Dee's experience with Mobility India
Name: Dee Jethwa
Volunteering activity: Child Protection Training
Organisation: Mobility India, Bangalore
Why did you decide to volunteer in India?
India is my country of origin. I have been visiting it for many years; I am familiar with the language, culture and have an awareness of social issues. I know that protecting children particularly disabled children is an under-developed area. Last year I approached AFP for a volunteering opportunity. They identified an organisation in the UK that would match my skill with a partner organisation in India.
Could you describe the organisation which you volunteered for?
Mobility India is an organisation that works with physically disabled people to help them become more mobile with the use of artificial limbs. The organisation also works with children with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities. There are a number of centres and community based programmes designed to integrate disabled children into the community.
What was your role and what activities were you involved in?
My role was to enable the organisation to implement its child protection policy and procedures. We began by discussing possible ways of achieving this via email. We were very clear that this was a partnership approach and the pace will be led by Mobility India. Through discussion we agreed a strategy to introduce the issue of child protection to the whole organisation by running a basic awareness programme. I designed a programme that incorporated awareness about disability as well as disability and child protection. The same programme was offered to every member of the staff group (80 in total) to ensure a common foundation. We are currently discussing strategies to build on this work.
List qualifications or skills areas (list 3 please) required to fulfil your role successfully.
Qualification in Social Work
Experience of child protection work and experience of safeguarding disabled children.
Experience of developing and delivering training cross culturally
Experience of delivering child protection training internationally.
Please details three ways in which you feel that your host charity and/ or its beneficiaries gained from your work:
The organisation is aware of what needs to be in place for the practical application of their child protection policy and procedures.
All staff have basic awareness of child protection.
Assessment skills have improved.
A number of cases have been reopened as a result of the training. This will lead to development of protection plans for the children concerned.
What did you gain from the placement? Any learning from your placement and how would you use this in the UK?
The need to develop organisation capacity alongside the training. As a result of this training we have come up with a strategy that will continue to develop the organisation, the staff and the community.
We had to develop protection strategies with very little resource, poor or no infrastructure to protect children and no statutory systems. I will help practitioners to consider more creative ways of protecting children in the community in the UK.