International Volunteers Day: thank you from the RSTMH team

27 Nov 2020

As Membership Manager at RSTMH, I am always so grateful to our team of fantastic volunteers around the world for all the amazing work they do. This year however, as we near International Volunteer Day on 5 December, I wanted to acknowledge the difficulties that so many of our volunteers have been facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and celebrate their incredible efforts despite these challenges.

Globally, many of our volunteers have been at the forefront of medical responses in relation to the virus, be it through working on the front line, their research, or by advising the sector. Many are facing huge challenges as they continue to work through obstacles such as economic and political instability, lockdowns, and reductions of income, as well as often dealing with physical and mental health concerns.

And yet despite all this, our team of volunteers continue to dedicate their time and energy to the Society, and numbers continue to grow. This is of course in part due to the important work RSTMH does, but it is also due to the commitment of the fantastic tropical medicine and global health community, their expertise, and tireless enthusiasm for their work, across all disciplines and specialisms.

A personal thank you

I would like to personally thank all our members who volunteer. We ask that some of our voluntary roles are assigned to existing members so they can draw on their knowledge of us and our work.

Our members receive exclusive opportunities to shape the direction the Society is taking by feeding into our policy work, nominating our Trustees, and hearing our news before anyone else.

Become a member

Without this engagement, quite simply, we would not be able to do our jobs nearly as well, so thank you once again!

Below is just a small sample of personal thanks from members of the RSTMH team to our volunteers:

Tamar Ghosh, Chief Executive

Tamar Ghosh

Our new and growing network of Country Ambassadors does a fantastic job of ensuring the work we do to support the next generation of professionals and leaders in global health and tropical medicine is known in all regions of the world. They also inform and influence our work, at strategic level and in our everyday activities, through their advice.

This year many of our Ambassadors have been pulled in even more directions than normal, yet they have found time to dedicate their spare capacity and energy to supporting us, their peers and the next generation of researchers and professionals in their countries.

I thank them for all they do to help us tackle the biggest global health issues.

Amelia Fincham, Team and Office Manager

Amelia Fincham

Acting as a voice for their fellow students, Student Ambassadors are indispensable in raising awareness of our work throughout their institutions and beyond. They are the instrumental link between students, institutions and RSTMH and make the most valuable contribution to assisting us in achieving our vision and mission.

This year our Student Ambassadors deserve a worldwide moment of thanks and celebration for their efforts, despite all the challenges at hand. Despite significant change and disruptions to their education and communities, they have taken an active role in promoting RSTMH, by facilitating research, sharing knowledge, and driving impact.

They have written blogs, hosted virtual events, won awards and grants, and even created animated videos to promote our work.

Our Student Ambassadors are the emerging leaders in tropical medicine and global health, and I would like to say a profound socially distanced thank you to them all for their incredible work.

Emma Williams, Managing Editor

Emma Williams

As Managing Editor for the RSTMH journals, I regularly see evidence of our community’s dedication to kind and generous mutual service through the work submitted and evaluated via the journals.

Perhaps most people are aware of the voluntary contributions the journals receive through the constructive reviewer feedback shared with authors.

However, in addition to recognising our remarkable reviewers for their generosity, I would like to add my personal and sincere thanks to our awesome authors, excellent editors, much appreciated advisors and brilliant board members for all their contributions and support of the journals during this extremely challenging year.

Sarah Marzouk, Digital Communications Manager

I would like to thank our Student Ambassador Boluwatife Aderounmu from Nigeria, for his amazing animation to promote our Student Essay Prize this year.

He showed great creativity and initiative by creating this engaging content and helped us reach many more students this way.

This is just one example of how our Student Ambassador all over the world have helped promote our work in this very challenging year.

Thank you all!

Adriana Thursby-Pelham, Meetings and Events Manager

Adriana Thursby-Pelham

I would like to thank the Global Assessors who review all our abstracts for our meetings and events.

Your insights and feedback are crucial to the running of our events and give early career professionals an opportunity to present their work and raise their profile.

Student and Country Ambassadors are key to attracting a global audience to our events, adding rich insights and conversations. Our recent Annual Meeting is a great example of this with over 30 countries represented.

Thank you to our Ambassadors around the world for making our events a success this year!

If you would like to get involved with RSTMH, there are plenty of way for you to do.