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Speech Therapy in Zambia

by Ashely Dowler
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On Tuesday, May 15, 2012, I departed for Zambia, Africa, where I will work in an orphanage for 10 weeks. I have been to Zambia twice before with the six-week-long Harding University in Zambia speech-language pathology program (HIZ-Path). Through this program, students complete a multicultural study course and gain clinical practicum hours in pediatric speech, language, and dysphagia while working with children ages 0-5 in the three houses of the orphanage. This summer, I will work more closely with the caregivers at the orphanage and stay longer to continue teaching therapy strategies so the work of the HIZ-Path group can become more sustainable. My long-term goal is to begin a training program for speech-language pathologists in Zambia because there are currently no practicing SLPs or SLP training programs, but there is a great need for speech-language professionals. Please follow my trip blog for updates during my trip. I would love to hear your comments, and will be happy to answer any questions.

(The photo above was taken by Elizabeth Anderson, who also attended the HIZ-Path program last year and graduated in May 2012 with a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology.)

 

Ashley Dowler, M.S., is a recent graduate of the Harding University Master of Speech-Language Pathology program in Searcy, Arkansas, where she graduated with honors and received the Outstanding Graduate Clinician award for the 2010-2011 school year. She has attended the HIZ-Path program twice and completed a research project on the phonetic inventory of Zambian toddlers during the summer of 2011.

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6 comments

Jeanette Stickel May 22, 2012 - 7:08 pm

What a wonderful opportunity for you and for those you’ll be serving. I hope all goes well.

Sue Drouin May 22, 2012 - 7:57 pm

Any chance Ashley you are associated the the Special Hope Network and the Nelson’s? https://www.facebook.com/specialhopenetwork , http://specialhopenetwork.com/ They too are in Zambia and looking for SLP’s. I worked with the Nelson’s children when they lived in MA. I know you will have a great experience. Take Care

Lisa Butler May 23, 2012 - 10:14 am

This is so very cool. The children are amazingly beautiful. Is there a langauge barrier?

Jina May 23, 2012 - 4:18 pm

What a great experience! I wish you the best as you help others in Zambia. I am a recent graduate as well and would to have the Sam experience there. Please contact if/when you have some time. Safe travels!

Elena May 23, 2012 - 4:19 pm

I would’ve loved to have done a program like this in graduate (and still would!). What an incredible opportunity. Wonder if it’s ever an option for those of us with summers off who would love to give back…

kalinda zimba October 11, 2012 - 4:04 am

YOU RIGHT THERE ARE A FEW ZAMBIANS DOING SLP, EVEN THOUGH A MASTERS DEGREE PROGRAM HAS BEEN LAUNCHED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA MAIN CAMPUS, THERE ARE LESS THAN FIVE STUDENTS, ZAMBIAN STUDENTS THAT IS WHO ARE STUDYING THE COURSE. I FOR ONE WOULD WANT TO TAKE IT AS A MAJOR BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT OF WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE IN THIS FIELD YET THERE ARE A FEW PROFESSIONALS, EVEN THOUGH I AM CURRENTLY STUDYING SPECIAL EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA RIGHT. IN MY THIRD YEAR NOW, I WOULD LOVE TO FOLLOW WHAT YOU WOULD BE DOING WITH THE CHILDREN, SO THAT I MAY LEARN MORE. I PERSONALLY APPRECIATE THE WORK UR DOING FOR THE ZAMBIANS.

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