Internship Reference: SGNGO04
This children’s foundation is dedicated to serving vulnerable children in Vietnam and Mongolia who are in need of medical care, nutritional rehabilitation, educational opportunities, vocational training and job placement, who would otherwise be at high risk of sexual and commercial exploitation.
The charity also empowers impoverished communities with sustainable futures through the building and equipping of education and medical facilities and the provision of micro-finance loans and water sanitation through our community development programmes.
The Foundation seeks to maximize the potential of each child. This is accomplished within the context of the family and the community whenever possible and always with love and respect for the dignity of each child as an individual.
The Irish founder, who herself as a child lived in deep poverty in UK, arrived in Vietnam in 1989, when she began her work with the destitute street children of Ho Chi Minh City and eventually established her NGO in 1991. 164 projects have been established during the past 28 years providing vital health services, education opportunities, and community support programmes to thousands of vulnerable children and their families annually.
In 1997, the foundation extended its work into Mongolia after an investigative visit to Ulaanbaatar where the founder was shocked to discover thousands of sick and destitute street children living in horrendous conditions beneath the city streets in manholes struggling to survive against the harsh winter temperatures which can reach as low as minus 40 degrees.
The Centre admits newborns to 6 years old with severe health conditions such as but not limited to malnourishment, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, respiratory diseases, etc. Most of the children have intellectual and physical impairments of one form or another.
The children are divided into 2 groups:
– IMU (Intensive monitoring Unit): newborns up to 24 months old.
– Hoa Mi: 24 months up to 6 years old.
Below is a list of actions and mindsets you will be expected to bring with you into your work at the foundation:
Support socio and psychological development
You will focus on the socio and psychological development of the children at the centre through the integration and interaction with different activities and games -as per schedule- at either a one on one level or in a group scenario. You will also take children on excursions to the park and such like, provide support to the staff wherever necessary.
Each child is different
You will have a responsibility to get to know the characters of each child they interact with in order to fully maximize the benefits of such interactions for emotional and developmental growth. The coordinator and staff will help in overcoming the language barriers, but you must be aware that all children have different mindsets, stages of development, emotional, physical intellectual ability and personality. Give them time and space to get to know you and to open up to you, and always at the child’s pace.
Adapt the activities
You will need to account for the individuality of each child they are working with, and understand the needs to adapt activities depending on their level of comprehension. This must be done with care, and without judgment or comparison. Activities need to be adapted per skill and understanding of each child.
Build positive rapport
You must remember to give love and attention equally to all children – avoid favoritism. As the volunteer period is only a short time, try and avoid fostering bonds of dependence with the children, as this can impact them negatively when you eventually finish your time with the foundation. Tickles and cuddles are appropriate, but never only to one child in particular. We encourage you to show love to children in other ways: preparing high quality activities, playing, singing, laughing with them, sharing their success and such like.
Create a cheerful and safe environment
The centre is a happy and cheerful place designed to assist in a child’s growth and development both medically and emotionally. You will help to create this nurturing and communal space by bringing their positive attitudes into their interactions with the children and the centre staff.
● Implement educational and playful activities adapted to the children’s stage of development, one on one and group focus.
● Take the children to the playground and on excursion to the park.
● Implement outdoor interesting and enriching activities adapted to the children’s skills.
● Guarantee health and safety procedures.
● Update children’s profile.
● Organize performances or games with the children for events.
● Maintain the office clean and in order.
● Disinfect the toys once a week
● Priority will be given to those with a background in Education, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Psychology, Social Work and other child related training.
● To be in good mental and physical health
● Police & health check required
● Must be 21 years old except exception circumstances (previous experience working with children)
Desired skills & experience:
● An understanding of children’s developmental stages and behaviors
● Practical experience working with children –preferably with babies and toddlers.
● An understanding of physical and intellectual impairments
● Ability to work individually and in a team
● Capacity to work in a prescriptive environment
● Reliable and mature
● Dynamic and flexible to adapt to last-minute change of plans
● Respect for other cultures and practices
● Easy-going character, cheerful attitude