This morning we had another tasty breakfast with coffee, fresh juice and the works! We had a little time before leaving for the orphanage, so we got to visit with some more of the families who are also staying at the guest house.
The orphanage was just a short walk away from the guest house so Jonas, one of the coordinators, walked us there. We met up with Selam, the nurse who was our translator.
We started in the older infant room, providing some suggestions to increase the babies' flexibility and quality of movement. They were very open and excited for feedback, similar to what we have seen in each of the other places we have been. We also got some time with the younger infants as well as the older toddlers. Both the nannies and the kiddos were thrilled to do animal walks where you walk like an animal and make their corresponding noises!
We finished the morning with the lifting training and back exercises. This has been such a hit at each place. Back pain is a very common complaint, as women tend to do a lot of heavy work at home, and then spend time at work holding and lifting babies/children.
We came back to the guest house for a snack lunch and then headed to the final orphanage to do more education and back safety training.
Throughout the week, we encountered some common themes:
- Infants - most all of the infants can benefit from: tummy time, flexion exercises done at diaper change time, frequent changes to their positioning when in their cribs/chairs/other seating devices, increased visual stimulation, more facilitated play experiences, and some alternative positions for feeding.
- For the sitters/crawlers we noted that they can benefit from: strategies to increase experiences in sitting, activities to encourage reaching in many directions, techniques to enhance upper body strength, and positions to facilitate crawling and moving into new positions.
- Toddlers - Most of the toddlers were moving well, although we did get to make suggestions for some little ones that had difficulties related to typical upper and lower extremity use. In addition, we recognized some areas of need surrounding individual and group play skills, as well as being more active participants during meal times.
- Nannies – Nearly all complained of back pain and showed extreme interest and engagement during interactive back pain prevention topic. The response to this never ceased to amaze us. One surprise topic that many staff were curious about was first aid. We'll have to take that into consideration in the future.
- School aged children - We were impressed that each location had a classroom and teacher for schooling on grounds. The children were well behaved. We were unable to do a lot of screenings or assessment on these children due in part to the large age range (4-14 years) and our lack of time. Despite this, the children displayed cooperative behaviors while waiting in line and during structured group activities.
As we reflect on our work week, we realize how much we've learned and we are so appreciative of the staff in each setting to allow us in with open arms and warm hearts.
And, for you – our dear donors – know that your donations have been used with super enthusiasm! We were able to use the donations for our trainings, running craft groups with the children, and also dispersed them across 5 separate locations! Just amazing. We can’t thank you enough. None of this would be possible without your support.
Signing off to go to bed...thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
Angie, Brandi, Jackie