Child Care and Protection Programme
- Location: Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia
- Types of Partners: Orphanages, child care facilities, children's homes, homes for persons with disabilities, government agencies
- Population Served: Children, persons with disabilities
- Age Group Served: 0-25 years
- Number of People Cared For: 20+ (varies for each partner)
- Minimum Stay: From 1 week
- Sustainable Development Goal: Good Health and Well-Being
- Programme Requirements: No specific requirement from some partners so anyone with a love for children and the passion to serve can join the programme. Volunteers with studies or experience in social work, psychology, sociology or any related area are suitable.
- Work Schedule: 5 hours per day, Monday – Friday
- Activities: Weekly workshops and cultural events
- Accommodation Type: Host Family
- Price: From $1,000USD per person, convert to your currency. Please see Programme and Project Price for each country.
- Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner (adapted to dietary requirements as necessary)
- What is Included: 24-hour support, accommodation, programme, two meals, transportation to and from the airport, taxi cost from host family to partner agency, please see What is Included for a full list
- What is Not Included: Airfare, daily lunch, internet, laundry, travel and health insurance, please see What is Not Included for a full list
- Start Dates: Flexible
- Age of Volunteer: Must be 16+
Volunteering with Children
Many children in the Caribbean face various challenges. This includes, but is not limited to, abandonment, neglect, abuse, trafficking and general lack of care. Different organizations that seek to help in addressing these issues need extra support staff to carry out their daily activities. The aim of the Child Care and Protection Programme is to provide assistance to children from difficult backgrounds. Many of them do not receive the type of care, affection and education they deserve so volunteers play an important role in helping in these areas.
As a volunteer you will have the opportunity to work with children in orphanages, child care facilities, children’s homes, homes for persons with disabilities and government agencies. Some of these children are abused, neglected or have no one to care for them. Volunteers provide that added support to the facilities and they are able to help in the daily care and stimulation for the children, provide individual or group interventions that support their emotional, psychological and physical growth and development as some children require special attention. With some partner entities the children live at the facilities while at others they do not. Government agencies provide support to children in need of care and protection. However, the system is overburdened with cases to be investigated, constant follow-up is required and there is a great need to provide counselling and psychological support for children and families. Volunteers can provide much needed support in these areas.
Your role as the volunteer is to assist with early childhood development for children by helping to assess their development levels with simple evaluation tools. This information is then used to develop programmes designed to improve their abilities and stimulate their sensory, cognitive and motor skills through dance, music, art and craft, games and role play. It includes basic education and interactive activities that promote growth and development. Volunteers also keep a record for each child. The general day to day care (bathing, feeding, laundry, cleaning) of the children and the environment is important to ensure that children practice proper hygiene and sanitation.
Volunteers will also be involved in monthly outreach activities providing services and support to children in need.
Volunteering with Special Needs Children
For some partners the children being cared for have mild to severe disabilities. Based on their disabilities volunteers will assist in activities that improve their emotional, social, intellectual and physical development. Volunteers with lots of energy and a desire to work with special needs children are welcome to join this project. Volunteers work at schools or centres that have children with various disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, dyslexia, down syndrome and others. These partners offer volunteers the opportunity to work alongside local staff to help in the classroom and with day to day activities, providing care and attention for the children. Some schools are divided into sections focusing on visually impaired, hearing impaired and physically disabled children; and volunteers are assigned to help in one of these specific areas.