Interview of Emmaly Koudijs

Good morning Emmaly , you have been there six month and you will leave us on January back to Netherlands, thank you to take time to answer some questions on your experience 🙂

How long have you been a volunteer?

Emmaly: I stay 6 month in the hospital

Why do you want to be a volunteer? 

Emmaly: I wanted to go abroad as a volunteer and give time to help people. It’s a good way to fully integrate into the culture.

Could you explain what is your mission in Jerusalem and more precisely in Saint-Louis Hospital? 

Emmaly: I was a caregiver ,I’m working with patients in all departments.

Have you done this job before coming? 

Emmaly: Not at all, i study social work in Netherlands. It was my first time as a caregiver

Did you find it difficult to adapt to this (new activity)/(your activity in another culture)? 

Emmaly: Yes, it was hard at the beginning, really hard, I started on side C (oncology department), everyone is really sick and dying (I had in my family some people passed away of cancer that didn’t make it easier to work with oncological patients every day ) …
But, few week after (maybe 2 or 3) I get used to do it, and I can even say, I never imagined that it’s a so beautiful work to take care of patient, I really enjoy it.

I hadn't thought that I would like to work in a hospital; but i really loved this experience

Is there an encounter that has marked you during your volunteering?

Emmaly: I really love when I can playing music for patients (piano for example), it was really an amazing time to share with them !

What challenges have you faced? How did you deal with them?

Emmaly: There are so many culture together in the hospital, it’s not very easy, at start, to work an deal with all of them. Language is also a complicated part of the job, with the staff sometimes and of course with patients that speak a lot of different languge but not always English or Dutch 😉
But very quickly we adapt and we find ways to communicate together.

What is your best memory of your volunteering? 

Emmaly: Everything … I don’t know, live with all the girls in our flat, movies night, deep talk…
If i have to choose one, I choose the 170th anniversary of the hospital, an amazing sharing time with the familiy of Saint Louis Hospital.

A last word? 

Emmaly: Skoukran Ktir (“thank you” in Arabic) for the possibility of serving in this hospital.

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