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Monday, February 23, 2015

Volunteering Now and Looking for the Future!

In Bolivia almost 1 in 10 suffer from some kind of disability however there is a severe lack of inclusion of the intellectually disabled within society. Some of the work we as the Volunteer and participation for Inclusion team have been doing is to set up the Best Buddies Bolivia program. The aim of which is to tackle misconceptions with in society of the intellectually disabled so they can discover life unhindered by negativity, enabling them to be fully immersed into society through the aid of our workshops and Peer buddies.  This week, due to Carnival, has been a short week of only 3 days; however we have been extremely busy planning workshops with the buddies and also the other activities with our other partner AVCCI. Recently the director of AVCCI has signed a deal with International Service so we can continue supporting the important work they do in supporting the parents and children of the children’s cancer ward of Hospital del Niño. As a team our other responsibilities with AVCCI include visiting the hospital once a week to do fun activities for the children and also planning nutrition and emotional support workshops with the parents as well our action Friday which will take place within the Hospital on the 27th. The action Friday will be a fair for the children, we will also be providing healthy treats for the children after the activities.

The work we do with AVCCI especially is rewarding whilst difficult, this Thursday after baking biscuits all morning for the children of the cancer ward, we discovered at the Hospital an infection had spread through the ward. As a result the children were extremely sick so we couldn’t enter the ward. Instead some of our group handed out the biscuits on the children’s burns unit. 

Childhood cancer is an extremely sensitive and difficult subject and the work of AVCCI is extremely important, not just to distract the children and let them be children for an afternoon a week but to support the parents through an extremely difficult time in their lives. This is also why we will soon be conducting workshops for the parents to help them deal with the emotional impact of cancer as well as provide some information on nutrition to improve the general health of the entire family. Thursday also highlighted how quickly plans can change when working and volunteering in development.

Childhood cancer is an extremely sensitive and difficult subject and the work of AVCCI is extremely important, not just to distract the children and let them be children for an afternoon a week but to support the parents through an extremely difficult time in their lives. This is also why we will soon be conducting workshops for the parents to help them deal with the emotional impact of cancer as well as provide some information on nutrition to improve the general health of the entire family. Thursday also highlighted how quickly plans can change when working and volunteering in development.



Eleanor Robson 

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