Wow what a week it has been! As I’d mentioned in the previous post, our main goal for this week was to focus on developing a rehab program for the kids at daycare, a simple one which any volunteer could follow. So we decided to created a basic chart which listed every single child and different positions we want them to be placed in whilst playing eg. sitting, standing etc. I ran this by the physiotherapist and the senior physiotherapist Xuan(who also happens to be a speech pathologist) and both were happy with what we’d come up with.
Xuan is currently in the middle of developing Vietnam’s first every early intervention centre for children with Autism, with construction of the centre due to be completed at the end of August. She asked if I could set up a Facebook page to recruit international volunteers in the area of paediatric speech pathology, physiotherapy and occupational therapy as there is no one in Vietnam who is suitably experienced in the area of Early Intervention. I’ve set up the page, so feel free to have a look and share around if you know of anyone who may be interested:
Now back to the daycare. During our last week, we managed to implement our new rehab program quite well, encouraging both staff and in particular new volunteers to focus on exercises particularly in the afternoon sessions where the kids are often left free to roam. So far the kids have responded extremely well and we’re excited to see whether the future volunteers will follow through with the program. One of the kids decided to get up and walk for the first time this week, he’s about 7 years old. This has nothing to do with our exercise program, but it just shows that these kids can surprise us at any given moment and do something extraordinary.
Our last day at the daycare was a difficult one. Kids which we’d shared cuddles and laughs with for over 3 weeks were going to be handed over to a new lot of volunteers which meant we had to say our goodbyes. It was quite hard and we know we’re going to miss them. We see so much potential in each and every one of them and we hope that they continue to progress as the days go on.
So thats the end of our volunteering, we’ve made incredible friendships and learnt so much more than we could have ever expected to. We definitely will have to return to the daycare at some stage and are already looking forward to our next stint at volunteering wherever in the world that may be.
On to our last leg of the trip!
Til next time
Ann & Jason xo