I hope you have all had a relaxing and enjoyable bank holiday!
My time at St John Eye Hospital is really flying by. It was already a week ago that I wrote my last blog and yet it feels like only yesterday.
Last Wednesday and Thursday were mostly spent revamping the Tumblr page. Like I have said before, I have never been particularly up-to-date with technology and so this has been a real learning curve. I am yet to buy an iPod and I was bought a Kindle for my birthday which I am yet to turn on, four months later! So I am really enjoying learning about new technology and – who knows – after this, I might even turn my Kindle on…
I have also spent a bit of time looking into the celebrity ambassador’s project. The premise of the project is to find a well-known person who could represent the Hospital Group as an ambassador. We hope that this will generate more supporters and followers of our organisation. When Nick (the previous intern) gave me his hand-over document, I was a little bemused to find that he had been trying to contact Halle Berry. So when I initially looked at this document I merely thought that he had a crush on Halle Berry and for this reason he wanted to contact her. I was also a little amused to find that he had been trying to contact Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers). This is because I knew of Nick’s love of all things Disney (Sorry Nick!) which led him to the Jonas sibling. But as I started my research into likely celebrity ambassadors the penny began to drop. Nick Jonas has ‘type one’ diabetes and Halle Berry has ‘type 2’ diabetes. Diabetes is important to us because it is pandemic within the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), with 12 to 15% of the population suffering– three times more than in the West. Complications arising from diabetes can damage the retina and lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy affects up to 80% of all diabetics. It is the main cause of blindness amongst the working age population across the globe. So it would seem that Nick did have a credible reason for contacting Halle Berry…
With only just over a week until the end of my internship I have begun reflecting on my experience of working in the St John Eye Hospital Office. I feel that I have gained some valuable knowledge working here– such as a broader understanding of the on-going difficulties and the need for medical care in the region. I became interested in charities and the work of non-governmental organisations while I was travelling in southeast Asia before my degree where I was able to gain first-hand experience of the vital importance of these organisations in this region. I took this passionate interest into my degree and wrote my dissertation focussing on the use of food aid as a foreign policy tool.
While I had this basic knowledge and interest I did not know a great deal about the OPT and the work of charities and non-governmental organisations in this area. From working at the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group London office I have developed an understanding of the issues in the OPT, and in particular the need for eye care in the region, where the rate of blindness remains ten times higher than in the West. We need to get busy!
Well that’s all for now folks, until Friday L x