“The biggest impact is the one that the project had on me.”


UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Idina Zavatta
Age: 23
Hometown: Rimini, Italy
Nationality: Italy
University: University of Bologna
Degree: Medicine and Surgery
Languages spoken: Italian, English (fluent), German (intermediate)
Past-travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Medical Assistance in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 3 weeks
Start month: July 2016
Claim to fame: Idina is an anatomy tutor for younger students at the University of Bologna. We’re glad to have you in the UBELONG Family, Idina!

Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a volunteer because I felt the need to discover the world far from mine usual one, to open the eyes and get out from my “comfort zone”.

What was your impact on your volunteer project?
I hope to have helped with a smile to the patients, showing respect for them and their suffering. Moreover I helped the nurses with injections and medications and I joined some operations when the doctors started to trust me. I also think to have an impact bringing my witnessing to the west countries and making more people aware of how life is in Cambodia. The biggest impact is the one that the project had on me, this experience made me grow and get out from my comfort zone.

What were your major challenges?
My biggest challenge has been facing to the sufferance of patients in very poor and low hygienic conditions. In Cambodian public hospitals there are very small rooms for many patients, they are treated for small operations without use of local anesthesia and they sometimes have their bed on the floor for lack of space. What impressed me the most is the strength with which the patients face the most painful situations without complain. Of course it hasn’t been easy also to adapt to Cambodian culture, city life or hygienic conditions but this is what made the experience fun and great. I can say to have satisfied the reasons why I wanted to become a volunteer.

In a sentence or less, how would you describe the locals you met?
Cambodians are respectful, friendly and strong people!

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Related post:
Meet Ketan Jain-Poster, an undergrad from Stanford University, who volunteered with UBELONG at the medical assistance project in Ecuador.