Hello... im fundraising for my trip to Vietnam to volunteer with PMGY at their childcare programme for 2 months. The funds I'm raising will contribute to my fees required to carry out the project and keep it ongoing... any pennies are appreciated! !
PMGY’s Childcare in Vietnam programme aims to provide much needed support caring for the children at the National Hospital of Paediatrics in Hanoi. Aside from the medical treatment provided at the hospital, the children have very little social interaction and are heavily reliant on their families. Quite a few of the children come from rural communities. Therefore, a family member, usually the child’s mother, will stay with their child 24/7. The family member will sleep in the same bed as the child and, for all intents and purposes, basically live at the hospital! You can therefore imagine how stressful the whole experience is for not only the child but their family as well. The time the children spend at the hospital varies from a week to several months. As a result, PMGY have identified a placement whereby we can create regular activities and engagement for the children in order to improve their psychological well-being. When hospitalised, the children face huge changes to their life and daily routine, which has numerous psychological effects. Infants, toddlers, school-aged children and teenagers all respond differently to illness in regards to their individual development, but some common reactions have been noticed by medical staff working with hospitalised children: - Irritability caused by a disruption or a change in their normal routine. - Developing strange reactions in response to unexpressed feelings. - Separation anxiety. - Immediate physical reaction to pain and unfamiliar surroundings. - Regression in established skills. - Fear of loss of control. - Fear of loss of love. Without the right stimulation and routine, long-term hospitalisation will result in a higher susceptibility to long-term psychological damage. The aim of this programme is to not only bring entertainment to the children, but also to pay attention to the specific needs that young patients develop during long-term hospitalisation. Responsive activities will be strategically developed to support the various needs of the children. We aim to introduce a concept called ‘Play Therapy’. From childhood to adulthood, play is fundamental in our lives. For children, play has an even more important role, as they haven’t yet developed the abstract reasoning abilities and verbal skills to articulate their feelings. Kids use toys as adults use words. They play as we build conversations. By playing with the children, the aim is to give them the space to develop strategies for them to cope with the difficulties they experience. When playing the children’s defences are reduced and it becomes natural for them to express their feelings. Play releases stress, connects people to one another in a positive way, stimulates creativity and curiosity, and helps to regulate emotions. We support the children in order to help them: - Develop new and creative solutions to their difficulties. - Develop respect and acceptance for self and others. - Learn to experience and express feelings. - Learn new skills: social skills, relational skills, hard-skills (learning English, handicraft techniques, etc). The overall purpose of bringing volunteers to the hospital is to create an environment where the children can grow, play and learn with adults who are respectful and understanding of their needs. Furthermore, the sessions give family members a much-needed break. A mother may use this time to take a shower, buy groceries, or just take some time for herself. The mothers and families take great joy in seeing their child being happy and interacting with other kids. It is difficult to express how relieving the pressures on the parents, even just for a few hours, can really help them cope with the situation as a whole.