Volunteer Service Physiotherapy

Travel to Nicaragua as physiotherapist!

Project Goal

With the project “Physiotherapeutic Volunteer Service”, Momotombo puts emphasis on the assistance to babies and infants and assist them in a way that they get the chance to have an untroubled adult life. Especially in the baby age, the development is still easy to influence for the better!

To achieve this goal, we use the existing structures of our partner Los Pipitos in León, Nicaragua. That is also where we send our physiotherapists.

Once the necessary structures for the assistance and caretaking of affected children and their families are in place, we aim to hand over to qualified local staff. In any case, without donations, we are unable to maintain our support!

Process

Many volunteer services are seen as bridging time between school and further education. In many cases, they benefit the volunteer more than the people of the projects or the hosting organizations. We find that this is a pity.

The first preparation seminar in 2012

The first preparation seminar in 2012

Why is it then, that we still offer a volunteer program? Simply because we apply another standard. We want to enhance the physiotherapeutic coverage for children with disabilities in Nicaragua through highly qualified volunteers, long term.

Thereby, we place value on enabling the people on the ground to adjust their structures themselves. We do not claim to know what is good or bad in Nicaragua. When we send our physiotherapists, we rather want to promote cooperation, understanding for one another on both sides and exchange at eye level. The next date for sending a volunteer will likely be at the beginning/end of 2018 and will last 12 months. We organize two preparation seminars beforehand, ensure assistance on site and a thorough post-processing workshop.

Our volunteers work on a voluntary basis but get a lumpsum of 1200 euro for travel costs and we organize their international insurance. On site, we assist in finding adequate housing.

Duty Station

Therapy room Los Pipitos León

For the time of the volunteer service, the volunteer is employed with Los Pipitos in León.

The organization has a big therapy center receiving patients. This center hosts the therapies and equipment and materials are available.

Moreover, the volunteer shall realize therapies in other Los Pipitos branches near León like Nagarote, Sauce or Malpaisillo. Possibly, there might also be the opportunity to participate in the “Brigada Móvil Nacional de Los Pipitos”, a mobile doctors and therapists team. All these activities will give thorough insights into the work with disabled children and adolescents in the whole of Nicaragua.

Volunteer Tasks

The physiotherapist does basic anamnesis, evaluation and therapy of babies, children and adolescents with physical and/or psycho-motoric restrictions at the three León branches. The most common disorders include, among others, infantile cerebral palsy, neurologic diseases, gametopathy, defects and disorders of the inner organ system, orthopedic problems and psycho-motoric retardation.

Friedemann, Volunteer 2015

Los Pipitos focuses on team work and documentation of the therapy; problems and therapy methods are being exchanged and discussed within the team, the daily work is documented, and every patient is being tested on his motoric and social capabilities every three months. Based on the results, an individual development and therapy plan is created and reviewed every three months.

To foster a better exchange, the physiotherapist holds presentations and seminars to equip participants with knowledge about mostly unknown therapy techniques as well as to deepen and extend their knowledge on existing and known methods. In return, the physiotherapist participates in trainings organized by Los Pipitos. However, the first weeks of the volunteer service focus on observation.

Furthermore, and after consultations with other physiotherapists, the volunteer becomes a part of Los Pipitos’ “Brigada Móvil” for interventions in the west, south and Caribbean regions of Nicaragua. Finally, the physiotherapist is required to contribute reports to Momotombo’s quarterly newsletter about the physiotherpeutic work, personal experiences and developments in the country.

Application

Participants in our volunteer program need to be able to embark on a different socio-economic environment and should be prepared for possible cultural or language challenges.
Consequently, prerequisites for applicants are:

  1. Degree in physiotherapy (state examination or Bachelor)
  2. Basic level of Spanish (smooth communication in everyday life)
  3. Intercultural competence; an open and communicative nature as well as curiosity for the new culture

Record of trainings in the area of pediatrics, work and living abroad experience are not essential, but desirable.

The next outgoing date is expected to be beginning to mid-2018 (duration of the volunteer service: 12 months). If questions or doubts remain, write us: info@momotombo.de

Send your résumé with a cover letter (max. 2 pages) stating your motivation to apply for the Momotombo volunteer program to bewerbung@momotombo.de.

Based on this application, we shortlist candidates and request for the supporting documents (notarized copy of academic/educational/training certificates, proof for Spanish language skills and others respectively). We reserve the right to conduct additional interviews in person or via Skype.