Mai is a caseworker at our flagship clinic in London, where she helps vulnerable patients such as asylum seekers and victims of trafficking to get access to a doctor.

“Volunteering at Doctors of the World’s London clinic has given me an insight into countries around the world. I’ve worked with patients from countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and several African nations.

You learn how difficult life is in many countries. I've met mothers who've had to leave their home countries and their children behind, because there weren’t any jobs and they couldn’t support their families. So, they have to work here and send money home - sometimes they haven't seen their children for 10 years.

Some of our patients have had to flee their country as they got into trouble for opposing political parties, and others were thrown out by their families for being LGBT. The most common health issue I see is anxiety, due to the bad experiences people have had back home.”

In the clinic, I take patients’ case histories and start the process of registering them with a GP. I then spend two days a week in the office doing follow-ups on these cases. I recently helped a Brazilian patient who was deaf and struggling to get counselling, because he couldn’t explain his needs. 

Even if you have a busy job and you only have time to volunteer once a month, you really should do it. You’re using your time in a good way, to help others. And you get out of your routine - you learn about new activities, new things, new worlds.”