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Verein: AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen e.V.
Projekt: Ons Tehuis- Brabant AFS - Support for our physical department
Bewerbungsende: jährlich
Status: Stelle gestrichen
Laufzeit: ab Mitte Februar 2010 - 6 months
Sprache im Projekt: keine Angaben

Diese Stelle ist nicht mehr verfügbar!

Bewerbungsbeginn für die Abreise im Sommer eines Jahres ist immer der 1. September des Vorjahres. Bewerbungsschluss ist 30. September.
Bewerbungsbeginn für die Abreise Anfang eines Jahres ist immer der 1. März des Vorjahres. Bewerbungsschluss ist der 30. März.

We do not expect the volunteer to have a specific education. However,we do expect the volunteer to treat the information that he receives inour centre with the necessary discretion. Although the volunteer is nota staff member of OTB, he/she will have to respect the professionalsecrecy.
We'd like to volunteer to be a sociable person with an open attituderegarding the 'difference' of our residence. Someone who is able toempahtise with our residents and who is prepared to make an extraeffort to communicate with them (not all of them are capable of verbalcommunication).

AFS, the coordinating host organisation, strongly believes in theintercultural learning aspect of an EVS-experience. Therefore, thevolunteer will be living with a volunteer host family, as we believethis is the best introduction to Flemish culture and a greatopportunity to integrate in the local community. Volunteers should bewilling to share in the host family's daily life (spend some free timewith them, occasionally join the family on activities outside thehouse, eat together, give a helping hand in the household... ) andshould be motivated to live with and learn about Flemish people ofdifferent ages and opinions. They should also be willing to adapt tothe local eating habits. On the other hand, we guarantee a family thatis interested to learn about the volunteer's culture and background andthat respects his/her values and beliefs. Living in a host family is anexcellent opportunity for both the volunteer and the family to broadentheir cultural horizons!
Candidates who clearly prefer to live independently or together withother volunteers, are advised not to apply for this project.


The Organisation:

'Ons Tehuis-Brabant' (OTB) is a place where people with a mentalhandicap can live and work. The domain includes 9 homes and 1 daycentre. The majority of the residents works in the day centre duringthe day.
The 9 home look similar, but depending on the group living in the homethe accents are different. Next to 6 homes for people with a mentalhandicap, we have 3 homes for a more specific target group. These are:the home for the elderly, the 'snoezel' home, and the auti-home. In thehome for the elderly live mostly people becoming older, the 'snoezel'home is for people who need a lot of care, and in the auti home livepeople who need more structure. They have a rather strict andvisualised daily routine.
In each home, 10 to 11 persons (men and women) live together in agroup. Next to these people we have about 30 people who only take partin the day centre, and mostly live with their parents. Our insitutionis rather small compared to other centres in Flanders who work with thesame target group.
OTB aims to enhance the quality of life of these people by giving thema meaningful daily schedule and by responding in a suitable way to theneed for care of our residents.

Our facility is located in a very green area and is not very easy toreach with public transport. However, it is within cycling distance ofthe nearest village. Kampenhout itself is a calm village that is notfar from a number of bigger cities. With public transport, you caneasily get to Mechelen Brussels, Leuven…

OTB has a long tradition of working with volunteers. They are involvedon all possible levels, depending on their own interests. However, wehave never before worked with foreign, non-Dutch-speaking volunteers.
The volunteers in our organisation have a supporting role. Thanks totheir commitment, a number of tasks are taken out of the hands of theprofessional staff, so that the latter can put more time and energyinto working with the residents.
Each volunteer in our organisation signs a contract that stipulateswhich tasks the volunteer would like to do and for which period. One ofour pedagogues is responsible for the volunteers, and is the contactperson for both the volunteers and the staff regarding volunteer work.

The Project:

Since we have very positive experiences with our Belgian volunteers, wewould like to take the step to work with a European volunteer. This canbe a very enriching experience for the volunteer, our residents andstaff and our Belgian volunteers.
The volunteer will be able to get to know a new culture andenvironment. During his stay at OTB, te volunteer will not only learnto work with people with a mental handicap, he will also become part oftheir world and will get to know these people on a very personal level.Through the contact with the residents and the staff, the volunteerwill become familiar with the Belgian way of thinking.
OTB can also learn a lot from the volunteer. Through contact with thevolunteer, our residents will learn that there are other cultures thanthe one they know. The volunteer can organise some activities relatedto his country, language, culture… (eg a cooking activity with typicalfood from the volunteer's country, teaching the residents a typicaldance… ) In this way, the living environment of our residents can bebroadened. However, this does not mean that the volunteer can only takeinitiative in this way. Indeed, next to a knowledge of a differentcountry and culture, the volunteer will also bring his own lifeexperience and personality to OTB. The volunteer can also develop anactivity around one of hos hobbies, or develop a dance or game for thephysical department.
At this moment, OTB is developing a program to increase the mobility ofour residents. Here too, the volunteer can take on someresponsibilities. These tasks can range from planning a walk or asports afternoon to organising a daytrip for the residents taking partin this program.
We can also learn a lot from the questions asked by the volunteerduring his stay. The volunteer will look at our organisation from a newperspective and experience things that we think are normal in adifferent way. In this way, we may discover some points that we couldchange or improve.
As we believe it very important that the European volunteer has a clearframework in OTB, we have chosen to involve the volunteer in ourphysical department. This department consist of 'movement' (organisingthe movement and sports activities in the centre) and the physiotherpydepartment (therapeutic movement exercises, movement aids… ). In thisway, the volunteer will cooperate with a small group of people, whichwill facilitate the continuity. Another advantage is that language doesnot play such a big role in this department. This will be an advantagefor the volunteer, especially in the beginning. The volunteer can takehis time to learn Dutch and the language barreer will be more easilyovercome.
We expect the volunteer to assist in the activities organised by thephysical department. This means that the volunteer will help coachingsports activities (dance, net ball, swimming… ) together with thedepartment's staff. On other moments, he can help the people fromphysiotherapy(eg. accompany people on a cycling tour). Of course therewill be some room for initiatives from the volunteer. However, we thinkit is important that in the beginning the volunteer takes the time tosimply join the physical department's activities and to get to know theworking of OTB and its specific residents.
ometimes there will be activities that go beyond the physicaldepartment: a big trip, a party involving all the departments… Sinceeveryone in the centre is involved in these activities, we expect thevolunteer to do so too. However, he will always assist the staff of thephysical department.
Some examples of possible activities are:
-Accompanying the sports activities during the day, from the physiotherapy as well as the movement department.
- Accompanying free sports activities during the lunch break (ourresidents have some free time before the second part of their workingday starts. Some of them like to do sports during this break. Thevolunteer may be aksed to keep an eye on these activities or to join -eg. if a resident would like to play badminton… )
- For activities that go beyond the physical department, the volunteermay be asked to help preparing the material, to join a trip as an extracompanion… this depending on the nature of the activity.
The volunteer will be expected to come to OTB every work day from 9 htot 17 h to join the physical department. Most days will consist of twoblocks (morning and afternoon) with a lunch break in between. Thesehours may vary if a special or big activity is planned. The volunteerwill be informed about this beforehand.
Most of the time the volunteer will assist the movement department(70%). He will assist a significant amount of time with thephysiotherapy department (20%) and will help in activities that gobeyond the physical department (10 %)
During the weekends the volunteer is free and can visit the region orBelgium. The volunteer will receive two holidays per month, it will bediscussed with the contact person at work when to take them.
The coordinating host organisation AFS will provide the languagelessons. The first 6 weeks, the volunteer will receive 2 x 2,5 hours oflessons per week. After this initial course, the volunteer can chooseto take an additional public language course in his own region.

Reference number: 2006-BEFL-32