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Post  Admin on Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:26 pm

Bo De pagoda is a place of Buddhist worship. The female monks who live in the pagoda always aim to help people and act in a peaceful and respectful way toward others. According to Buddhist custom, pagodas welcome all kinds of people in different situations and help them to find solutions to their problems. Bo De Pagoda has approximately 50 children (mostly orphans) living in the pagoda: around 20 infants, 15 high school students, and 15 secondary pupils. There are also some women (called nannies) who also live at the pagoda and take care of the children. The role of the volunteer is to provide education and engage with the children living in the pagoda. In 2009, volunteers' work has has predominantly been in the operation of the "kindergarten". The word "kindergarten" is used very loosely as the children who attend are aged 9 months to 3 years, hence it is more of a child care facility than a kindergarten.

The volunteers play with the children, coordinate morning tea, prepare craft and music activities and provide physical care of the children as necessary (changing and washing). This role also involves modeling correct behaviour for the children and nannies regarding non physical discipline, healthy eating, mouth and hand hygiene and fair play. There are children who attend the kindergarten who have disabilities (down syndrome, deaf, mute, limb deformities). These children require particular attention from the volunteers to engage them in activities and provide them with adequate stimulation. Because of the age group of the children at the pagoda currently (in 2009), this role may change over time. For instance, as these children grow older, they will be able to study English in formal lessons. The role of the volunteer is challenging because of the diverse needs of the children depending on age and development.


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