Medical and Healthcare Volunteering


Art therapy program for kids with cancer
Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico       July 19 - August 1, 2017

Volunteer project: Cancer patients suffer not only physical discomfort, but also various psychological conditions: depression and anxiety. In Mexico, cancer is the second leading cause of death. It is estimated that each year 7,000 new cancer cases occur in women under 20 years. Art and music therapy can help cancer patients to have a better quality of life, to cope with their disease and get a better life. Volunteers will develop art therapy workshops involving music and visual art, through various art techniques that bring benefits such as reflection, expression and relaxation. This activity is a process of self-expression, which helps patients to organize their internal reaction to the events happening in their lives. These art therapy workshops, developed by volunteers and artists who work on a voluntary basis, will be an outlet to channel and express the point of view of patients without pressure, just being guided by artistic techniques.
This project is supported methodologically by the Mexican Association for Help for Children with Cancer, which is dedicated to the comprehensive care for children and adolescents of low resources suffering from cancer.

The activities are driven to benefit both patients and volunteers:
- To conduct art therapy workshops for children and teenagers with cancer, led by volunteers and professional artists on a voluntary basis where the subject is music.
- To create works of sculpture and collage, inspired by specific musical pieces.
- To raise public awareness through the pieces of art produced by children and teenagers with cancer.
- To raise awareness through activities that involve visual arts, so that volunteers contribute and help those fragile groups.

Language: The official language of the project is English. Some Spanish would be appreciated.

Leisure time: In their spare time, volunteers can take a walk in downtown which has many cultural activities throughout the year and discover the variety of historic buildings and monuments. For those looking to surround themselves by natural wonders, Morelia offers many options: Patzcuaro's lake and the ancient pyramids of Tzintzuntzan, the magical towns of Cuitzeo, Patzcuaro and Santa Clara del Cobre, the islands of the Pancada, Janitzio among others that the native cultures identified as the border between worlds, and several ceremonial centers of the Mesoamerican pre-Hispanic times.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a youth hostel in Morelia City. Full board is provided as well as local transportation for the work and leisure activities. Vegetarian food is available.

Location: The project is organized in Morelia city, a very beautiful and dynamic place and the state capital of Michoacan. It is an increasingly popular destination, and rightly so: the colonial heart of the city is so well preserved that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991, and its cathedral is not just gorgeous, it’s inspirational.
Morelia, founded in 1541, was one of the first Spanish cities in Nueva España. The first viceroy, Antonio de Mendoza, named it Valladolid after the Spanish city and he encouraged Spanish nobility to move here with their families. In 1828, after Nueva España had become the Republic of Mexico, the city was renamed Morelia in honor of local hero José María Morelos y Pavón, a key figure in Mexico’s independence.

Nearest airport: Mexico City International Airport, Morelia Airport

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 190 Euro
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Support the social integration and daily activities of people with mental disability
Brussels, Namur, Aywaille, Bierge, Belgium       3 to 12 months


Volunteer project: The project is organised with a Center for people with mental disability, which is dedicated to providing safe environment and social integration to its residents and has a long tradition of welcoming volunteers of all countries, of different social and cultural backgrounds. The center has 4 houses located near the European institutions in Brussels.

The originality of these small houses is based on a family like atmosphere, where people having mental disabilities, professionals and volunteers of all origins, social, cultural backgrounds, ages and beliefs walk side by side and help each other in their daily lives. Each one is invited to assume tasks and responsibilities adapted to his capacities and to take part in the activities proposed by this type of structure.

The proposed activities are ordinary and “extra-ordinary”: daily responsibilities (maintenance, attendance, cooking, etc.), supporting residents (accompanying, transport, support in different learning and working projects), number of meetings, leisure activities, celebrations, holidays, etc.

In addition to the life in the houses, which is really the key point, there's also a day center where activities like craft-work, occupational therapies or services are proposed to the wider community.

The residents are between 18 and 70 years old and have various forms of developmental disabilities (most often Down syndrome) exceptionally linked with a physical handicap. They are assisted by teams of professionals (teachers, welfare officers, etc.) supported by volunteers. The aim is to ensure an adequate approach and relationship among volunteers and the residents.

Volunteer work: The volunteers will provide support, will collaborate on different education tasks and various forms of aid involved in the care of people with mental disabilities.

Among the activities proposed to the volunteers we distinguish:

§ Assisting with everyday domestic activities:
- Maintenance: cleaning and arrangement of common spaces with the residents,
- Logistic: purchase of equipment and foodstuffs,
- Daily services: cooking, waking up residents, dishwashing, talks, improvement of living and activity spaces, etc.

§ Support for the people with learning disabilities:
- Joining a member of the educational team for medical consultations, going to the pharmacy, to do shopping, etc.
- Help with apprenticeship programs: cooking, clothing, shopping, walks, etc.
- Accompanying residents on the way to the work place or leisure activities (e.g. soccer)

§ Internal meetings in the houses and the day center:
- Weekly meetings with all residents: discussing and exchanging ideas in order to prepare activities.
- Team meetings: evaluation of the individual projects, suggestions…
- Celebrations: birthdays, visits, welcoming new residents, etc.

§ Meetings outside the houses and the day center:
- Monthly meetings or festivities with other residents of the center
- Meetings and festivities with other associations in Belgium (mainly from the French speaking part)
- Meetings with other organizations

§ Joining in the weekend and evening leisure activities with the residents:
- Individual activities: workshops, outings, visits, sport and recreation
- Group activities: performances, walks, excursions, etc.

§ Internal training at the center:
- On matters related to intellectual disability, communication, teamwork, etc.
- Theme lectures by experts
- Learning French: conversations in groups supervised by qualified volunteers

§ Training and activities outside the center:
- With different socio-cultural associations working with the center
- French language course in a public school

The role of the volunteers will be above all to acquire experiences, to learn by doing, to express their competences by their implication in the project. Each volunteer is thus invited, according to his personal rhythm, to let his personality grow, to bring his creativity and his dynamism in daily life.
Each volunteer will have a Tutor to facilitate his/her integration.

Free time: Volunteers will have three hours of free time each day, with evening and weekend off.
Bruxelles, the Capital of Europe, is a multicultural city with a thousand faces: a majestic historic centre, a unique ambiance, a huge array of activities for both younger and older people. Visit the Manneken-Pis, the Atomium, the Art Nouveau Houses (Horta) and the Belgian Strip Cartoon Centre. And last but not least, taste our famous chocolate!

Profile of the volunteer: The volunteer must be between 18 and 35 years of age, be open to different experiences, and motivated to dedicate himself to the less privileged people in our society. A minimum commitment of 3 months is required. The volunteer must be ready to take responsibilities and initiatives, and to be able to cooperate with the team and the residents.
Knowledge of French is desirable but not required. The volunteer will have the opportunity to attend French classes on site if interested.

Language: French, English

Documents to be submitted: A motivation letter and a resume should be sent along with the application form.

Duration of the project: Minimum stay of 3 months is required.

Accommodation: In a house, with a shower, washing machine, and kitchen. Sleeping bag is needed. Within each house, the volunteer has a "private space" - a small bedroom. However in order to guarantee each volunteer a well balanced life, a place for relaxation and recovering outside of the house has also been arranged for his/her free time. The house is near a supermarket, a cinema, a bakery, and a train station.

Location: Brussels, Namur, Aywaille, Bierge

Age range: 18 - 35 years old

Pocket money: The volunteers get an allowance of 140 Euro per month.

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

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Organizing games and fun activities for children in the National Pediatric hospital in Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam       2 - 12 months

Volunteer project: The National Hospital of Pediatrics (NHP) is specialized in treating children coming from different provinces in Vietnam. The hospital consists of 22 departments, with the number of treated patients amounting up to 1000-1200, ages ranging from infancy to nearly 17 years old. The majority of them are afflicted with difficult to cure ailments, such as hematologic, nephrologic, etc. Most patients come from low-income families in which parents are working in agriculture sector, leading a rather poor life. During the treatment period, the patients do not have opportunities to participate in common leisure activities and they often suffer from stress of staying long time in hospital, so having fun and activities to reduce worry and sadness while they are in the hospital is necessary.
The hospital itself is deficient in organizing psychology-care activities for little patients. Pediatrics patients have full rights to healthy development, both physically and spiritually, like other people. They also have desire to communicate, play and receive knowledge. The efforts made by all doctors and nurses in the hospital are not likely to meet all patients’ needs.

Volunteers are needed to teach English and organize games and leisure activities for the children in the hospital (e.g.: singing, drawing, magic shows, etc.). In Aspiration center, the volunteers will encourage children to communicate in English every day and will organize performances with them every month.

The volunteers will support the children by playing with them. Through the games, the volunteers will help to distract the children from their physical and mental pain and they will not feel so much afraid of being in the hospital. We hope that the lovely children in the hospital will have sweet and comfortable time with both international and Vietnamese volunteers.

Special requirements: Volunteers need to be enthusiastic, patient, optimistic, full of energy and ready to work with sick children. They also need to be creative in organizing activities for the children so the children will feel relaxed.

Leisure activities: Hanoi has many historical and cultural places and it is also a famous destination for tourists. Visiting Old Quarters and traditional trade villages are good choices for the volunteers at weekends or in their free time. Many cultural festivals are held in Hanoi annually so this is a great chance for the volunteers to explore the Capital which is 1000 years old.

Language: English

Duration of the project: 2-12 months

Accommodation: Volunteers will stay in a host family. They need to bring a sleeping bag.

Location: Hanoi

Terminal: Noi Bai International Airport (HAN)

Age range: 18 and over

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

Extra fee: 7,500,000 VND (about 300 Euro)/month
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Care and support for children in the National pediatric hospital in San Jose
San Jose, Costa Rica       1 - 4 weeks

Volunteer project: The Hospital de Niños is the most important institution for children’s health care in Costa Rica. Its staff is constituted by the most experienced pediatricians and surgeons specialized on children. As a consequence, the hospital receives babies, children and teenagers from all over the country and from all social backgrounds.

The volunteering opportunities at the hospital are arranged with an association of women who give love, support and care to children in recovery process from surgeries or treatment and who collaborate with some other general activities in the hospital.

Volunteers' main tasks in the hospital will be:
• to accompany bedridden children,
• to play with the children in the playground area,
• to help in some other areas of the hospital such as the laundry,
• to assist in specific activities assigned by the hospital staff in accordance with the volunteer’s specific skills.

Special requirements:
- This project only accepts female volunteers
- To enjoy being with children,
- To have a basic Spanish level.

Orientation: An orientation will take place in San José on the first day of the project.

Language: English

Duration of the project: 1-4 weeks. Please select the dates that work best for you and submit them with your application.

Accommodation: Volunteers live with a local host family near to the project site.

Location: San José

Terminal: San José

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 325 USD for 1 week; 400 USD for 2 weeks; 475 USD for 3 weeks;
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Healthcare program in Central Java
Central Java, Indonesia       4 to 8 weeks

Volunteer project: This program will facilitate the interest of volunteers from medical/nursing background to have experience in doing voluntary service in the healthcare field. This program is also expected to be useful for local people to get medical support from doctors and assistants. Being a medical assistant will be highly appreciated contribution to the local people. This project focuses on children, pregnancy, elderly health as well pulmonary health center.

Volunteers must have special background of study as a nurse or a doctor or a pharmacist. The role of the volunteers will be assisting the local doctors/midwife in handling the patients in the local health center. Nevertheless, the volunteer is not allowed to take decisions of someone's health or inject a patient without consulting the Doctor/Midwife, even if the volunteer has the right knowledge about the health problem.

Study theme: The volunteer will be introduced to the Indonesian culture and customs in general, with a special focus on the local particularities. Some cultural visits are also foreseen.

Leisure time: In the free time, the volunteer will have the chance to visit and explore cultural and tourism spots near the project site.

Language: English

Duration of the project: The volunteer placements are from 4 to 8 weeks. Arrival should be on Monday.

Accommodation: The volunteer will stay with a local host family. Facilities are simple and Indonesian style.

Location: Central Java

Terminal: Semarang airport, railway station

Age range: 18 and over

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

Extra fee: 300 €/month
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Care and support for children in the National pediatric hospital in San Jose
San Jose, Costa Rica       1 - 5 months

Volunteer project: The Hospital de Niños is the most important institution for children’s health care in Costa Rica. Its staff is constituted by the most experienced pediatricians and surgeons specialized on children. As a consequence, the hospital receives babies, children and teenagers from all over the country and from all social backgrounds.

The volunteering opportunities at the hospital are arranged with an association of women who give love, support and care to children in recovery process from surgeries or treatment and who collaborate with some other general activities in the hospital.

Volunteers' main tasks in the hospital will be:
• to accompany bedridden children,
• to play with the children in the playground area,
• to help in some other areas of the hospital such as the laundry,
• to assist in specific activities assigned by the hospital staff in accordance with the volunteer’s specific skills.

Special requirements:
- This project only accepts female volunteers
- To enjoy being with children,
- To have a basic Spanish level.

Orientation: An orientation will take place in San José on the first day of the project.

Language: English

Duration of the project: 1-5 months. Please select the dates that work best for you and submit them with your application.

Accommodation: Volunteers live with a local host family near to the project site.

Location: San José

Terminal: San José

Age range: 18 and over

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

Extra fee: 550 USD for 1 month; 950 USD for 2 months; 1350 USD for 3 months; 1750 USD for 4 months; 2050 USD for 5 months;
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Support for children with special needs and their families
Wakiso, Uganda       1 - 12 months

Volunteer project: This center for children with special needs was formed after the founders’ experience in raising a child with Down syndrome in Europe. The founders wish to support parents in Uganda who are struggling to cope with raising children in a similar situation. The center has a strong desire to work closely with parents, because we believe families first have to accept and appreciate these children for society to change their perception. Families need to create a conducive environment for these children to grow, for example by bringing them to public places like churches, keeping them in hygienically clean environments and supporting them in their development stages like training them to use toilets, speech therapy and others.
The center will provide both practical and technical information to address the common complications of children with Down syndrome by working in partnerships with hospitals and government ministries.
Our vision is to see that children with Down syndrome can realize their potential and be fully integrated into society. We will create a platform where parents can freely share their experiences in raising these children and later to be able to advocate for their rights.
Our mission is to be the voice and break the silence of Down syndrome in Uganda. We strive to give hope to those who had given up on their children. We need to give the syndrome a “human face” that despite the disability, these children still remain beautiful, lovely and important to the social fabric of society.

Volunteer activities include child care, social skills training, behavioural modification, pre-school basic skills training.

Volunteer duties:
- Offer hands on trainings to parents in among others, nutrition, speech and physiotherapy to support children in their development
- Provide training tools to parents that will aid their trainings at home. Like tools to stimulate the thinking of children, toys and others.
- Physical and material support: Provide aid material like special feeding chairs, wheel chairs, feeding materials, pampers, sanitary towels to ease the care for these children
- Counseling and guidance: Offer Counseling and guidance services to parents who are struggling to raise children with special needs and also provide life skills techniques
- Information dissemination: Develop, print and distribute Information Education Communication materials on care guidance for use in capacity building and behavior change.
- Raising awareness: Awareness creation on the need to recognize children with special needs in the society and community at large, Publish flyers, T-shirts for publicity and recognition of these children in society. The centre will further participate in special events like world child day to exhibit their activities
- Advocacy: Create a campaign for the involvement and inclusion of children with special needs into policy design and implementation on the topic “We need to be in school”.
- Education: Identify and link children to schools with special needs.
- Extra-curricular activities: Organize special events for children and their parents, for instance visiting the zoo and beaches, exchange visits and tours to enable society recognize that such children also need activities like that.
- Employment opportunities: Provide special training in activities that can enhance the livelihood of children with special needs so that they are better able to fend for themselves and enjoy a sense of independence.

Study theme: Care for special needs children and improving livelihood of families within the communities hosting children with special needs.

Language: English

Leisure time: Site visits, biodiversity and cultural talks, picnic, and enjoying the outdoor environment, mountain climbing.

Duration of the project: 1 to 12 months. The program is running throughout the year.

Accommodation: Housing provided in the community near the project site, bring sleeping bags.

Location: Nansana-Wakiso District. The site is peri-urban, in the outskirts of Kampala district which form the capital city, in Nabweru Sub County and Nasana Town council. About 8 km from the city centre.

Age range: 19 and over

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

Extra fee: 300 Euro for 1 month; 450 Euro for 1-3 months; 750 Euro for 3-6 months; 900 Euro for 6-9 months; 1200 Euro for 9-12 months;
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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HIV/AIDS Education and care for affected children in Central Uganda
Wakiso, Uganda       1 - 12 months

Volunteer project: The volunteers in this project will lend a hand to a community based women’s group operating in Kawempe Division of Kampala district and Wakiso District. The aim is to improve the economic wellbeing of the communities around by preserving and protecting the environment for sustainable living. This involves working with underprivileged women, people living with HIV/Aids and young mothers, to provide care, support and improved livelihood, as they work on income generation projects by producing charcoal from waste and waste management. The project is managed purely by women.

The volunteer work includes social work in the communities where volunteers will be involved in the general care of children with HIV/Aids, working in the local school where you will be involved in promotion of HIV/Aids education, guidance and counseling, you will also be involved in the children innovation and creativity activities that will also promote economic empowerment of people living with HIV/Aids. Volunteers will also be involved in helping in organizational duties and home based work within the communities.

Language: English

Duration of the project: 1 to 12 months. The program is running throughout the year.

Accommodation: The volunteer will live in a host family within the community and this will provide you with the opportunity to learn more from the local people and also share in their daily way of life.

Location: The site is located in the Central region of Uganda, Kampala district, which surrounds the capital city.

Age range: 19 and over

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

Extra fee: 300 Euro for 1 month; 450 Euro for 1-3 months; 750 Euro for 3-6 months; 900 Euro for 6-9 months; 1200 Euro for 9-12 months;
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Nutrition and health care program
India       1 - 12 months

Volunteer project: Healthcare and the lack of easy access to it prevent people from upward social and economic mobility in India. Healthcare facilities in India are difficult to access. Government hospitals, though technically free, are so overwhelmed by the incongruity between the massive population of patients and the deficiency of qualified medical staff that they cannot cope with the load. Rates of children suffering from under-nutrition in India remain high despite the economic growth. In India 20 per cent of children less than 5 years of age suffer from wasting due to acute under nutrition. More than one third of the world’s children who are wasted live in India (UNICEF).
Under-nutrition is substantially higher in rural than in urban areas and is responsible for 35% of deaths among children under 5 and 11% of the total global disease burden. Under nutrition is often an invisible problem that jeopardizes children’s survival, health, growth and development, and it slows national progress towards development goals.
According to the World Health Organization, a majority of the top 10 causes of death in India are both treatable and preventable. Therefore, to supplement the effort of the Government, we are working to provide health care to people and improve the nutritional status of the children.

As a volunteer, you will be working with healthcare centres or community based organisations and tasks will include:
- Catering to the healthcare and nutritional needs of the rural community.
- Organising health camps; providing health and nutritional education to children, youth/adolescents and community.
- Conducting community awareness; facilitate training and capacity building for the health workers, community mobilisers on preventive, curative and rehabilitative health intervention.
- Conducting surveys; documentations; designing appropriate Information, Education and Communication materials on health and nutritional aspect.

The project is spread out across different regions in South India. Your project location could be in any one of the following locations: Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai, Kundapur, Udupi, Mangalore, North Karnataka or Pondicherry.

Language: English

Duration of the project: The project is run all year round. Minimum duration is 1 month. The project starts on the first Monday of every month.

Documents to be submitted: Motivation letter that accurately describes yourself, your skills and interests, past work experience, strengths and weaknesses, etc. is required. This information assists us to match you to the project as accurately as possible.

Accommodation: During the orientation week, the volunteers will stay together in a volunteer centre in Kundapur or Bangalore in shared bedrooms, and will take all three vegetarian meals together.
Accommodation for the volunteers during the project can either be with a local host family near to the project site or in a room at the project site that is shared with other volunteers or with the staff.

Arrival and orientation: Volunteers arrive in Kundapur or Bangalore by the first Monday of each month. Bangalore has an international airport and Kundapur is well connected to Bangalore by train and bus.

The program will start with a week-long orientation. The schedule is flexible but the Orientation week usually contains the following topics:
- Program introduction: topics include aims of the program, way of working, finances, rules and expected behaviour.
- India: culture, religion, habits, customs, history, geography, social issues, etc.
- Language skills: India has 18 official languages, and many more dialects and sub-dialects. We will start with teaching the local language, Kannada. Do not forget that English is widely spoken throughout the country. However, we encourage you to try to learn and speak the local language, since this will open more doors for you.
- Projects: overview of the international volunteer projects in India and an explanation and presentation of your particular placement. There will also be project visits, where you will have the opportunity to meet current volunteers in the project who can share their experiences.
- Information: lots of new things will be introduced to you including some sessions on yoga, cooking and Hindu philosophy.
- Local sightseeing: meeting people will make you feel right at home. You will have the opportunity to visit market places, Indian homes and natural sites in groups or individually during the free time.
- Do’s and Don’ts: there are some simple rules, which can help you have a smooth integration with each other and with the local people. This will also help overcome the culture shock!
- Intercultural session: presentation of the represented countries and cultures to the other volunteers and the local youth.
- Group games and discussions to make the theoretical sessions as dynamic and participatory as possible.

Age range: 18 and over

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

Extra fee: 14,500 Indian Rupees per month (about $220 US)
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Support the work of medical centers in Togo
Kpalime, Togo      


Volunteer project: This project was initiated in response to requests made by the Directors of two new health centers at Kpalimé. The project aims to alleviate the shortage of nursing staff at these very young health centers which cannot afford to hire sufficient personnel. The project is open to health care specialists: doctors, midwives, nurses, laboratory technicians, biologists, but also to students who wish to get training and experience about tropical health conditions.

The volunteers will assist the nursing staff to treat and assist patients. The centers provide testing laboratories, medical services, maternity wards where the volunteers can work. The volunteers may work in other community health centers as well, in the prefectures of Agou or Dagne or Kloto.

Special requirements: Training in the healthcare field.

Language: English

Duration of the project: 1 - 12 months. Volunteers are expected to arrive at the beginning of the month (from 1st to 5th of the month) because of the training week session for each project.

Accommodation: The volunteers will live with a host family which is an opportunity to learn about the local community, culture and language. Volunteers are expected to be sensitive to the local culture and make an effort to integrate into the community. So the most important qualities we are looking for are enthusiasm, flexibility and willingness to experience something completely new.

Age range: 19 and over

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

Extra fee: 290 Euro per month
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Care, support and social inclusion for people with intellectual disability
Brussels, Bierge, Rhode-Saint-Genèse, Belgium       3 to 12 months


Volunteer project: The project is organised with a Center for people with intellectual disability, which consists of three houses and one day center welcoming people with a light to moderate intellectual disability. They offer supportive family environment to people who are supervised by professionals and volunteers.

During the day, the majority of the clients work in sheltered workshops, others go to the day center. The Center's mission is to create, manage and run activities and places for living and working for its clients, in order to ensure social integration and quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities.

The diversity of social contacts is beneficial for the residents. That is why we want to enrich their lives and strengthen community spirit by welcoming international volunteers for a period of 3 to 12 months, who must have the desire to live every day with people with disabilities in a family-like, friendly and supportive environment.

This project is seen as an opportunity to welcome dynamic and self-willed international volunteers, to pursue the objective of welcoming people with intellectual disability in our society. Living with these people is a humanly rich and intense life experience. Accompanying them daily brings us simplicity and authenticity and by mixing with them, we learn to accept everyone as a unique person, rich with his/her own differences.
For the volunteers, this community life project is a unique opportunity to broaden their mind, to gain experience in social work and civic engagement. The center has been hosting international volunteers for nearly six years. Volunteers will take an important place in the houses and we wish to put in place all that is necessary for a positive experience and fruitful exchange.

Volunteer work: The volunteers will have to take an active role in the houses and the day center in order to help the residents in their daily life. They will be supported by a person in charge at all times. Volunteers are encouraged to take initiative for specific activities or organise new workshops based on their experience and skills (e.g. language lessons, sport, artistic activities, etc.). The role of the volunteers is also to share their culture and knowledge. The volunteers will have the opportunity to get experience in group management, conflict resolution, activities preparation and running, as well as different working techniques necessary to manage a group of adults with mental disability.

Volunteer duties in the houses:
• Attending all house and team meetings
• Preparing menu lists for the week
• Participation in the weekly shopping
• Preparing the menu of the day
• Helping in the garden and buildings
• Welcoming the residents when they come back from their activities
• Accompanying the residents in common activities during evenings and weekends
• Accompanying the residents to medical appointments
• Helping residents with waking up and having breakfast
• Helping people to manage their time
• Reminding residents about hygiene (changing clothes, personal care)

Volunteer duties in the day center:
• Helping the person in charge with the organisation of the activity calendar
• Helping residents with shopping and cooking
• Helping the person in charge with group activities and with the running of these activities
• Meeting parents to put in place individual projects and the annual assessment
• Attending team meetings of the day center
• Attending extra activities (tours, holidays …)

The teams in the three houses and the day center collaborate regularly and integrate volunteers’ participation in their daily operation in order to offer the residents a rich social environment. The volunteers are part of the team, and participate in every aspect of the work of the center, including staff meetings and community life. Volunteers will work with the residents of the houses in the evenings (4pm to 9.30pm), sometimes in the morning (6am to 8am), and some weekends (from Friday 3.30pm to Sunday 10pm), for a maximum of 35h/week. In the day center, the timetable is: Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm for a maximum of 35h/week. The exact timetable will be set together with the volunteers in order to accommodate their preferences. It will also take into account the French lessons (for max. 5h/week).

The center closes for 3 weeks in July and for a week for Christmas, and holidays are organized for the clients at this time. Volunteers can participate in those holidays if they wish.

Free time: Bruxelles, the Capital of Europe, is a multicultural city with a thousand faces: a majestic historic centre, a unique ambiance, a huge array of activities for both younger and older people. Visit the Manneken-Pis, the Atomium, the Art Nouveau Houses (Horta) and the Belgian Strip Cartoon Centre. And last but not least, taste the famous Belgian chocolate!

Profile of the volunteer: The volunteer must be between 18 and 35 years of age, highly motivated and having the maturity needed to face daily life with disabled people. Prior knowledge of French is essential in order to be able to communicate with the residents and avoid misunderstandings that could frighten or upset some of them. The houses need volunteers who are dynamic, motivated, keen to learn and to take initiative, able to question themselves, and to accept instructions from the staff. You also need to be aware that for several months you will be living with people whose daily life is totally different from yours. Be ready, if necessary, to learn about mental disability, autism, psychosis and other syndromes.
The volunteer will have the opportunity to attend French classes on site if interested.

Language: French, English

Documents to be submitted: A motivation letter and a resume should be sent along with the application form.

Duration of the project: 3 to 12 months

Accommodation: In a small apartment on site. A phone and free internet access is provided for the volunteers. Washing machine is available. There is a bicycle in every house.

Location: Ixelles, Brussels; Bierge; Rhode-Saint-Genèse

Age range: 18 - 35 years old

Pocket money: The volunteers get an allowance of 120 Euro per month.

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

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Improving the social well-being of people with physical disabilities
Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium       3 to 12 months

Volunteer project: The project is organised with a Residential center for people with physical disabilities which currently hosts 18 adults with cerebral palsy. The center aims at giving those people an adapted living place. Each resident participates in the daily tasks according to their abilities. They are supported by a multidisciplinary team of educators, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nurses, social workers, and physiotherapists, where everyone takes care of the patient individually within a group.

The different aspects of life in the center include:
§ House life: cooking, food stock management, laundry storage, cleaning of the kitchen.
§ Indoor activities: theatre, boccia (adapted bocce), sport, painting, expression, media, comics, well-being.
§ Outdoor activities: pool, hippotherapy, grocery shopping, cultural events.
§ Special events: music festival, adapted bikes, painting exhibition, Christmas market.

The staff includes 14 specialized educators, 2 occupational therapists, 2 speech therapists, a social worker, a director, a psychologist, and a financial and administrative manager. Three independent physiotherapists and an independent team of nurses also work at the center.

Volunteer work: During the project, the volunteer will take part in the community life of the residential center under the supervision of the staff members. They will accompany the residents during mealtimes and other moments of their life:
- Daily life activities: cooking, food stock management, etc.
- Leisure and creative activities: theatre, well-being, painting, expression, comics
- Outdoor activities: shopping, cultural excursions, sports, etc.
The volunteers will also organize some group activities and projects and will improve their French.
The volunteers won’t be in charge of medical care (washing the residents, putting them to bed, waking them up, etc.).
The volunteers will have to take part in the center’s activities during the day, and could be asked to work on weekends.

Profile of the volunteer: The center wishes to welcome sensitive individuals who are concerned with disability issues. The volunteers must have the maturity needed to face the challenges of daily life with physically disabled people. Basic knowledge of French is required because some residents only speak French and need clear indications, in order to avoid misunderstandings that could frighten or upset them. Besides, the residential center needs volunteers who are dynamic, motivated, keen to learn and to take initiatives, able to question themselves, and to accept guidance and remarks from the staff. Also, volunteers have to be prepared to live for several months with people who have a way of life completely different from their own.

Free time: Braine-l’Alleud is home to a cinema complex, many sports halls and a cultural center. It is not far from the historic site of Waterloo. Many hiking routes are available in the area.
Bruxelles, the Capital of Europe, is a multicultural city with thousand faces: a majestic historic centre, a unique ambiance, a huge array of activities for both younger and older people. Visit the Manneken-Pis, the Atomium, the Art Nouveau Houses (Horta) and the Belgian Strip Cartoon Centre. And last but not least, taste the famous Belgian chocolate!

Language: English, French

Documents to be submitted: A motivation letter and a resume should be sent along with the application form.

Duration of the project: 3 to 12 months

Accommodation: The volunteers will be accommodated in separate rooms on the first floor of the center. The rooms have TV, Wi-Fi Internet access and a private bathroom.

Location: The center is located in a quiet and green neighborhood, in the village of Ophain, 3 km from the city center of Braine-l’Alleud in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant, about 20 km south of Brussels. Braine-l’Alleud can be reached by bus, by bike or on foot. Braine-l’Alleud is a city with more than 39,000 inhabitants, with lots of shops and leisure activities. Brussels is just 15 minutes away from Braine-l’Alleud by train. A bus stop and a train station are located not far from the residential center. Bicycles are provided for the volunteers to go to the train station.

Age range: 18 - 35 years old

Pocket money: The volunteers will receive an allowance of 110 Euro per month.

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $510 US)

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Medical internship program
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam       2 - 3 weeks


Volunteer project: The medical internship program in Vietnam provides skilled medical professionals and students the chance to experience a new culture and working environment while still learning and developing their specialized medical knowledge at the same time. Volunteers get the chance to gain a greater understanding of the differences between medical systems in developed and developing countries.

Volunteers will be placed with a local Doctor and/or Nurse who will guide them in different tasks and activities at the placement. It is important to note that as a volunteer, you will not be allowed to partake in serious procedures and you will be job shadowing. However, depending on the volunteer’s level of experience, they may observe operations, provide assistance in basic procedures and visit patients, before and after surgery as well as any other tasks offered or required by the local staff. While volunteers are always encouraged by local staff to see and learn as much as possible, the local staff are also very interested in gaining a better understanding of medical work in your country and learn about the similarities and differences.

There are opportunities for volunteers to work in pediatrics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy with children and adults who suffer from cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, congenital motor system deformity and other disabilities. There are also opportunities to work in other specialties within a very large hospital with highly skilled staff who speak English. There are 5 big hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City that welcome participants from this program.

This program is offered for three types of applicants:
- Students from nursing or medical school / college / university who will become a nurse or a doctor in the future
- Students who have no background in medicine/nursing, but intend to study medicine or nursing
- Nurses or doctors who have working experience and want to share it with others and help patients

Language: English

Duration of the project: 2 - 3 weeks. Please select the dates that work best for you and submit them with your application.

Arrival and orientation: The project starts on Tuesday, except on holidays. Volunteers arrive in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday or Tuesday of every week.
A one- to three-day orientation and training is provided at the beginning of the project. It covers topics such as aims and structure of the program, introduction to Vietnam and tourist destinations recommendation, practical information and arrangements, basic Vietnamese and local travel guide and visits to host placement(s).

Accommodation: Volunteers will stay in a dormitory in shared rooms. The house has TV, PC, free Wi-Fi, fridge, washing machine, air conditioner, cooking facilities and common room.
There is a cook who prepares a wide variety of delicious and authentic Vietnamese dishes with locally sourced fresh produce daily during the week. On weekends, meals will be served at a restaurant nearby.

Location: Ho Chi Minh City

Terminal: Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 450 USD for the first 2 weeks plus 150 USD per extra week
The extra fee for this project has to be transferred one month before the start. The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds.

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Physiotherapy internship program
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam       2 - 3 weeks


Volunteer project: The aim of this program is to provide skilled physiotherapy professionals and students the chance to experience a new culture and working environment while still learning and developing their specialized medical knowledge at the same time. Volunteers get the chance to gain a greater understanding of the differences between medical systems in developed and developing countries.

Volunteers in this program will work in a hospital specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation or in a physiotherapy rehabilitation center.

Language: English

Duration of the project: 2 - 3 weeks. Please select the dates that work best for you and submit them with your application.

Arrival and orientation: The project starts on Tuesday, except on holidays. Volunteers arrive in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday or Tuesday of every week.
A one- to three-day orientation and training is provided at the beginning of the project. It covers topics such as aims and structure of the program, introduction to Vietnam and tourist destinations recommendation, practical information and arrangements, basic Vietnamese and local travel guide and visits to host placement(s).

Accommodation: Volunteers will stay in a dormitory in shared rooms. The house has TV, PC, free Wi-Fi, fridge, washing machine, air conditioner, cooking facilities and common room.
There is a cook who prepares a wide variety of delicious and authentic Vietnamese dishes with locally sourced fresh produce daily during the week. On weekends, meals will be served at a restaurant nearby.

Location: Ho Chi Minh City

Terminal: Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 450 USD for the first 2 weeks plus 150 USD per extra week
The extra fee for this project has to be transferred one month before the start. The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds.

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