Hi, I am Fleur E.F Hoving, from the Netherlands. I am 22-year-old and just graduated from the VUMC School of Medical Sciences, and worked with Friendship’s Health Sector through the month of September, 2019. I received on-the-job training on first-aid response, physiotherapy, infection prevention, nursing, general consultation etc. during my stay here.

Within that time, I had to visit the Emirates Friendship Hospital, in the remote, northern, riverine, silt islands of Bangladesh, where the work that Friendship is doing is needed most. There, I saw first hand what it is like to be so far from infrastructure or access, that not just I, being from a developed country, but the urban population of Bangladesh itself would be shocked by.

Ever since I was a small girl, I have been curious about all the different cultures around the world. My family has always supported me to travel, especially my mom. More than 15 years ago, she visited Friendship on one of her trips and the stories she told afterwards were inspiring. She awoke my curiosity for NGOs and the work they do. After finishing my Bachelor’s degree in medicine, I wanted to experience how health is provided in hard to reach areas and how I can contribute to this.

One of the projects I worked on was providing first aid training to younger boys from the Friendship satellite schools. This four-day training course gave the boys who had signed up key knowledge on how to act in (life threatening) emergency situations. It was beautiful to see the excitement of the boys throughout the training sessions.

Sunset was my favorite moment of the day. I would walk through the village and see the sky turn pink. These moments gave me time to think about what happened during the day. It is difficult to see how harsh living situations are for some people, like not being able to pay for much needed surgery. Their gratitude after their operations is even more sincere.

The work done by Friendship gives people opportunities and possibilities they could not get on their own. I personally learned that sharing simple knowledge can make a big difference. Anyone planning on visiting Friendship should take the time to understand the ideology of the organization and see the beauty of the country. The people working for Friendship are always friendly and will make you feel at home right away!