Helping burn rehabilitation specialists in India 6
Sunshine Foundation initiated a three-year cooperation project in 2013 in Chennai, India to help a local organization set up a Care Center for women burn survivors. By training their staff in Chennai and holding internships for them in Taiwan, as well as providing continuous support through monthly SKYPE meetings, we are helping this local organization address an unmet need: provide comprehensive physical and psychosocial rehabilitation services for women burn survivors after hospital discharge.
From March 9 to March 13, 2015, the Sunshine team visited its partner in Chennai, the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), to assess the impact of the professional training and technical support given in 2014. During this one-week visit, Hsiu-Hsiu TU, Director of Sunshine Half-Way House, as well as Shih-Yuan HUNG, Occupational Therapist at Sunshine Rehabilitation Center, observed activities of the Care Center, carried out discussions with staff and provided technical advice and recommendations.
During this time, Shih-Yuan worked very closely with Jayanthi, who came to Taiwan in 2014 to learn about wound care and scare care, as well as Ananthi who works as a physical rehabilitation assistant. Jayanthi and Ananthi are like the two guardian angels that care for women burn survivors staying at the Care Center. Every morning, they help women do wound care using techniques that Jayanthi learned in Taiwan during an intensive two-week training and that she has shared with Ananthi. By looking at before-after pictures of wounds, it became obvious that last year’s training and Jayanthi’s efforts have paid off by improving greatly the condition of women burn survivors and ensuring a better recovery. And thanks to Ananthi who closely monitors and assists women burn survivors in following the physical rehabilitation program prepared by a therapist, better physical outcomes are achieved.
Although Jayanthi and Ananthi are not burn professionals by training, they have a strong bond with PCVC and they are committed to their work of improving the lives of women burn survivors staying at the Care Center. This is why throughout the week, they have been willing to work with Shih-Yuan and step out of their comfort zone to learn or try things they never did before. This started out with Shih-Yuan organizing two small courses for the women burn survivors of the Care Center: one on wound care and pressure garments, the other on scar massage. Although Shih-Yuan supervised the courses, the real teachers were Jayanthi and Ananthi, who explained the principles of wound care, why pressure garments are necessary after burns, what is the proper way to massage scars, etc. As teachers, they also lead practice sessions with clients. Later, Shih-Yuan taught Jayanthi and Ananthi how to make simple splints for clients.
For Jayanthi and Ananthi, this was a week filled with many “firsts”: first time they used a Powerpoint to make a presentation about their work at the Care Center in front of everyone, first time they were teachers in a training course, first time they made splints. Initially, they were extremely nervous and fearful of making mistakes, but slowly, they began to feel more confident in their abilities and they also were able to see the progress they have made over the last year. As their skills and confidence grow, they become more empowered, and they will be able to continue improving the care they give to women burn survivors at the Care Center.
As we are getting ready to celebrate Lunar New Year on February 18th, we would like to take this opportunity to look back on 2014, and thank you for your support, which has made it possible for us to do so much during an eventful year.
Indeed, at the local level, we were able to provide services to a total of 384 burn survivors. We also held hundreds of educational activities across Taiwan focusing on prevention and enhancing the public’s understanding and acceptance of facial disfigurement. In addition to our five service centers in Taipei City, Taichung City, Chia-Yi City, Kaohsiung City and Hualian City, we also opened three new work stations in Taoyuan County, Tainan County and Taitung County to bring our services closer to our clients. The unexpected tragedy of the August 1st Kaohsiung Gas Explosion also led to the establishment of a new Rehabilitation Center in Kaohsiung in October to help the victims of the accident.
At the international level, we have continued our capacity building work to train burn professionals and improve their ability to provide better care locally to burn survivors. In India, we have continued helping our local partner build the capacities to set up and operate a rehabilitation center for women burn survivors. We have also continued working with partners in five Central America countries to strengthen their capacity to make pressure garments for burned children. And we are now developing a new training program for burn therapists from Nepal and Bangladesh that should take place in March 2015.
Some of these projects were already part of our annual plan, some were a response to urgent needs, all were made possible by your support. Thank you for helping us bring rehabilitation services to burn survivors in Taiwan, and for allowing us to share our expertise in order to better the lives of burn survivors elsewhere around the world.
2015 is the Year of the Sheep according to Chinese zodiac, and traditionally, Lunar New Year is a time for family gatherings and celebrations. On behalf of everyone at Sunshine Foundation, we wish you peace, health, good fortune and prosperity for 2015, and we look forward to continuing working with you to better the lives of burn survivors.
Helping burned children in Central America 5
Since 2011, Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation has been carrying out training for burn rehabilitation professionals in Central America, with a focus on teaching pressure garment production techniques to burn therapists and seamstresses from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. This year (2014) marks the end of a four-year training cycle which has resulted in many changes at the individual and organizational levels.
Sunshine Foundation CEO, Ching-Shyen SHU, explains: “The majority of burn victims in Central America are small children who often come from disadvantaged socio-economic background. We want to make sure that pressure garments are not a prohibitively priced and thus inaccessible commercial product, but instead are an integral part of professional rehabilitation services offered by therapists. We are extremely happy to have found organizations that share our philanthropic vision of offering free burn rehabilitation services, and are proud of their efforts over the last four years to bring quality services to burned children in the region.”
Apart from enhanced technical skills for measuring, making patterns and sewing pressure garments, the training has also resulted in closer cooperation between therapist and seamstress (whereas before seamstresses generally worked alone), and has also brought many changes to improve work process and increase efficiency. What is more, a survey done between December 2013 and February 2014 with our partners in Nicaragua and Guatemala has shown a marked increase in satisfaction on the part of patients and their family. Indeed, compared to garments made with the old technique, satisfaction with garments made by using the new Sunshine technique jumped from 22% to 93% for fit, from 16% to 84% for comfort, and from 13% to 89% for esthetics. Because garments are more comfortable and look better, burned children are also more willing to comply with the wearing regimen (garments must be worn 23 hours a day, and are only removed when showering). More importantly, 52% of patients reported complications like blisters, edema or small wounds with old garments, but this dropped to 3% with garments made using the new Sunshine technique.
Although the four-year pressure garment training program is over, Sunshine Foundation's committment to the region remains, and we are now working closely with its partners in Central America to develop future burn rehabilitation trainings and continue to build the capacities of therapists in the region, thus ensuring that burned children have access to free, quality burn rehabilitation.
Helping burn rehabilitation specialists in India 5
In April 2013, Sunshine Foundation launched its newest capacity building cooperation project in India. Over a three-year period, Sunshine Foundation will provide technical support to International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), a Chennai-based NGO working in the field of victim care and prevention of gender violence, for the establishment of a Recovery and Healing Center for women burn survivors. Following a site visit carried out at the Recovery and Healing Center in April 2014, the Sunshine team developed a specialized training program to help build the burn rehabilitation capacities of PCVC staff.
As part of the three-year cooperation project to help set up a Care Center for women burn survivors in Chennai, Sunshine organized a one-month internship from August 8th, 2014 to September 5th, 2014. Trainees Buvi (a physical therapist) and Joy (a social worker) had already attended the first training in 2013. They were joined by their colleague Jayanthi, who came for two weeks to learn about wound care and scar care in order to develop similar services in Chennai.
Soft and quiet Jayanthi had no prior experience in wound care and scar care, so the staff of Sunshine Half-Way House* prepared a curriculum that combined theory with practice. Under the supervision of senior staff, Jayanthi not only learned about the principles of wound care and characteristics of burn scars during the day, but her practical training continued in the evening and was modeled on the usual routine of client's staying at Sunshine Half-Way House.
To learn how to properly help burn survivor shower, clean their wounds, care for their scars and put on pressure garments, Jayanthi needed clients willing to act as models so that she could practice. Before the training began, staff of the Half-Way House explained the project and its significance to clients and asked if people were willing to volunteer. Only a few raised their hand. After all, it's not obvious to put oneself in the hands of a stranger who is just starting to learn. But then something interesting happened...
As Jayanthi came everyday to learn and practice, clients started to know her, they started to see the efforts she put in learning and overcoming the language barrier. They also started to ask about her work at the Care Center, about the life of the women burn survivor she cared for, about why they were burned and how they would be going back to life in the community. Then, more and more clients started to propose to volunteer as models. Even more touching was that some clients who didn't even let staff from the Half-Way House touch their scars, let alone show them to strangers, started to ask Jayanthi to come to their room to show her their scars and explain how they cared for them. For example, one client wanted to show Jayanthi how to distinguish a mature scar that can handle pressure from a fresh scar that is very fragile and can break easily. Another client explained to Jayanthi how the different types of skin grafting surgeries she underwent resulted in scars with different characteristics. Clients became teachers using their bodies and their burn experience as textbooks. When asked what motivated them to overcome shyness or initial scruples, they simply said: "We have to do this to help the burn survivors in India. They are like us, they need their wounds and scars to be taken care of, so we must make sure that Jayanthi learns all that she can while she is here. We want burn survivors there to receive the same good care as we receive."
Although Jayanthi's stay in Taiwan was a short two weeks, through her efforts and with the help of the clients of Sunshine Half-Way House, she was able to learn and make tremendous progress. Clients gave Jayanthi the self-confidence to go back and start implementing what she has learned, while Jayanthi touched the clients and gave them the strength to face their scars, to progressively accept their scars and to seize the opportunity to play a new role: from being recipients of help, clients became able to help others like them. This training project not only built the professional capacities of the Jayanthi, but it also empowered her and the clients of Sunshine Half-Way House.
Your donations help us train burn professionals like Jayanthi and ensure that burn survivors in other countries have access to excellent rehabilitation services. During GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day on October 15, you have the chance to maximize the value of your support because GlobalGiving will be matching gifts made to Sunshine Foundation at 30%. This means that your donation of $100 will receive a $30 match!
We invite you to support Sunshine Foundation’s efforts to help improve burn rehabilitation services in low-middle income countries by donating to our project "Give burn survivors access to rehabilitation"
Mark the Bonus Day date on your calendar!!!
Taiwan time: from Wednesday, October 15 at 9:00 PM to Thursday, October 16 at 11:59 AM.US time: from Wednesday, October 15 at 9:00 AM EST to Wednesday, October 15 at 11:59 PM EST
On behalf of Sunshine Foundation and its international partners, a huge thank you for your support!
PS: We encourage you to make your donation early, because matching funds will likely run out before the end of the day.
* Sunshine Half-Way House offers short-term housing for burn survivors undergoing rehabilitation at Sunshine Foundation. Its services include wound care and scar care, evening rehabilitation, daily living skills training and social adaptation services.
Helping burn rehabilitation specialists in India 4
Sunshine Foundation initiated a three-year cooperation project in 2013 in Chennai, India to help a local organization set up a Care Center for women burn survivors. By training their staff in Chennai and holding internships for them in Taiwan, as well as providing continuous support through monthly online meetings, we are helping this local organization address an unmet need: provide comprehensive physical and psychosocial rehabilitation services for women burn survivors after hospital discharge. For the April 2014 site visit in Chennai, the team of Sunshine professional was accompanied by Gina Lien, a burn survivor from Taiwan, who was a “volunteer reporter,” helping record the trip through stories and pictures.
This was my first trip to India. I remember how surprised my friends were when I told them I was going. In order to prepare for this trip, I read a lot of documentation prepared by Sunshine Foundation to understand the situation in Chennai but as they say, seeing is believing. Only when I landed in Chennai did I truly understand how far away I was from Taipei, in every aspect possible.
Because this is a three-year project with PCVC (International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care), our site visit was to review work done over the last year. The Sunshine team was extremely happy that within only four months, PCVC was able to implement so many changes. Thanks to a presentation made by PCVC on the first day, we were able to appreciate how fast they set up the Care Center and how, from a loose work organization, they now use clear work division, standard forms and procedures, as well as meetings to provide better services.
Although this was my first visit to PCVC, I could immediately sense the camaraderie that exists between the staff. And based on the rapidity with which they implemented changes after their return from the internship in Taiwan, I could also sense their enthusiasm. The enthusiasm of staff working as a team will not simply emerge with one word or one command from their CEO, staff themselves must have the desire to improve their team work to benefit burn survivors. I was touched when I learned that one of the social workers was willing to stay after work to try to address the needs of burn survivors staying at the Center. This willingness of staff to empathize with burn survivors is extremely precious and should not be taken for granted.
I remember the first day we arrived at the Center and were welcomed by the burn survivors. We played with them games and everyone laughed so much. In the evening at the hotel, as I was writing the day’s report, I began to wonder if the burn survivors realized that I was like them or if they thought that I was a staff member from Sunshine Foundation? This question crossed my mind because I am a very optimistic and outgoing person, and socially-speaking, you can say that I am a burn survivor who has adapted extremely well. I’m not a burn professional, I cannot provide direct services to burn survivors but my hope before going to India was to give them emotional support. I have no way of knowing for sure if they felt it, but from the first day we met and weren’t familiar with one another, to the subsequent five days during which everyone warmly greeted one another, the smiles on their faces tells me that they most probably did.
I have to say that there is still a lot I don’t know about India. But on this trip, I have learned that no matter where you go, you must respect other cultures, open up your heart and broaden your perspective. You shouldn’t limit yourself to what you know, but instead embrace different experiences, as well as challenge your habits and your comfort zone. I’ve also learned that while we are sharing our experience with others, we must also empathize with their culture, their background, etc. That’s how cooperation can be more harmonious. At various levels, I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to join this trip, live this experience and learn from it.
Your support is crucial!
Your donations make it possible for Sunshine Foundation to share its expertise with other burn professionals in the world. Now, thanks to Bonus Day on July 16th, your donation can achieve even greater impact. During the July 16th Bonus Day, GlobalGiving will be matching online donations made to Sunshine Foundation at 40%! This means that a US$100 donation will result in a US$40 match!
Bonus Day begins at 9:00 am EDT on July 16th, 2014 (time in your city) and ends at 11:59 pm EDT (time in your city) on July 16th, 2014. There is $130,000 in matching funds available, so be sure to make your donation early.
Online donations of up to $1,000 per individual donor per project are eligible to be matched at 40%. In addition, the organization that raises the most donations on Bonus Day will receive an additional $1,000 from GlobalGiving. This bonus prize is determined at 11:59 pm EDT on July 16th.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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