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Archive for February, 2013

SMTP Program Application Approved!

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 21, 2013

Seal of the US Department of State

Seal of the US Department of State

We are happy to announce that our SMTP program application with the US Department of State has been approved!  Starting this week we will begin collecting humanitarian aid supplies to be shipped to our partner in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Children of Tien-Shan.  The SMPT program allows us to ship, free of charge, between 1 to 10 standard shipping containers to any participant country within the Former Soviet Union.  Abby Kalainikas is our appointed director for this program and will be coordinating directly with our domestic partner, Counterpart International (counterpart.org).

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“Making Physical Theraphy Fun for Children” by Tola Oni

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 19, 2013

Staff Member Tola Oni

Staff Member Tola Oni

Making Physical Therapy Fun for Children

For children, physical therapy may be indicated as a result of congenital impairments, acute trauma, or chronic conditions. It could ultimately, permanently enhance a child’s current and future functional capacity.  A fun, friendly approach to physical therapy will optimize therapeutic goals and outcomes.  Some important strategies to follow include:

        I.            The Setting

Whether treatment takes place at an office facility or at home, it is important to create a welcoming, mind nurturing environment.

Think bright: colors, shapes, and textures tend to relax children, engaging their senses to reduce anxiety.

      II.            Rapport

Your attitude:  kids respond positively to smiley, friendly faces. Build rapport by communicating at eye level, using simple, kid-friendly words.  Relating to scenarios that children are familiar with eases tension that they may have towards speaking with a stranger.  For example, use Popeye as a descriptor with a child that adores the cartoon character.

Debunk exercise myths: Showing optimism towards exercise can encourage a child, and reduce hesitance.

    III.            Treatments

Think outside the box: traditional techniques may not be suitable for children.  It is important to formulate new methods of achieving therapeutic goals.

Engage their minds: It is quite easy to lose a child’s attention especially in cases where a child may present with attention deficits or behavioral patterns.  Prepare to modify therapeutic activities and plan of care frequently to accommodate each child’s needs.

Simple, inexpensive tools and suggestions for therapeutic treatment

Tools

Therapeutic exercise/activity

Therapeutic benefits

Balls Kicking, throwing, reaching, grasping. Isometrics, endurance, mobility, flexibility, active assistive. 
Jump rope Pulling, reaching, reciprocal gait training, jumping, balancing. Balance and proprioception, strengthening, gait. 
Bubble set Coordination activities. Neuro rehab, cerebellar re-ed. 
Water balloon Lifting, carrying, throwing, rolling; substitute for traditional dumbbells. Strengthening, and conditioning, resistance. 
Yo-yo & Slinky Wrist, finger, forearm activities. Flexibility, mobility, strengthening. 
Paddle Ball Upper extremity exercise. Mobility, co-ordination, endurance. 
Hula Hoop Upper and Lower extremity exercises. Cardio-vascular, endurance, range of motion and flexibility, neuro-rehab. 

  

    IV.            Maximize Outcomes

Never forget to teach: children have an amazing memory, with a high retention rate.  Educate them on the rationale, and benefits of treatments received.  Also educate on methods of independently managing or preventing symptoms even after therapy.

Treatment does not end with the therapist:  turn their hobbies into home exercise program when appropriate.  Friends, guardians, and other members of the community can also be involved in the learning process to maximize therapeutic outcomes.

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Cooperation with Catholic Charity of Bukavu and HEAL Africa in Progress

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 8, 2013

Director Alex Gowen

Director Alex Gowen

We are currently discussing the possibility of working with the Catholic Charity of the Diocese of Bukavu, South Kivu, to provide aid to the orphaned children and rape victims of the ongoing conflict in the eastern DRC.  We will provide a full briefing once we are able to discuss the details of our mission with the responsible authorities of the Church.  Concurrently, we are also in the process of connecting with HEAL Africa, which operates the most respected hospital in Goma.  Again, as our plans progress we will announce our plan of action.  Thank you for your patience!

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The Fishermen Welcomes Tola Oni!

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 4, 2013

Tola Oni

Tola Oni

We wish to welcome Tola Oni as our newest staff member.  Tola is currently a physical therapist student at University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  Her childhood was spent in Nigeria, where she gained an appreciation for the little things in life.  She is passionate about providing aid to women and children around the world.  She is volunteering with The Fishermen as part of her clinical affiliation.  Welcome aboard, Tola!

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Help Me Protect the Women and Children of Iran, by Natalie Reeves

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 1, 2013

Fishermen Spokesperson Natalie Reeves

Fishermen Spokesperson Natalie Reeves

After reading Alex’s report, “Children of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” I was compelled to do a little research and was shocked and appalled by what I found.  If anything, Mr. Gowen toned-down the extent to which women and children suffer under the Iranian regime.  I uncovered numerous accounts of girls and women being sentenced by regional courts and executed for being raped – most by way of public stoning or being hung from an industrial crane.  Children’s textbooks and teachers’ guides instruct students to sacrifice themselves in a holy war against the “enemies of Iran” – mainly the US and the West.  In fact, over 500,000 children were drafted during the Iran/Iraq war, of which at least 36,000 were “martyred” and thousands more missing in action or maimed for life.  Many orphans – most under the age of 15 – spend years in prison and some executed without a formal charge.  Girls are legally sold to older men by relatives just for the profit.  There are many more examples.

I am not questioning the current Iranian administration’s ability to govern its people.  I am, however, calling on human rights organizations from around the world to join me in a global appeal to urge President Ahmadinejad to revise unjust laws and end the oppression of Iran’s women and children.  I thank you in advance for your support.

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