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Ricky – Volunteer Coordinator

Ricardo (Ricky) is from the Manatutu District of Timor Leste. Having started his degree in Public Health at UNPAZ University in 2011, he is now working as Volunteer Coordinator at Bairo Pite Clinic during the day, whilst continuing night-time classes in the hopes of graduating in December, 2015. Ricky is very thankful to have a job that is helping him practice his English as well as providing him with experience in the healthcare sector.

As Volunteer Coordinator Ricky finds himself providing assistance in any way he can for all those who offer their valuable time and skills to further the work of Bairo Pite. For overseas volunteers Ricky is their main contact, initially via email, helping to organise accommodation and answering any questions they may have, and is then the smiling face greeting them at the airport when they arrive. Ricky also is central to overseeing the availability of translators for the clinic. He recruits volunteers from the local community who have a desire to learn and practice their English and an interest in the public health sector and manages them during their time at the clinic. Ricky works alongside the Clinic Manager to agree on volunteer schedules and providing references for any volunteers who’s time at BPC is coming to a close to assist them in finding future work.

Ricky is aware that his job is of great significance, both for the clinic and the community, as without translators the work of the clinic staff would be greatly inhibited and the local volunteers greatly enhance their employability by learning to speak English, particularly when combined with their new understanding of medical terms and references. The patients at the clinic also rely on the translators to be able to make use of the services the clinic offers.

When the people under his management begin to reach their full potential in a particular role, Ricky can’t help but feel proud. Facilitating people and their particular skills and abilities is what he is passionate about, and he enjoys making his volunteers feel appreciated, which certainly shows in his work. Ricky’s motto is ‘Just go with it’, and no doubt his positive approach to every situation is what’s brought him so far already. His cultural understanding is very well developed and this shows as he interacts with the variety of cultures found within the clinic.

During his time at BPC Ricky can see how his own character has developed and he is very thankful for the opportunity to work towards a greater purpose. Being trusted with responsibilities has helped Ricky to mature in ways he never thought possible, and he has realized his natural ability to clear up misunderstandings in a positive and instructive manner.

Ricky is keen to complete his degree in Public Health, and has hopes of getting a scholarship to study Genetics overseas. If his dreams become reality, he would then like to return to BPC and use his new skills to contribute to the common cause of improving the wellbeing of the people of Timor Leste. If he doesn’t get a scholarship to study, he plans to transfer to a job in health promotion, standing by the belief that prevention is better than cure when it comes to public health, and can see himself doing well in a role at BPC’s mobile clinic in the remote districts of the country. His keenness to care for the people of Timor Leste is evident, and no doubt his passion and hard work will ensure he’ll do well in whatever direction he decides to go.