The research work I have been involved in has provided opportunities for me to work with various organizations, local councils, the National Health Service and various Primary Care Trusts. My networking skills have thus been honed. Through volunteering and research, I have been exposed to situations where people have experienced much oppression and disadvantages in their lives because of disability, race or a combination of these factors. Presently I am a volunteer in a health centre that has a rehabilitation unit that was set up as a pilot project.
The center is not only open to addicts but also to the public to find information on substance use and abuse. As a result, we have been able to sensitize more people on this issue and reduced incidences of substance-related disorder. At the center, I have counseling and guidance roles as well a responsibility to manage all documents of the center in terms of word processing and availing quality documents for both client and staff. I acquired this skill while working part-time at the bank, where computers use the main tool of operation.
Working at the health centre and in various research projects has provided me with a chance to fight against discrimination since most organizations do not tolerate discrimination on all grounds especially racial grounds. Research work has also exposed me to legal and technical language that requires translation to a layperson and other stakeholders who do not have the technical expertise but require specialized advice like schools and local communities.
In a situation like this some of my duties included translating this jargon to a language that can be understood by the layman and also be able to articulate them in form of a policy and strategies that are workable on the ground. Most of these were put up on the website of the respective organization related with a project or research activity. Often during my research projects website management was left to one employee of the organization and an assisting student.
This for me was a wonderful opportunity because it allowed me to learn website management something not taught in my classes. Organizing the health fair required lobbying for increased recognition and promotional increase that would have had positive impact on the health of the community I was working with. These really put my advocacy skills to the test and I was glad to note that Rethink has advocacy as one of its main features.
1. Agcas occupational profile, Health Promotion specialist
2. Rethink – ‘who we are’ retrieved from www. rethink. com