From BreastScreen WA to Mongolia and back
From BreastScreen WA to Mongolia (and back again)
Sarah Bright, Health Promotion Officer at BreastScreen WA, has recently returned after living and working in Mongolia for a year. Applying for a position with the Mongolian National Centre for Public Health through the Australian Government International Volunteers Program, Sarah was happy when she found out she was successful as positions are very competitive.
Whilst in Mongolia, Sarah helped her counterpart write a successful funding application for an oral health project. Partnering with the Mongolian Rotary Club and the University of Dentistry, the ‘Healthy Smiles’ project was piloted in five kindergartens in a very poor area of the capital city, Ulaanbaatar.
The project was successful and it will continue into its second year, even after Sarah has left. “My role was to build capacity and guide my counterparts, so I’m happy the project is continuing,” she said.
Sarah had the opportunity to travel within Mongolia and went horse riding, dog sledding, hiking and tried much of the local food and drinks. One particular delicacy is ‘airag’ or fermented mares’ milk. Sarah said, “It’s an acquired taste, but I was offered it so much, and it’s rude not to accept offers of food and drink, so I ended up liking the taste by the end!”
Sarah misses the friends she made and the excitement of life in Mongolia, but feels lucky to be back in Perth where the air is clean, the ocean is near and the temperature stays above zero!