Mental Health Rehabilitation volunteer, Buenos Aires, Argentina

You are the one who can assure these children to have the chance to grow up safe and healthy.

On this project you’ll work at a local organization that carries out a rehabilitation program for the patients of a prestigious Psychiatric Hospital. The program consists on helping patients with mental disabilities to improve their quality of life by working on a vegetable garden. You’ll be able to train patients and neighbors in the construction and preservation of the organic nursery.
Sharing the joy of practical horticulture with people of all ages, especially those who have any form of disability or learning difficulty, helps them to gain self-confidence and provides them with new and enjoyable life skills.
The program is part of a community work process, in which patients, volunteers and neighbors, participate. It consists of a strategy for helping the reinsertion of the people with mental disabilities by developing a vegetable garden where the patients that are about to be dispatch dedicate their time to planting fruits, vegetables and flowers which later are used to cook.
You’ll be facing a reality that will put everything in perspective. You need to be prepared to deal with people that have severe mental disabilities such as depression; bipolar disorder; schizoaffective disorder; profound deafness; learning difficulties; communication difficulties; short term memory loss; Huntington’s disease; poor socialization skills; chronic back pain; paranoia and anxiety or aspergers. However you’ll be assisted by the staff and senior volunteers that have lots of experience and know a lot about how to deal with anything that may come up.

Join this project and make the difference!

 

You’ll be proud providing them tools for reitegration into community and family life; teaching and recovering healthy food habits, hygiene and general care. All this with the conviction to convert patients in future traines and multipliers of this methodology for other people in the same situation.
The use of horticulture as a therapy for these patients can allow them to get great psychological, physical and social benefits, improving the quality of their life tremendously. Tasks can be selected to suit each individual’s abilities and needs, and any impairment or disability can be taken into account, so that they do things where they can achieve success, be it sowing seeds, potting on, mowing the grass, pruning the shrubs, tending the herb garden, planting bulbs or designing a part of the garden, for example.
This is also of benefit to improve their coordination and balance. Another great advantage is that the patients’ social skills improve, as well as their communication skills. This socialization seems to relieve the stigma of mental illness and helps restore their confidence and builds self-esteem.
As a volunteer you’ll be in charge of the re-socialization of patients who are about to be discharged, of providing therapeutic support and social assistance and of taking part of the cultural activities at the hospital. You’ll have access to all the necessary tools such as literature, seeds and equipment.
This is a great project to work on. You’ll feel you are making a difference from the moment you step a foot on it. Seeing how these patients life transforms for the better is the best reward.

Accommodation

Families & Homestays

Our families know, due to their experience, what it means to be a real host. They have received many students from different nationalities, occupations and ages. We will take into consideration your likes and preferences. Living with a local family is the best way to learn their customs, likes, and style while you learn a new language.

Residences & Hostels

If you want to live with several local and foreign students, you can choose to stay in a private or shared room in any of the students' residencies we offer you. Sharing a place with young people from all over the world is a great opportunity to learn about different cultures and make new friends as well as learning about the place in which you are studying.

Private Apartments

A Private Apartment is the best choice to enjoy your privacy and comfort of your own place.

Requirements

Usual Volunteer Tasks

  • *Latin American students applying for Volunteers in Spain must have a valid EU passport.

    •  Over 18 years old
    •  High school degree
    •  Health insurance, accident and liability
    •  Commitment to the Host Organization,its rules and tasks
    •  Have skills to work with people with disabilities
    •  To be creative and have an affinitty with disabled people
    •  To be motivated, patient, resourceful and willing to join in a wide range of activities
    •  To be a committed and responsible person willing to help
    •  To have skills to organize recreation events
    •  Enthusiastic spirit and lots of energy
    •  Students or health professionals are welcomed to help
    •  An intermediate Spanish level is recommended
    •  Fulfill with all legal and formal requirements for your Volunteer*
    • To watch out for physical and mental health of the disabled
    •  To assist on rehabilitation activities
    •  To work on maintenance activities
    •  To get involved with the disabled
    •  To spend time with them making them happier
    •  Preparation of recreational and sports activities
    •  Assisting the staff and other volunteers on routine duties

    The tasks named above will be arranged with every volunteer according to each one’s skills and special abilities.

Project Hightlights

  • Take part in a therapeutic vegetable garden
  • Enjoy the outdoors as you help people with mental disabilities to reintegrate to society
  • Work with a team of experts that will help you a lot and from whom you’ll be able to learn a lot
  • Get closer to a reality that is usually out of sight and often feared because of lack of information

Daily Routine

Usually volunteers have 6 hs shifts in the morning. In some cases it can be arranged a change of schedule if you prefer to work in the afternoon. Any extra time you’re willing to do will be highly valued.
 
 
"As a student at this school I have been very satisfied with everything. I have felt that my Spanish has developed so much in such a short time. My teachers have been fantastic!!! Group classes combined with individual classes are ideal and make a difference. The school atmosphere is wonderful and everyone is so helpful here, all of which make attending classes a real pleasure. Thank you!"
Kathy L.
German, 29 years old
"This is the second time I come to Argentina and I love it! The School’s facilities are very good, we have internet access and a lot of things. The best things about these courses is that teachers and staff help you make of this a wonderful experience. Come and see it for yourself!"
Alice R.
Brazilian, 22 years old
"My experience in Buenos Aires was great. The teachers are well trained for each level. I liked the activities that the school offered. During my 4 weeks studying Spanish I received a lot of amazing touristic spots info and another info to get advantage of my stay in the country."
Ricardo C.
Brazilian, 18 years old
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