Nutrition Volunteer Projects in Samoa
- PLACEMENT LOCATIONS: Upolu
- ROLE: To work alongside local professionals from the Samoa National Health Service and educate the local community on nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle
- TYPES OF PLACEMENT: Community-based within the hospital and clinics
- REQUIREMENTS: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to join the Nutrition project and have an intermediate level of English
- ACCOMMODATION: Host family
- Price: From
- WHAT’S INCLUDED? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
Projects Abroad recognises that the relationship between good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is too important to disregard. Working alongside the Samoa National Health Service (NHS), and the local schools and communities, Projects Abroad provides volunteers with an opportunity to explore the power of sharing knowledge to change the lives of local Samoans.
Nearly 80% of the Samoan population, over the age of 15, are obese. Mining operations in Samoa have left very little arable land and, as a result, there is a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables; locals consume a lot of imported and processed food instead of fresh fruit and vegetables. However, this is not the only issue resulting in many Samoans’ poor nutrition; many locals associate a large body size with wealth and power.
Volunteers who work at the Nutrition project in Samoa help the NHS with outreach programmes that are carried out across three hospitals and three health clinics in Upolu, the most populated of the Samoan Islands. They will also work in the local schools, churches and youth groups raising awareness about the importance of healthy living.
Volunteering on a Nutrition project in Samoa
During the first two days of this placement, Projects Abroad will run a series of training workshops with volunteers to explain Samoa’s current health status, give a background to common non-communicable diseases they will come across, and equip them with the tools to begin the outreach and education sessions.
Depending on experience, volunteers may work on some of the following activities:
- Conducting patient questionnaires on health status, diet, exercise and weight.
- Creating plans for a healthy lifestyle, with advice on diet, meal and exercise plans.
- Visiting local schools to provide health check-ups for teachers and guide them with nutrition lessons or workshops. Volunteers will also help with the NHS’s school canteen programme, making sure those who prepare the meals are aware of healthy meal options for students.
- Providing advice on how locals can grow their own vegetable garden.
- Giving exercise classes to the local community, local schools, churches and youth groups.
- Creating a weekly exercise class.
- Giving cooking lessons.
- Organising health walks within the community.
- Creating health campaigns
The working hours for this placement are from 9am to 5pm, including research and preparation time, Monday to Friday.
For volunteers who have a medical or a public health background, there may be opportunities to work more specifically with antenatal nutrition for pregnant women in Samoa. The work will consist of giving advice on nutrition, the benefits of breast feeding and healthy eating. Our Projects Abroad coordinator will oversee this aspect of the Nutrition placement as well.