Sunshine Foundation initiated a three-year cooperation project in 2013 in Chennai, India to help a local organization set up a Care Center for women burn survivors. By training their staff in Chennai and holding internships for them in Taiwan, as well as providing continuous support through monthly SKYPE meetings, we are helping this local organization address an unmet need: provide comprehensive physical and psychosocial rehabilitation services for women burn survivors after hospital discharge.
From April 14 to April 19, the Sunshine team visited its partner in Chennai, the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), to assess the impact of the professional training and technical support given in 2013. During this one-week visit, Hsiu-Hsiu TU, Director of Sunshine Half-Way House, as well as Karen HSIAO, Supervisor of Rehabilitation Services and Shih-Yuan HUNG, Occupational Therapist at Sunshine Rehabilitation Center, observed activities of the Care Center, carried out discussions with staff and provided technical advice and recommendations.
The Sunshine team was amazed at the progress made by the staff of the Care Center during a short period of time, especially since much of the changes began being implemented right after the one-month training held in November-December 2013 in Taiwan for PCVC’s social worker and physical therapist. A big part of the training in Taiwan had to do with how to put in place more efficient service processes in order to facilitate communication between staff of the Care Center, and thus have a better handle on the situation and changing needs of clients. Changes made subsequently at the Care Center reflect this concern. For example:
- The social workers and the physical therapist completely overhauled the process and forms used to evaluate client, by emphasizing individual needs covering a wide range of issues (ex: physical, psychological, social adaptation, family relations, etc.).
- They have started to use new tools and methods to analyze the situation of clients and develop better targeted service strategies (ex: using an eco-map to map out the client’s relationship to her family and environment, and identify supporting resources).
- They started to maintain detailed individual case records to keep track of interventions and their impact on the client’s progress.
- The staff started holding regular meetings to discuss work issues and coordinate efforts, thus fostering better work team cooperation.
Work processes, forms, case records and meetings all sound quite dry and administrative, but in fact, they help ensure that every staff is on the same page when it comes to helping clients. It also helps staff track and measure the impact of their interventions, then making adjustments when necessary. It also helps staff and client formulate clear, specific goals to be achieved during the rehabilitation period. Staff and client know what they need to do, why they need to do it, and when they can start expecting progress.
The Sunshine team was particularly impressed and touched by the fact that the Care Center has taken the brave step of developing home outreach services, to bring services to the home of women burn survivors. Indeed, due to a variety of complex factors (unhealed wounds, financial difficulty, domestic violence, need to care for children, fear, etc.), many women burn survivors are unable or unwilling to come at the Care Center to receive services after hospital discharge, resulting in delays and complication of their physical/psychosocial situation. The Care Center is now doing follow-up through telephone calls and home visits to educate women burn survivors about proper wound care, the need for physical rehabilitation, etc. The task is especially daunting, considering that many women burn survivors are living in difficult socio-economic situation and that most of them still have major wounds that risk getting infected or scars that risk contracting.
The professionals of the Care Center are not just working on burns, they are also dealing on a daily basis with other issues like poverty, domestic violence, family relations or women’s issues, which add to the complexity of their work. However, during this visit, the Sunshine team has seen the determination of everyone at the Care Center to improve services for women burn survivors, as well as the dedication and respect they show to their clients. Inspired by the Care Center’s progress and understanding their current development needs, the Sunshine team is now enthusiastically preparing the second one-month training that will be held in Taiwan in August 2014 for PCVC staff. In order to help the Care Center move to the next level, the training is expected to focus on, among other things:
- Sharing Sunshine’s expertise in outreach services as carried out by our social workers in hospitals and in clients’ homes.
- Sharing Sunshine’s expertise in delivering home rehabilitation services.
- Sharing Sunshine’s expertise in operating a short-term housing facility that can address the wound care, physical rehabilitation and social adaptation needs of burn survivors as soon as they leave the hospital.
The huge stride made by PCVC to improve services and bring changes in the lives of women burn survivors was made possible thanks to your support of Sunshine’s international capacity building projects. Now, during GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day on May 7, you have the chance to maximize the value of your support because GlobalGiving will be matching gifts made to Sunshine Foundation at 30%. This means that your donation of $100 will receive a $30 match!
We invite you to support Sunshine Foundation’s efforts to help improve burn rehabilitation services in low-middle income countries by donating to our project Help Train Burn Rehabilitation Professionals.
Mark the Bonus Day date on your calendar!!!
- Taiwan time: from Wednesday, May 7 at 9:00 PM to Thursday, May 8 at 11:59 AM.
- US time: from Wednesday, May 7 at 9:00 AM EST to Wednesday, May 7 at 11:59 PM EST
On behalf of Sunshine Foundation and its international partners, a huge thank you for your support!
PS: We encourage you to make your donation early, because matching funds will likely run out before the end of the day.