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Description of the institution
Lechaina is a state institution that hosts about 52 children and adults with disabilities. They have moderate to heavy physical and mental disabilities. Most are abandoned by their parents and have little contact with their family. Nurses take care of their physical needs (washing, feeding, medication) but there is a lot to be done for the psychological, social and educational needs of the children and youngsters. Its alarming conditions have been regularly risen concern, even in international press (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30038753). Despite financial difficulties, Lechaina is trying to become more modern, to improve services and to integrate the children into society, through a collaboration with the Institute of Child Health (http://www.ich.gr/en/) and LUMOS (https://wearelumos.org/). However, changing mentality and way of working is a slow and difficult process and a lot remains to be done. Even today, most children still receive very little stimulation and are heavily institutionalised. Volunteers offer extra care and attention to the children and act as a bridge between the institution and the outside world.
The area around Lechaina
Lechaina is a fairly quiet, small town (2.600 inhabitants). There are two relatively larger towns in close range , Amaliada and Pyrgos, and Patras – the third biggest city of Greece- is 60 km away. Transportation to and from these towns via bus is possible, although there are not many itineraries through the day. Lechaina and the area around it (notably Kyllini) attracts many tourists during the summer due to its famous beaches.
Duration of the project
Long-term project (1 year duration):
Starting in January 2017.
Tasks of the volunteers
Every volunteer has a different programme depending on the people s/he is working with and the personal capacities and interests of the volunteer. However, all volunteers share the following tasks:
  • 2 hours per day helping the nurses (bathing, feeding, brushing teeth, changing diapers, accompanying children to school or therapy)
  • 1 1/2 hour per day keeping company to children with heavy disabilities (walks, music, massage, simple games)
  • 2 times a week leisure/educational activities
  • 3-4 times per week swimming in the sea (in the summer) and outings.
Besides that, we organize and carry out the following activities:
  • Stimulation for babies and severely disabled children (play room, music, walks inside the institution or just physical contact)
  • Individual learning project for specific children (e.g. practicing self-help skills, learning the alphabet, learning how to use money, Cooking lessons, tc)
  • Other leisure activities (Physical education or sports, Beauty group, Artistic expression: ex. painting, handicraft, singing, dance, etc)
  • Social integration (visit to a supermarket, to a bank, a museum or a post office etc)
  • Entertainment (organising parties, Outings in Glyfada or Athens, going to the movies or to a festival, Excursions etc).
  • Informing the local community about disabilities and trying to involve Greek people to volunteer in the institution
  • Fund-raising to sponsor activities with the children
  • Any other activity depending on the abilities, interests and the needs or desires of the children.

więcej info do marco@strim.org.pl