Egypt: a sincere, dedicated hospice volunteer

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Josaab Foundation started visiting patients in need of palliative care at their homes in 2011.

As the mobile hospice services were the first in Egypt, the number of staff members was very limited. Only one doctor was responsible for all field visits conducted to support patients and their families at their homes.

Josaab announced its need to recruit volunteers; Janet Greis was one of the very few first volunteers to join and offer dedicated support for Josaab Foundation.

Janet is Josaab’s most experienced volunteer. She has implemented 143 field visits to date, even though she was only assigned 131, providing care for more than 20 patients and their family members.

As a mother of four children, having two twins, as well as being a full time graphic designer, Janet has a very busy life. However, she has been very keen to attend Josaab training workshops.

The workshops discussed different topics; how to conduct field visits, the dynamics of a mobile hospice team, mechanisms terminally ill patients used to deal with their pain and how to avoid vicarious trauma.

Janet truly understands and believes in Josaab’s mission of serving terminally ill patients and their families. Not only does she conduct field visits with the Josaab team but she also cooks for the patients, and shares their hobbies (drawing with them and sometimes teaching them basic graphic design on a computer she provides).

Josaab encouraged Janet to join a counseling institute in Cairo to further develop her skills. These counselling studies came into great use when supporting families during grief (after their loved ones pass away).

She had a fresh new perspective when involved in group catharsis with the Josaab team and gave different trainings such as one about working with different personalities.

Janet is also voluntarily supporting the team in everyday administrative work, such as working on new concepts for Josaab brochures, flyers, banners and Facebook posts.

She is continuously thinking and recreating new ideas to bring happiness to patients. She has handcrafted a book of optimistic words said by patient, Ahmad, to be given to him as a gift and a memory for his family. She is also currently designing a cookbook for another female patient, who is talented in cooking and has her very own secret recipes.

Josaab hospice services, whether mobile or stationary are completely free of charge to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of their socio-economic status, gender, race or religion.

Janet fundraises independently for Josaab at every given opportunity and collects in-kind donations such as clothing, blanket and toys to support Josaab hospice patients. She is not only socially intelligent when dealing with different socio-economic groups but also has a keen eye to what the patient truly needs.

Josaab Foundation highly values Janet and is grateful for having her as one of the dedicated big-hearted team members.

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