International HELP creates opportunities for both communities and students. Read more about Hassan Barrie’s experience to learn more about the projects he helped progress and the public health skills he gained.
I started my practicum with International Help in May 2019. It was a 16 week practicum experience that ended in September 2019. Since then, I have been a volunteer working as a Coordinator for the Sierra Leone project.
I am completing my Masters in Public Health degree at the American Public University and scheduled to graduate in March 2020. The MPH program includes courses like health policy, social and behavioral aspects of health, disaster health management, ethics, public health education, quarantine, health and environment, biostatistics and research methods. I have also completed a practicum/internship program with International Help in 2019, during which I put the concepts learned into practice.
I am currently the Project Coordinator volunteering with International Help where I am helping develop and implement a project for training more than 20 community health workers in Sierra Leone, West Africa where malaria is still a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. I am leading the work of engaging the partner agency and collaborators, conducting health surveys and community needs assessment, developing lesson plans and materials, developing the budget and planning the community health worker training and program evaluation and sustainability.
I started working on the Sierra Leone project and worked with Monterey, the Director, to develop a program to train community health workers in Rokupr, Sierra Leone. I researched and engaged the local partner organization and the stakeholders, conducted the community health survey and developed training materials and other documents. Currently we are in the process of selecting the potential trainees, developing the budget, and creating the evaluation plan.
I learned a great deal during my practicum with International Help. I learned about researching the health status of a community, engaging community leaders and stakeholders, developing training materials, conducting a health survey, assessing community needs, program development and planning. The Director empowered me a lot by delegating tasks and responsibilities and by giving valuable feedback.
“The practicum helped me fulfill a course requirement for my Masters degree. It also helped prepare me for my career as a public health professional.”
I recommend fellow classmates and contacts to International HELP. It is an organization that is willing to help people improve themselves, whether they be students or communities with health problems. International HELP has tools in place and a Director that is knowledgeable and selfless.
– Hassan Barrie, MPH Intern, American Public University