Overseas Community Involvement Programmes in Medical School Part 7

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23 Dec 2016 - General

Another student told me about his experience in an orphanage in Cambodia. He was glad to have been able to communicate quite effectively with the children there even though he could not speak a word of Khmer. I guess love and care transcends all languages. With the help of the not-so-trustworthy Google Translate, he was able to convey his goodbye message to the children there in simple sentences. He mentioned to me about the importance of learning Khmer before the trip, and how he regretted not learning it. I feel that students should be sent for courses to learn how to speak Khmer (or whatever language the country of interest speaks) to facilitate better communication. Often, translators are bogged down by translation and it is quite taxing. When translators leave, the groups face the great difficulty of finding someone else to replace their role, someone who knows the village community and someone passionate about volunteering as well.