Support for Staff Who Work with Children with Special Needs
NPH staff share about the physical stress involved in caring for children with special needs and how a recent donation is helping them work better and more safely.
March 16, 2019 - Guatemala
Children living with disabilities are those who need extra help due to some physical, emotional, or learning difficulty. Some of these children depend 100% on the help and support of others. This represents a challenge every day, not only for the children but also for their caregivers.
In NPH Guatemala, there are 13 such children and young adults, all with different diagnoses and disabilities.
For NPH, it is very important that a quality service is provided to all children under our care. For this reason, it is necessary that caregivers who work with children with special needs have a vocation and love for serving others. But nevertheless, some tasks that the caregivers perform can be very difficult and tiresome.
The main challenges for these caregivers include:
• Difficulties in moving children between their beds and wheelchairs.
• Understanding their needs in various situations.
• Helping and caring for them when they are sick.
• Having reduced space in their bathrooms and showers.
"The children we work with depend on us even to perform tasks that we consider simple, but in practice are very difficult. For example, some of them can weigh between 100 and 130 pounds and lifting that weight everyday also affects our health." — Dorkas Junay, caregiver, NPH Guatemala
From Germany to Guatemala
During 2018, renovations were made to the Casa Sacred Heart, where all of the children with special needs are cared for at NPH Guatemala. Through the hard work of the NPH Germany office, NPH Guatemala received a donation of special devices to help care for children with special needs.
NPH Guatemala received one Handi-Move trolley for bathing; two Handi-Move cranes with accessories, including a digital scale; one Caribou, which supports individuals to stand up; and two chairs for use in the bathroom.
"These devices are very useful, especially the Handi-Move crane, which facilitates the movement of the children between their wheelchairs and beds. For the work of the caregivers, before the donation we took turns moving them, and sometimes two caregivers were needed to do it." - Angélica Guzmán, Coordinator of Casa Sacred Heart, NPH Guatemala
"Caring for children with disabilities is an arduous task, but the most satisfying thing is to see the smile on their faces. Although they cannot express themselves with words, their smiles transmit gratitude and love." — Olivia Moxo, an NPH caregiver for 11 years
"I remember one day when I was taking care of the children. It was a quiet day, and I suddenly started feeling tired and sick. One of the girls saw me and started crying. I could feel her sadness and compassion, and that she wanted to see me happy." — Nancy Cujcuj, an NPH caregiver for one and a half years
"Everyone thinks that we teach the children, but the reality is that we learn from them. To see them grow and progress is a blessing." — Dorkas Junay, an NPH caregiver for 10 years
“As a volunteer in the Casa Sacred Heart and a vocational trainer, I get the opportunity to work with a number of the children and adults with special needs at NPH Guatemala. Although it has its challenges, it is so exciting to see all that they are able to accomplish and achieve in their daily lives and areas of work. They always bring a smile to my face!" — Bridget Walde, volunteer and vocational trainer
NPH is a big family where everyone is welcome, no matter their physical condition, race, or religion. We can all serve with joy and give of ourselves with love.
Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.