The aim of the program is to to provide skilled medical professionals and students the chance to experience a new culture and working environment while still learning and developing their specialized medical knowledge at the same time. Volunteers get the chance to gain a greater understanding of differences between medical systems in developed and developing countries
Main Activities: Known officially as Centre of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation for Disabled Children (CORDC) but it also offers treatment for adults too. The Orthopedics & Rehabilitation Physio Centre project began in 1979 as a joint humane project between ‘Terre des Hommes’ (Germany) and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids & Social Affairs of Vietnam, with the aim of providing rehabilitation for all paralysed children in South Vietnam. The centre opened in 1983, and in conjunction with many humane societies across the world has provided free health care to thousands of Vietnamese children. It provides rehabilitation treatment to adults & children who are usually referred here by their doctor or other hospitals.
The center has three main purposes:
Rehabilitation: treatments for children aged 5 – 15 years diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Congenital Motor Deformity amongst other conditions.
Training: rehabilitative training and courses on taking care of a disabled child as well as other courses for local medical staff, students and family of disabled children.
Research: ongoing research in fields such as Congenital Motor System deformity and treatments, Physiotherapy and the care of disabled children.
Most of the center functions similar to a hospital, mainly focusing on orthopedics, with various rooms for different treatments including a daycare room for disabled children where they can receive physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. The daycare has 5 teachers looking after 32 children, but not all attend every day. Most of the children suffer from cerebral palsy, down’s syndrome, congenital motor system deformity and other disabilities; from learning and cultural activities at the daycare, children can recover some motor function of the body and increase their awareness of the world around them.
Volunteer tasks: Interns will be placed with a local Doctor and/or Nurse who will guide them to different tasks and activities at the placement. As an intern, you will not be expected or allowed to partake in serious procedures. However, depending on level of experience, participants may observe operations, provide assistance in basic procedures and visit patients – before and after surgery as well as any other tasks offered or required by the local staff. While participants are always encouraged by local staff to see and learn as much as possible, they are also very interested to gain a better understanding of medical work in your country and in particular, learn about the similarities and differences. This is an interesting type of specialized cultural exchange where both participants and local staff can learn a lot from each other and develop themselves through greater knowledge and understanding.
The timetable will be given on arrival with volunteers working 5 days a week (Saturday and Sunday off). Working hours from 8:30am to 11:30am, and again from 2:00pm to 5:00pm with a lunch break and time to rest in between. Volunteers will work 20 hours per week on average.
Volunteer requirements / Skills
- Participants must be at least 18 years of age.
- Must present both VPV and local placement with proof of medical study, qualifications (if any) and experience in the field.
- Participants must be committed, and enthusiastic as local staff expect them to become an active member of the team regardless of their skill level or expertise.
Location: The Rehabilitation & Orthopedics hospital is located in Tan Binh District, in the west of Ho Chi Minh City. It is easily reached on the bus and total travel time is around one hour, including both bus & walking. It can be more or less depending on traffic. It is in a densely populated area so all necessary amenities are close by.
Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging): Volunteers will stay in a dormitory, sharing rooms with volunteers of other nationalities joining the same program. Normally, rooms are arranged with about 2-6 volunteers per room. In the busy time, the number can be maximum 7 or 9 volunteers per room in five bunk beds. Western toilets and showers are available. Air-conditioner at night time (9PM- 6AM); hot water using solar energy is available, but less during the raining season. The house has TV, PC with internet, free WIFI, fridge, cooking facilities, common room and terrace. Laundry service near the house with the cost US$1 for 2 kg.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner are provided at the dorm. Lunch on working days will be provided at the project.
Food is local style, cooked by a Vietnamese cook from Monday to Friday. On weekend, our cook will prepare dry food (bread, jam, butter, milk, sausage, eggs, instant noodle, fruits and vegetable) and tickets for volunteers to go to nearby restaurant to have beef noodles as she is off on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. The main types of food will be rice, meat, fish and vegetables. For vegetarians the choice is usually limited to rice, bread, vegetables, egg & tofu.
Volunteer is free to use kitchen for personage cooking. By individual requirement, the single or twin room can be arranged.