This is Nicaragua's biggest and most professional organization focused on kids with a mental or physical handicap, or better said; it is focused on their parents. More than 30 years ago, 21 parents founded this organisation out of need of (medical) attention, knowledge and acceptance of their disabled children.
Since then they have worked hard and achieved important changes. Still very much need to be done, but nowadays many Nicaraguan families with handicapped children can live with more dignity, less shame and less pain. The human rights of the handicapped are more respected, also by their own family members. In general in society they have achieved big changes by changing the vision, discrimination and violence toward disabled people.
The organization is well respected throughout the country and they are represented in 85 of the 153 municipalities of Nicaragua. They attend more than 15,000 families. The main office and healthcare institute is situated in the capital Managua.
Activities for trainees
You will be working 3 days a week at the main healthcare institute in Managua. Here you will work at the department of physical therapy, under guidance of a physical therapist. You will attend children with different physical handicaps and motoric problems. There is really a wide variety in disorders and problems, but the most common problems are cerebral paralyses and 'Mielo meningitides'. Every day about 25-30 children are attended. They do this in teams, there are 3 physiotherapists and up to three assistants or interns.
Two afternoons a week you will be working more nearby your housing in the town of Masaya. Here you will work at the regional office of the organization when the physiotherapist is present. She attends her patients individually and they hope to be able to attend more kids when you are there.
The regular working hours are Mon-Fri 7.30am - 4.30pm, but this can be adjusted.
The dress code is informal, comfortable en decent. You can were sneakers. Many of the therapist and assistants were 'pyjama's'. Those are comparable with the cloth medical staff wears at operations.
You should be aware that nobody will speak English. You really need to be able to communicate with your colleagues, patients and their parents in Spanish. It is best to already start a Spanish course at home and to have a 4 or 3 week intensive Spanish course in Nicaragua before starting your internship.
To make this internship successful you have to be motivated, flexible and creative. Some cases will be really sad, especially when you see the children are more disabled than necessary, because of lack of medical attention or other care. This is a reality of Nicaragua and you should be able to accept it and work on improvement.
Just to be clear:
On-Stage Latin America provides many internships for all kinds of study programs. Besides the available vacancies on the website, we also offer a wide range of other internships. If you have a specific request, send us an e-mail and we will do our best to help you.
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