Volunteering to make difference

Osborne Park Hospital senior occupational therapist Loan Le with toys used to help treat children [NAMES OK]
Osborne Park Hospital senior occupational therapist Loan Le with toys used to help treat children [NAMES OK]

The Osborne Park Hospital senior occupational therapist said she decided to volunteer with the desire to immerse herself in Vietnamese culture and contribute to improving others’ lives.

‘I volunteered at a care-facility for about 100 children with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities,’ Ms Le said. ‘My involvement was focused on nine children based on a needs analysis that was completed together with the school principal and nurse.

‘I developed individualised therapy programs for the children and completed hands-on intervention, training and education for the care staff at the facility, with the assistance of another Australian volunteer, Mark Taylor from Melbourne.’

The Leederville resident said volunteering with the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS) for two weeks was too short to make any real sustainable change.

‘I wanted to establish an ongoing opportunity for others to continue the therapy program that was started,’ she said. ‘I was familiar with the existing Curtin Go Global program, which had been established for student placements in China, Ukraine, India and Cambodia, and believed CSDS would benefit from a similar agreement for Vietnam.

‘Curtin Go Global is currently recruiting the first cohort of health sciences students to visit Vietnam in July 2015, with the view of sending up to 10 students, twice a year every year, to Vietnam.

‘This will ensure there will be ongoing and consistent therapy support and participation, which is crucial for the development and sustainability of the therapy programs established with CSDS.’