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.
During one week in April 2013, a team from Sunshine Foundation visited the Recovery and Healing Center operated by PCVC in Chennai, in order to understand the capacity building needs of this new service, as well as start planning the technical support that will be offered by Sunshine in the first year of the project.
One of the focuses of the visit was to examine the burn-specific physical rehabilitation services offered by the Recovery and Healing Center, which represent a totally new undertaking for PCVC. As the organization begins to develop this new service, it will be benefiting from the extensive experience of Sunshine Foundation in that area.
The two therapists from Sunshine Foundation accompanied the PCVC therapist over the course of the week, working with clients together and discussing cases, giving recommendations on interventions or on tools used, etc. Sunshine therapists are fully aware that tools and materials used extensively in Taiwan might not be readily available in India. As such, they shared rehabilitation principles and techniques, using simple and easily available items like bandages or even making use of the home environment like walls. For example, many clients at the Center have burn injuries on their hands and scar contracture threatens to limit their hand functions. By using a cartridge box and elastic bandage, the Sunshine therapist demonstrated how to make a simple platform to position the hand for passive stretching (see picture below). This stretching position will fight against the tendency of scars to contract.
Although she only recently graduated and has been at the Center for only a few months, the PCVC therapist is a quick learner and is quite motivated to further develop her expertise in burns, especially in terms of better understanding scar management. Already, she is seeing the value of her work at the Center. Because interaction with clients at the Center is done daily, over long periods of time, she is able to develop more comprehensive interventions that not only focus on the physical aspect of burn, but also take into account the psychological aspect, by building closer relationships with clients and becoming more attuned to their emotional needs.
By spending time and working closely with the PCVC therapist, the Sunshine team is now able to develop a training program better suited to her needs, and we are looking forward to welcoming her in August for a one month internship in Taiwan.
Note: Establishment of the Recovery and Healing Center, as well as the capacity building project has been funded in part by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
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