I came to CRP in March 2013 and stayed for 12 weeks. During that time I completed a 10 week OT placement which contributed towards my studies. My university has had a link with CRP for years, giving various health professional students the opportunity to complete their final placements abroad at CRP. I was already curious about Bangladesh and that part of the world, and I really wanted to find out about the culture for myself. I wanted to be stretched and challenged during my final placement in a way that a placement in the UK wouldn’t do. Looking back, I was definitely stretched and challenged! It was such a fantastic time joining the inpatient occupational therapy team who work with patients with spinal cord injuries – it was more like a family than just a work team. It was an amazing experience to learn about what OT looks like in a totally different culture where you need to be more creative as a practitioner because of the limited resources and finances available. The whole experience has really grown me as a person and opened my eyes to the bigger world of OT outside Western contexts, helping me to learn to work in a more culturally sensitive way. I hope that one day I can return to CRP to volunteer in future.