India, Care for Children with Disabilities

Company : Budget Volunteering
Activities: Community Volunteer Projects / Medical, Health, Medicine
Country: India
Location : Madurai, India
Duration: 2 weeks to 6 months
Approx Costs: 500 to 2500 £ Pound (UK)

Work with a large institution that cares and schools 160 children from babies to age 5.The children suffer from Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Autism, Epilepsy, Deafness. some children are slow learners and dyslexic.

WORK DESCRIPTION:

The children you'll work with mainly suffer from Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Autism, Epilepsy, Deafness and some of the children are slow learners and dyslexic. The aim of the school is to help the children to study, build confidence and develop essential life skills.

The children at the school speak very little English so at times you may find communication hard. However, they will be delighted to have you there and you'll certainly be popular throughout the whole school. You can also book onto one of our Tamil courses to give you some knowledge of phrases that you can use with the children - it'll also help you make the most of your time in India.

At the Centre you will probably be working in many different areas, so you should be flexible and adaptable. Some of the areas where you'll be able to assist include:

  • Helping with arts and crafts
  • Helping with their hand-eye co-ordination skills
  • Taking part (or watching!) the daily yoga sessions which help the children with their flexibility
  • Helping the children to sew and embroider
  • Getting involved with music and dance classes
  • Helping the children eat or go to the toilet
  • Helping the older children in the garden
  • Assisting in the physiotherapy department
  • Playing with the children; every day at 3pm is playtime and the children all bundle outside for half and hour of fun!  Be prepared to be in great demand at this time!!

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS IN THE SOUTH OF INDIA (APPROX):

Please keep in mind that school holidays can change unexpectedly with very little notice given. Although at times this can be quite inconvenient, most of our volunteers use the opportunity to travel around and explore the country.

  • First Term Vacation: 22 September to 1 October 2013
  • Gandhi’s birthday: 2 October 2013
  • Pooja Holiday: 14 to 15 October 2013
  • Bakrid: 16 October 2013 Thevar Jayanthi: 30 October 2013
  • Diwali Holiday: 4 to 5 November 2013
  • Second Term Vacation: 24 December 2013 to 1 January 2014
  • Pongal Holiday: 13 to 16 January 2014
  • Summer Vacation: 14 April to 2 June 2014

Exam Periods: (approx):

  • Quarterly Exams: 11 to 21 September 2013
  • Half Yearly Exams: 3 to 13 December 2013
  • Annual Exams: 1 to 14 April 2014

THE EARLY INTERVENTION CENTRE

In January 2008, the government helped to fund an Early Intervention Centre at the school for up to 50 children from babies to the age of 6. They have a development therapy unit, speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy units to cater for the children. The Centre allows the parents to stay with their child during school hours to gain a greater understanding of how to care for their child. 

The children are very talented and they enter many competitions, often taking home first prize. In November 2007, the Centre hosted a Talent Show and 20 other schools for mentally challenged children in the state of Tamil Nadu took part. The Centre walked off with first prize in the group dancing and solo contest along with fancy dress. No doubt the children will be practicing for a festival or a tournament when you are here and it will be great fun for you to get involved!

This is a worthwhile project, working with children with mental, physical or emotional disabilities who are very much in need of love and attention.

ACCOMMODATION:

You'll either live with a host family or in our volunteer flat, depending on which project you’re doing and the number of volunteers there at the same time as you.. In either accommodation you may share a room with another volunteer. If you have a preference for either a host family or staying in a flat, we will do our best to accommodate you.

Host Family

For a complete Indian experience we'll arrange for you to stay with a wonderful host family. All of our hosts are very welcoming and not only will be made to feel part of the family you’ll also gain a great insight into Indian culture and customs. Many of our volunteers remain friends with their host families long after they leave India. 

You may share a room with one other volunteer; and you may have an en-suite Western-style bathroom. Most of the showers in our host accommodation are cold water only – however your hosts will boil water for you. All of our host family houses are close together and just a few minutes’ walk away from internet cafes, banks and snack shops and just a short auto ride into the centre of town. Our staff in Madurai also live close-by.

Food:

Breakfast and dinner will be provided and prepared for you by the family and is mainly local fare, allowing you to taste a varied selection of delicious south Indian dishes and exotic fruits. You will need to make provision for your own lunch.

Volunteer Flat

Our volunteer flat is situated close to all our host families. This option gives you the chance to live within the local community whilst at the same time retaining your independence. The flat is very modern, spacious, light and airy. It has a well kitted-out kitchen and large lounge area with satellite TV, DVD and a good selection of DVDs for your entertainment. There is also a balcony on which to relax with a cool drink and a book. It gets a wonderfully refreshing evening breeze to keep you cool!

You will be provided with a food budget giving you the option to either cook for yourself or sample the local restaurants. Eating out is extremely cheap in Madurai. There are two supermarkets within walking distance of the flat, selling everything from groceries to clothes and also a well stocked fruit and vegetable department.

Many of the hotels in town have roof top restaurants offering incredible views across the town with the dramatic Sri Meenakshi Temple silhouetted on the skyline. Most restaurants are good quality and you can sample North Indian as well as South Indian dishes along with a small selection of Western food.

Vegetarian food is plentiful.

Start Dates

All year round - subject to Term times

Costs / Benefits

Costs vary depending on length of placement, but starts at £595 for two weeks. You may be able to participate for up to one year, subject to visa requirements.
Included is full support from the moment of booking and throughout your placement to your return home. There are support staff 24/7 in all our destinations worldwide and a 24 hour emergency international telephone line direct to the Head Office. All meals are provided, unless otherwise stated. Accommodation is provided (whether a rented house, a hotel/hostel, homestay, apartment or flat).
You’ll be met at the nearest airport on your arrival by our in-country manager who will take you to your accommodation and give you a full induction into the area. He/she will also be on call 24/7 and you’ll see them frequently.
Pre-departure you’ll receive an information pack about your placement and necessary preparations, ranging from what to pack, to what to do on your weekend travel in the country. Your safety, well being and happiness throughout your placement are our primary concerns and we will keep in touch with you throughout. International flights not included.

Requirements

No qualifications or previous experience are necessary, just a good dose of enthusiasm! Everyone is welcome on a BVOL programme, whether gap year, undergraduate, on a career break - or even retired! From 17 years old upwards, and all nationalities. This placement would suit anyone who wants to make a real difference, wants first-hand experience of a different culture and has initiative.

Booking / Enquiry

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