Down Association Oradea is a Romanian charity founded in 1991 by parents of Down Syndrome children who wanted to create a better and more meaningful life for their children. The association’s goal is to develop children and adults with Down Syndrome and to support the families who care for them, through social and health care, education and campaigning. The following volunteer skills and experience will be welcomed in this project: • social worker • special needs education • occupational therapy • sports and play therapy • physiotherapy • speech therapy. The association’s work is divided into three main 'departments:
1. Early support and counselling for parents who have just found that their child has Down Syndrome - this generally covers new born infants to 3 year olds and their families.
2. Support for the integration of children aged 3 to 8 within kindergartens and schools, mediating the relationship between parents and educators, offering information and learning materials, including speech therapy with a local volunteer speech therapist.
3. Youth and adults – the Day Centre supports about 20 school leavers and adults, giving them skills to lead worthwhile and independent lives.
Activities are based on work therapy – with additional activities and therapy in music, art, drama classes, housekeeping, cooking and gardening activities, and occasional camps. DAO encourages sport and the children and adults are active participants in: bocce, table tennis, basketball, darts, and other Special Olympics activities - many compete at local, national and even international level. There are 2 full time employees supported by a team of local volunteers covering social work, drama, speech therapy, arts and crafts, drama and sports. This team is also supported by volunteers from local universities, Some volunteers speak English, otherwise the staff speak French. The beneficiaries speak only Romanian. You will be assisted by a translator during your working day.