22 December 2008

What the heck are you doing in Kenya?

I can finally not only tell you where I will be working for the next year, but also the specific tasks that I will be doing while in Kenya.

"The St. Julie Programme, a non-profit organization run by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in collaboration with parents of special needs children and the local community, seeks to improve the quality of life for children who are physically and/or mentally disabled. We provide opportunities for children to maintain their present abilities and to advance toward their fullest potential as individuals and as members of their families and communities.

We serve children with many disabilities including club foot, cleft palette, cerebral palsy, paralysis, hydrocephalus, spina bifida, epilepsy, mental retardation, blindness, and hearing impairments.

The main objective for the St. Julie Centre, which is part of the St. Julie Programme, is to bring regular occupational therapy services within reach of children in this rural area both with regard to distance and cost."

My tasks while will there will include any mixture of the following:
  • Liaise with government and community officials and workers to facilitate implementation of programme.
  • Organize and carry out community awareness raising and education meetings, with assistance of local government officers and CBRWs.
  • Assist with aspects of Liliane mediation tasks as requested.
  • Visit client homes with CBRW when there appear to be problems, such as poor attendance at therapy, poor nutrition, etc.
  • Attend  staff meetings once a month or as called by director, and advisory board meetings when invited by director.
  • Assist at  parent and community meetings, volunteer and CBRW trainings as
  • Assist at epilepsy clinics at centre as needed.
  • Keep account of Saint Julie Programme child registration payments and issue membership cards on completion.
  • Operate toy lending library for children attending centre.
  • Keep account of transport assistance given to clients to reach centre for therapy.
  • Assist with play therapy activities at centre when free to do so.
  • Assist with transport of children to hospital, clinic, school as needed.
  • Assist with secretarial tasks.
  • Assist with Saint Julie Programme account keeping.
  • Assist with proposal writing for funding.
  • direct and help with set-up tasks, following listed instructions.
  • Direct play therapy volunteers as needed, especially in selecting appropriate activities.
  • Assist volunteers to record activities correctly on play therapy forms.
  • If there is need, remind volunteers to engage parents in their children’s play activities.
  • Make play activity forms for new children who have attended 3 times, and ask therapist to complete the therapy information at the top.  
  • File forms alphabetically by first name in the ring binder.
  • If the therapist has no specific play therapy to indicate, add the child’s name to the list of these children at the front of the binder.  
  • Help volunteers to engage the child in any activity suitable to age and ability.
  • Oversee cleaning of toys by volunteers after use.
  • See that toy cupboards are kept in order; check shelves at end of each week.
  • Direct and help with clean-up tasks at end of therapy time.