- Placement Location: Apia
- Requirements: Degree in Occupational Therapy or a related subject
- Accomodation: Host family
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start Dates: Flexible
The Occupational Therapy projects take place in care centres in and around Apia, the capital of Samoa.
Most of the residents in these institutions have a variety of mental and physical disabilities. Many of them come from underprivileged backgrounds and don’t have access to the kind of support that they really need.
Here you will find answers to the following questions:
How can volunteer occupational therapists help in Samoa?
As a volunteer occupational therapist you can use your knowledge and training to help local staff. You can work on tasks such as:
- Helping staff to assess the physical, mental, and social challenges facing the patients.
- Recommending treatment programs to increase a patient’s ability to tackle their difficulties independently.
- Devising ways to monitor and measure the patient’s progress over a set time period.
- Working with local staff to find ways of improving the service provided to patients.
- Running workshops for placement staff and family members of the patients.
- Coaching people with learning difficulties or poor social skills.
- Running training sessions for Projects Abroad volunteers working with other care centres.
You will first be assigned to work with a supervisor who will help you as you settle into your new surroundings and job role. Once you have settled in you will be able to work fairly independently if you are happy to do so, but you will also have the support of staff at your project.
Depending on your placement, you may be dealing with patients aged from 6 years old upwards. As the majority of placements are within educational or care facilities, you will work mainly with children and young adults, however there are also opportunities to work with the elderly. Volunteers are expected to work a minimum of 6 hours per day and you have the option to help at more than one institution.
This project runs all year round so you can join at any time as long as you commit to a minimum of 4 weeks.
What will I gain from this project?
You will gain experience of working in a foreign country with a lack of resources. You will have to be creative and come up with new solutions to common problems. You will learn about methods of care used in Samoa.
You will spend time in local communities, learning about a new culture and way of life. Staff and patients will want to hear about your life back home and your family and friends. We call this "cultural exchange" and we think it helps our volunteers gain a new perspective on life.
What will Projects Abroad PRO provide?
We have over 25 years’ experience of running volunteer projects. We provide you with the following support to make sure your time in Samoa is successful and enjoyable:
- Safe accommodation with a Samoan family close to your project.
- Friendly and dedicated local staff available to help 24 hours a day.
- A member of staff to meet you at the airport when you arrive.
- Comprehensive medical and travel insurance.
What skills or qualifications do I need?
If you have completed at least a degree in Occupational Therapy or a related subject then you are perfectly suited to this project. Please contact us if you think your knowledge may be useful on this project but do not have the required qualifications.