What do culture and psychology have in common? This question is answered by Marie, who recently completed a social work internship at the Lutindi Mental Hospital in Tanzania. You can read about her experiences here:
I have now been interning for almost one month at the Lutindi Mental Hospital, which is located in the idyllic Western Usamabara Mountains of the Tanga region in Tanzania. An almost one-hour, exciting Pikipiki ride over the steep and winding gravel track up from Korooge, leads you past just a few villages and directly to the clinic, which is located almost at the top of the mountain. At the hospital, more than 70 patients with mental illnesses are currently being treated by a multi-professional team.
The work here is very diverse and at the beginning I was thoroughly informed about everything worth knowing. It is striking and interesting how a mental disorder can be influenced by the predominant religious believes or superstitions of a culture. The direct patient contact varies due to the language barrier, however, many patients also have (good) English skills.
Because of the hospital’s remote location I feel that I am more in touch with the people here, their culture and the everyday life, because one is naturally part of it. That way I automatically learned the language basics as I constantly hear them around me. With some people, Swahili even is the only way to communicate. I have made lots of positive experiences with the local people here and am always touched by the warmth and openness of the Tanzanias.
Curious to learn more about this option? Click here.
Our World Unite! intern Martine from Switzerland completed an internship at the Lutindi Hospital as well. You can read of her experiences here.