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Pedagogy training for the teachers of Down Syndrome children

To train in pedagogy and special education the “special” teachers of DSSN and partner centres, working with children and young adults with Down Syndrome or intellectual disability. DSSN has a team of 4 teachers in its day-care centre in Kathmandu and has 15 partner day-care centres all over Nepal that it helped to get started. With a view to spread skills to a maximum of people working with Down Syndrome or intellectually disabled children, DSSN will invite 1 or 2 staffs of each partner day care centre to join the training as well. 5 day care centers are in the Kathmandu valley and 10 other are out the valley. The members and founders of the organization, as well as some of the teachers, are parents of the beneficiaries of the centres. They are doing their best to give maximum support to the children/youths and to help them to develop as much as possible their capacities, but they were not trained in special education and pedagogy and therefore on how to attend the needs of children with disabilities, which are very specific. They are not equipped with the tools that exist to accompany these children and their development. Therefore, they believe that getting training in pedagogy and special education will help them to develop specific activities in the centres and promote the blossoming of the children/youths, as well as help to develop their intellectual, affective and physical potentials, and to develop their daily social and professional autonomy. Overall, it will allow them to provide a better support to the children and youths, as well as to better guide and support their families. It should particularly focus on helping teachers to better understand the difficulties of the children and youths, evaluate the possibility of stimulation and learning process, develop educative approaches or therapeutic ways, and help the children and youths in a cognitive, affective and social way in order to allow them the best socio-professional integration possible.
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The mission can happen anytime expect during national holidays: Dashain and Tihar (weeks 40 and 43). All daily transportation can be done by walking (15 to 20 minutes) or by taxi. The volunteer will work from 10am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. He/she can work on Sunday as well, which is a working day in Nepal. The volunteer can have lunch in the centre. Breakfasts and dinners will be taken outside in restaurants. Satyam Day Care Center will arrange for the accommodation and meals of the partners’ participants within the center.
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OUI
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Congé solidaire
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Teachers and staff
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15
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4 teachers + 1 or 2 staffs of partner day care centres (around 10/15 centres) for a maximum of 15 participants. Only few participants might speak and understand English, an interpreter among the board members will be provided to support the volunteer. 13 of them are women.Among the 4 teachers of DSSN Kathmandu, 3 have received simple teaching training. The 4th teacher, hired from March 2014, has received a training to manage specific activities for children with intellectual disability. None of the teachers from the other centres has received such kind of training.
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Down Syndrome Society Nepal is an NGO created in 2010 by Shila Thapa and 8 other parents of intellectual disabled children. DSSN protects and promotes the basic human rights of the intellectually disabled children. Despite how relatively common Down syndrome is, in Nepal it is not understood as a chromosomal disorder. Nepalese doctors and nurses are often not well informed and lack basic understanding of the symptoms; leading to tragic misdiagnosis. Often children are not properly diagnosed and never treated as they should be. As Down syndrome is associated with many serious physical problems (heart defects, poor eyesight, etc.) that demand urgent care, the lives of many Down’s children are simply lost without access to relevant medical practitioners and counsellors. Shila Thapa, the founder of the organization, lost her brother to meningitis at age six as her mother was not educated enough to react in the right way. That was a powerful lesson to Shila: mothers need education and access to care for their children. In 2002, Shila gave birth to her second child. After a lengthy struggle and multiple consultations with doctors, her son was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and a heart condition. Following this and due to lack of treatment in Nepal, Shila had to go to India in order for her son to undergo operations for his survival. This allowed her to learn more about the condition and Down syndrome’s support groups in India. Back in Nepal, Shila had to train herself in physiotherapy to be able to answer to her child’s need and this led her to open a clinic to support other children with Down Syndrome. In 2005, she founded the Down Syndrome Support Centre—the first in Nepal, now called Satyam Day Care Centre (SDDC). Thanks to her mother-in-law’s support, Shila was able to cater to her sons need and to other needy children with Down Syndrome, whose parents cannot afford treatment. And so, in 2010 she started Down Syndrome Society Nepal with the help of other parents, especially of mothers. Since 2005, in a country where a word for Down syndrome does not exist, Shila has reached out to parents, the medical community, the government and a network of citizen organizations (COs) working with disability, to make children with Down Syndrome and their parents a vibrant, empowered community with the resources and education to improve the lives of their children and influence Nepalese society. Shila has employed a two-pronged institutional strategy by operating a support centre and day care centre, as well as partnering with other disability groups and lobbying the government of Nepal. The support centre is responsible for sensitization programs on Down syndrome amongst parents, medical practitioners, medical institutions, educational institutes, and the government. Shila informs professionals and the general public that Down syndrome is not a disease but a genetic condition. In Nepal, children with Down syndrome are viewed as retarded, dangerous, and even “mad” and their mothers are often discriminated against and ostracized. Through programs organized by the centre, Shila is creating spaces where children with Down syndrome and “normal” children interact and learn from each other. She encourages families and society to celebrate these children and their talents. She does not force activities, but develops their natural talents. The centre organizes public programs as a mean to raise funds while increasing awareness and also includes celebrities and lawmakers in her awareness programs. In-kind support is provided by volunteers who offer many therapies to the children while large organizations contribute with equipment, books, donation boxes and business-plan consulting to Shila. The support centre also runs a vocational training program for children over twelve-years-old to enable them to become economically productive members of society. Named Prothshaan, this program focuses overall on enhancing the lives of people with Down syndrome and people with intellectual disability, providing quality instruction and meaningful work. The centre provides Physiotherapy, an Early Stimulation Program, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and routine vaccinations to the children. The centre also provides classes, music and dance therapy, exercise, and other services to Down’s children. Currently, Satyam day care centre supports 15 children or young adults with Down Syndrome or intellectual disabilities and touches around 250 families via 15 partner day care centres. The current Satyam Day Care Centre services are: - Special education: education of the children in adapted way for each one. - Medical general check-up and support for special medical needs. - Speech therapy done by Shila as she has attended a workshop in Singapore. - Dance therapy done by a Nepali volunteer twice a week. - Music therapy done by a Nepali volunteer once a week. - Occupational therapy: day to day activities which means life skill, daily routine activities. - Physiotherapy done by Shila who follow a course for a year. - Self Help Skills: division among the children of daily work as cleaning, cooking, washing clothes. - Early intervention: detection of Down syndrome and activity with young children (sensation of cold/hot, texture, noises…). - Physical Training and Sports. - Educational tours: recreational activities out of the centre one Friday a month to claim the “Right to go out” (cinema, park…). 12 persons are working in the centre: the director (Shila Thapa), the principal of the centre, 4 teachers, 1 supervisor, 1 administration officer, 1 driver, 1 cooker, 1 kitchen assistant and 1 office boy. 3 teachers have received a teacher training from the Japanese Cooperation but not specifically in special education. A new teacher has been hired from end of March 2014. She has received training in early childhood stimulation and on how to develop activities for children with various disabilities. The principal of the school also acts in the education program and has received a Montessori training. The 15 children coming daily to the center are from 4 to 25 years old :3 have 24 and 25 years old, 3 have between 14 to 16 years old. The rest of them are from 4 to 12 years old.
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Shila Thapa (founder/director of DSSN) will pick up the volunteer at the airport in a private car. It will take approximately 30-40 minutes to accommodation, depending on traffic.
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Kathmandu [Tribhuvan]
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The volunteer will stay at a guesthouse in an individual room with a private bathroom with electricity and free wifi. The guesthouse will be located in the touristic area of Kathmandu, Thamel.
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The volunteer will work at the DSSN day care centre in Baluwatar, Kathmandu. DSSN has an office with 1 desk and 1 computer equipped with Office 2007 and Internet. DSSN does not have a back-up for electricity, so activities requiring the use of a computer should be planned according to the load-shedding schedule at the time of the mission. There is a paper board. Other material can also be used to work on the activities : - Music instruments: Drum set, guitar, key board, Mouth Organ, Nepali instrument Harmonium, Madal and Sarangi. - Games: Badminton, Basket ball, Shot-put, Ca-ram board and puzzles. - Art Materials: a few only is available, more might be purchased prior to the mission according to needs. All this material can be used by the volunteer during the mission.
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