Photo of Mufudzi in front of Shoshong Clinic

A Volunteer Story – Meet Mufudzi

Mufudzi Chihambakwe treats a patient in the World Spine Care clinic in Mahalapye, Botswana
Mufudzi Chihambakwe treats a patient in the World Spine Care clinic in Mahalapye, Botswana

I was inspired to become a World Spine Care (WSC) Clinic Supervisor by another Clinic Supervisor, Nadine Harrison. I had met her as a student as a part of the World Congress of Chiropractic Students (WCCS)  and in 2016 I visited the WSC house in Mahalapye, Botswana and instantly fell in love.

Seeing how Nadine lived out the idea of providing integrated spine care for so many people who needed it, inspired me to do the same and I became very interested in figuring out how to take the next steps.

I had been aware of WSC for a while and liked the idea of volunteering for such a worthy cause,  but it wasn’t until I was actually on the ground in Botswana, and had spent a few days at the house and observing what was happening in the clinics that I made the decision: I had to come to Botswana and volunteer for WSC.

It was exactly what I was hoping spine care could be in Africa.

I first became involved as a student in 2013, where we fundraised and raised awareness about WSC as a part of WCCS committee. I later did my Master’s degree thesis with WSC in 2017. 

Finally, this year, after a great deal of patience and perseverance, I was able to join the team in Botswana. Volunteering has been such a rewarding and unbelievable experience.

Here are just a few of the things I have learned in my time here so far:

  • The first thing that struck me while working in Botswana was…how spine care can be delivered as a public service in Africa. In many African countries, access to much of the spine care available is mostly in private health care settings and is beyond the reach of many. Having grown up in Zimbabwe and lived in South Africa, seeing patients with low incomes who are able to access our services so easily is a breath of fresh air. 
  • Being here in Botswana has given me… confidence in the impact that strategic organizations can have. Growing up I was always skeptical of NGOs and charities. But WSC is having meaningful contributions here setting a precedent for spine care on the continent.
  • Volunteering has taught me… many things! Probably most importantly I have learned to be patient and persistent. I fought for a whole year for my practicing license in Botswana.   I’ve also learned about how important boundaries are in terms of how much one person can give. I always imagined that as a volunteer you would give until you drop. But now I realize that this is not sustainable, and it is important to pace oneself. I have a long way to go!

Interested in Volunteering?

Are you interested in volunteering at a World Spine Care Clinic? We’re currently recruiting volunteers in the Dominican Republic and Botswana. To learn more about our current volunteer opportunities, click here.

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