About our upcoming trip: G.O.T. Orphans has organized a team to volunteer their time for a service trip to Haiti. This team includes Occupational, Speech, and Physical therapists, as well as other volunteers to help treat and teach the children, and build the equipment necessary to carry out the treatment. From June 23-29th, therapists and students will work with disabled orphans in 2 orphanages. The team will be treating the children throughout the week as well as educating the staff and caregivers on the therapeutic activities they can engage these children in. This includes positioning, the use of equipment, and proper transferring techniques to ensure the best possible outcomes for both these children and the staff/caregivers.
About the children: Both of these orphanages have numerous children with disabilities that range from learning disabilities to more severe or profound deficits such as cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and autism. The very limited amount of therapy equipment they have is very old and inefficient. Many of the wheelchairs, walkers, and adaptive equipment are not suitable for their needs due to improper size and inability to adjust or modify the equipment. These children lack the proper seating, chair and table heights, adaptive feeding equipment to become more independent in tasks such as feeding themselves, assisting to transfer from chair to bed and chair to toilet. Many wheelchair bound children also develop skin sores and break downs, as well as joint contractures because there are no positioning materials such as wedges and bolsters. There are also no adaptive bars and/or toilets to allow the caregivers to aid the children properly and therefore preserve their own body mechanics during a transfer. Oral motor control is a big issue with many of these children. They are in need of equipment and therapy to prevent aspirating on food items and developing pneumonia and other lung complications associated with aspiration. These children are currently cared for by a few caregivers and although are well cared for and loved, they do not have the proper equipment to really help these children unlock their potential. It is our goal to train the staff / caregivers and provide them with the proper equipment to help make the children more independent in their feeding skills, mobility, self-care tasks, play, and interaction skills.
How your donations will be used: 100% of all donations will go directly to defraying my cost to going. Air travel, translators, food, shelter, and transportation cause trips to Haiti to be quite expensive. Any donation is appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and your consideration in donating items for our service trip to Haiti. Should you have any questions, or items to donate, please do not hesitate to contact me.