Work with a large institution based in Madurai that cares and schools approximately 130 children ranging from babies to the age of 18. The children mainly suffer from Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Autism, Epilepsy, Deafness and some of the children are slow learners and dyslexic. You’ll help with arts & crafts, hand-eye co-ordination skills, yoga sessions, sewing and embroidery, music and dance classes, and lots, lots more!
The aim of the school is to help the children to study, build confidence and develop essential life skills. About 100 of these students are provided with residential care; the others are brought to the school each day by their parents.
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!!
BACKGROUND: 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. 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 AND FOOD:
For a complete Indian experience we arrange for you to stay with one of wonderful host families. Not only will you 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 family long after they leave India and in some cases they return to the country later especially to visit their family.
You may share a room with up to 2 other volunteers and in most of the houses you’ll have an en-suite, Western-style bathroom. 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.
Wi-Fi / Internet: There are no internet facilities in the host family accommodation, but less than 1 minute walk away there is an internet café and costs less than £1 an hour.
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT
- An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience this amazing culture first-hand!
- New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
- The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
- An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
- An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
- Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
- Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
- And best of all … an unforgettable experience!