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St. Jude Home for Children with Cancer

Internship and Volunteering Possible
St. Jude is a home for children with cancer who are being treated medically and have prospects of recovery. During the several months of treatment, they live with their parents at the home. Volunteers and interns deal with the children and their parents; they teach the children on treatment-free days and support the center with administrative activities.

Project Details

St. Jude is a home for children with cancer on the campus of the Tata Memorial Hospital in Khargar, a suburb of Navi Mumbai.
The children in the hospital are between 0-15 years old and get different treatments for various cancers. The children are not in the final stages, but have recovery prospects and stay, usually together with a parent or both, in the house, during the treatment. The home does not take children in the final stages, as this negatively affects the morale of the other children. The children get holistic care (Counseling & Guidance, Nutrition, Secondary Treatment) at the home.
All children are from poor families from all over India. If cancer is diagnosed in children, the parents often forfeit the children in a panic, because they come from the uneducated rural strata and have no idea about the topic. You will receive counseling by the Director of the facility, as well as an introduction to the subject and about the life in the home and in the city. Many have never been in a big city like Mumbai.
The families pay nothing for accommodation and treatments, but only for drugs, which in the case of cancer patients, are expensive. These are paid by trusts that exist specifically for children with cancer; the families have to apply there for the cost of acquisition. The facility supports the families with the formalities and the communication with the Trust. Vegetables are cultivated by the families on the grounds of the hospital. More food is often donated. The families cook at the home in floor kitchens.
There are 3 floors with 12 rooms and a floor with 5 rooms, with a total capacity of 41 children with family. The decor is of very good standards, the families are taught hygiene and cleanliness. The building was sponsored by Indian companies and is new.
Volunteers and interns at St. Jude maintain the documentation/database with information on the treatments and all other details of the children, and spend time with the children and the families – e.g. gardening, music, dance, theater, English, cricket and other fun activities. On days when no treatments take place, the children also get informal education by volunteers. The children also publish a newspaper about their life and the stories from it are often used as guidelines for counseling in the field of social work. If they spend several months in the house and the children are sick, the parents are also often depressed and therefore, it is necessary that the parents are involved in the activities; the volunteers play sports and chess with them. In the beginning, both parents are usually present; but the fathers often return home to work.
The minimum duration for volunteers at St. Jude is 2 months, because it takes time to gain the trust of the children and families. Since the children may have a low immune systems, volunteers should not have infectious diseases (such as HIV , tuberculosis , etc.); this must be proven by a health certificate, presented as a police certificate. There will be a discussion on Skype with the Director of the Centre prior to your participation.
Info Box
Location: Navi Mumbai, India
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 2 Months
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Hindi, Marathi
Shared Accommodation, Hotel
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Educator, Social Worker
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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