Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on my experience with underserved and at-risk populations. An underserved population consists of anyone, regardless of their socioeconomic background, who have limited or no access to healthcare, education, employment, food, water transportation, electricity or other services that are necessary for their wellbeing. .
I first served an underserved community when my family and I became refugees in neighboring country, Ghana. Although I did not have a background in teaching, I volunteered to teach French and Math to elementary school children living in the camp. I consider the refugee children living in the camp both underserved and at-risk because they had little or no access to vital services and amenities including education and sanitation among others, and yet faced a greater risk of suffering malnutrition and certain diseases than the general public. There were no books. just pencils, paper, chalk, and a blackboard. Access to education for these refugee children had a significantly impact their lives and gave them the hope of having many opportunities in life.
Currently, I volunteer at Emergency Community Health and Outreach (ECHO) to increase awareness about health and safety issues to recent refugees who immigrated to Minnesota. In March 2013, I collaborated with the Hopkins Fire Department to develop and implement courses on fire safety for these recent immigrants. I consider the refugees that I attended to as being underserved and at-risk considering that they had little access to education and other services and yet were more prone to suffering malnutrition, fire disasters, and diseases compared to the general public. Most of the participants in this program had no previous knowledge of fire safety and what to do in the event of a fire, which put this population in potential danger in the wake of a fire emergency. However, having the language barrier was a major challenge for them as they were unable to communicate in English. Having interpreters present during the lessons significantly helped some of the refugees. However, there were many participants who had to contend with learning without interpreters. Without interpreters, many of the participants faced a lot of difficulties trying to understand and grasp what taught. Regardless, we successfully educated the refugees.
In conclusion, an underserved population is basically a group of people that enjoy little or no vital services.