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Kildeer man seeks volunteers for humanitarian projects
By Madhu Krishnamurthy | Daily Herald Staff

Chris Stout

 

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Published: 2/28/2008 12:23 AM

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Want to be part of a humanitarian mission but don't know how to get started?

Kildeer psychologist Chris Stout may have an answer.

Stout, who has led medical missions with Flying Doctors of America to several countries, is seeking volunteers for his latest global endeavors in Bolivia and Cambodia.

Stout's Center for Global Initiatives is collaborating with the Flying Doctors group to lead Project Niños this summer in Bolivia. The pioneering project provides basic health care to hundreds of children living in Bolivian prisons with their incarcerated parents.

It is the first non-Bolivian group granted access to three prisons, Stout said.

"We can take really anybody," said Stout, a member of the Lake County board of health. "They do not need to have a medical background."

Volunteers can be of any profession as long as they are willing to work and interact with children.

The center would provide health care for these children focused on general medicine, pediatrics and gynecology.

Project leaders also plan to develop and set up educational and social skills training for prison guards and teachers in the Bolivian prisons' schools, and training on parenting skills and resilience development.

The Cambodian project, known as Sustainable Medical Arts, Research & Technology is in collaboration with a nonprofit children's hospital in Siem Reap.

The goal is to work with the hospital's nursing and medical staff to train women in rural villages to use basic public health practices and emergency medical care.

Primary care, first aid, and emergency services are largely absent in rural areas of Cambodia, Stout said.

"What we will be doing is focusing on maternal health, pediatrics and emergency health services," he said.

Once trained, these women would be able to provide enough help until a patient can be taken to the nearest medical facility, or is seen by a traveling physician.

Organizers are seeking volunteers with an education or medical background for the Cambodia project.

Interested volunteers can tune in to hear Stout talk about these projects on Chicago Public Radio's "Worldview" global activism segment airing at noon today.

For information on either project, visit www.centerfor globalinitiatives.org.