In an effort to address the need for nurturing touch among children, Tina Allen formed the Liddle Kidz Foundation (LKF). The foundation’s mission includes setting up massage and nurturing touch programs in orphanages and children’s care settings across the globe. LKF’s goal is to provide infants and children with experiences of caring and nurturing touch that they often lack. In addition to working directly with the children, LKF volunteers teach staff and caregivers at these facilities ways to continue to provide supportive, comforting touch to the children in their care.
With over a decade of service to children and families, Tina Allen, founder of leading children's health and nurturing touch organization Liddle Kidz Foundation, has become an internationally respected lecturer, author and the authority on infant and pediatric massage therapy. She is a Certified Pediatric Massage Master Teacher, Developmental Baby Massage Teacher and a Licensed Massage Therapist with specialized training in providing massage therapy for children with special healthcare needs. Tina’s innovative approach to children’s health has allowed her the unique opportunity to educate families and professionals in the many benefits of nurturing and compassionate touch.
Children in orphanages around the world may have food, clothing and shelter, but often they lack an essential ingredient for basic health and happiness—touch. Without it, children often feel discarded, forgotten and even untouchable, especially when their circumstances are complicated by being sick or having a disability.
Orphans have many physical needs, and because these needs are the most immediate, they are the most urgent. Children have significant emotional needs as well. Experience has shown that orphanages find it a challenge to meet the emotional and developmental needs of children, including personalized care and attention.
The long-term effects of not receiving safe, healthy and nurturing touch can have a huge impact on a child’s stability for the future.
UNICEF statistics estimate there are 1,500,000 orphans aged 0–17 currently living in Vietnam. Children growing up in these circumstances are at great risk, but are also remarkably resilient. Children who are resilient typically have a number of characteristics that make this possible. These characteristics include having a sense of purpose in life, confidence in one's ability to control any given situation, compassion for others, a belief in the fundamental goodness of people, and the energy and resourcefulness to make things happen.
The Liddle Kidz Foundation projects directly nurture two of these important characteristics; compassion for others and the belief in the fundamental goodness of people.
Children are our most precious resource, and so we should not delay. Every day that we do not intervene with effective programs, we are losing remarkable human potential. Every child whose potential is wasted is an incredible loss to the world.
Help us bring nurturing touch to the children of Vietnam.
We need you . . . qualified volunteers to take part in our next outreach project to Vietnam.
During our stay in Vietnam we will visit Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vung Tau, Mekong Delta, Pleiku, Da Nang, Han Noi and Ha Long Bay. Our work will encompass sharing pediatric massage with infants and children affected by Agent Orange, child survivors of landmines, orphans with special healthcare needs and disabilities (including diagnoses such as AIDS/HIV, Hydrocephalus, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Autism), as well as, infants and children who are living in orphanage and other care settings.
Of course, our focus is to provide nurturing touch and teach caregivers to do the same. However, we will also have time for sightseeing and other fun. We’ll have the opportunity to sleep in a house on stilts, a boat on Ha Long Bay, and share meals with former Viet Cong in their home. Enjoy music, dining and dancing with the Montagnard people (indigenous people in Vietnam) and an evening water puppet performance.
Don’t let Vietnam’s relaxed attitude to life fool you; there’s so much here to see, visit, and taste! If the floating markets, bustling streets and emerald paddy fields aren’t enough, you will also experience the famous Vietnamese hospitality as you get involved with providing massage, nurturing touch, playing games and singing songs at a number of local orphanages and children’s care settings. As a volunteer, you’ll play a valuable role in the overall development of these children and your efforts will last long after your sun tan fades! If you enjoy an exciting challenge this project is the perfect way to discover why Vietnam is fast becoming one of the hottest destinations in Asia and have lots of fun while you do it.
- Bringing smiles, happiness and nurturing touch to disadvantaged children
- Sharing education with staff and caregivers at numerous local orphanages and children’s care settings
- Bonding with fellow volunteers while doing heartfelt work
- Staying in this bustling, vibrant country - enough to keep you occupied for years!
- Exploring the floating markets, nightlife and delightful food - a real Vietnamese experience!
You will be working at a number of orphanages and children’s care settings located throughout Vietnam. We will fly into Ho Chi Minh City and from there travel throughout the country making stops from South to North. There are both male and female children at the orphanages aged between 1 and 18 years. In these settings we will work with children affected by Agent Orange, landmines, children with disabilities and special healthcare needs, as well as healthy, well children. The orphanages that we work with can vary in size from 50 to 500 children so be prepared for a busy schedule!
While volunteering in Vietnam on these projects, you'll find they offer valuable support to infant and children from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are orphans. While the children at the projects have caregivers to care for them, they rarely receive individualized attention or one-on-one nurturing touch. Often the staff members do not have time to give attention to all of the children, and they will really benefit from spending time with volunteers. The aim of working with mentally and physically impaired children is to help provide rehabilitation for their future.
All Liddle Kidz Foundation volunteers are professional healthcare providers who bring their expertise to each project. Specialized training in infant and pediatric massage will help ensure successful implementation of nurturing touch activities and programs.
In addition to the pre-exisiting professional healthcare background of a volunteer, each Liddle Kidz Foundation Ambassador receives additional onsite training, orientation and mentoring, as well as, social-emotional preparation prior to attending the outreach trip, support throughout the entire trip and post program support when they return home. The experience of this volunteering program can be quite profound, and volunteers often wish to communicate with others who understand. We practice great care in the emotional health and well being of children, their caregivers and our volunteers to ensure everyone receives best care.
Take the leap and apply to join our volunteer ambassador team today. By joining our team, you will provide essential support to the caregivers and staff by assisting in sharing nurturing touch and developmental education throughout their daily activities at the orphanages, child centers and healthcare facilities, and by offering a positive role model for the children.
In addition to providing therapeutic care to children, Liddle Kidz Foundation Ambassador teams provide an enormous amount of education to staff, caregivers, healthcare workers and families, so they may be able to continue a sustainable practice of ensuring children receive nurturing touch.
Volunteers are observed at all times, they are never left alone with a child. Additionally, we limit the amount of time spent in any one healthcare facility, orphanage or child care center, so neither a volunteer, nor child, would develop any inappropriate attachment, or form any type of bond.
We are extremely sensitive to the health and well being of all children. Safety and care of the children is paramount to our work!
The orphanages and care settings are located throughout Vietnam, and include such locations as Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vung Tau, Mekong Delta, Pleiku, Da Nang, Han Noi and Ha Long Bay. You will be staying in local guesthouses/hotels and will have easy access to local amenities. Transport to the projects will be by in-country airplane, bus, taxi, train and possibly hydrofoil.
- Project Duration: 14 days/nights - December 8 -22, 2010 (dates may change slightly until flights are booked)
- Project Costs: US$ 3,900.00 per person – each person will participate in fundraising to contribute their $3,900. LKF will provide each volunteer with fundraising tips, suggestions and advice
- Location of project: Various locations within Vietnam (see cities in text above)
- Arrival Airport: Ho Chi Minh City (airport code SGN)
- Activities: Providing hands-on massage & nurturing touch for infants and children, some of which have special healthcare needs. Teach caregivers and staff to continue providing such care after we return home. This work will involve using hands-on techniques, playing games and massage stories, as well as, sharing translated curriculum and materials provided to you by LKF.
- Working Hours: Flexible; up to 8 hours a day, all other time is free or may include group tourist activities.
- Requirements: Minimum Age 18. Preferred (not required) education/certification in infant and pediatric massage.
- Flight: From Los Angeles International Airport (airport code LAX) to Ho Chi Minh City (airport code SGN) and return to Los Angeles International Airport (volunteers are responsible for arriving at Los Angeles International Airport [LAX] to take group flight to Ho Chi Minh City. This may include booking and paying for your own travel to/from LAX)
- In-Country Transportation: Our group will travel from city to city in Vietnam, and will employ various methods of travel while in the country, including travel by bus, multiple airplane flights and possibly travel by train and/or hydrofoil.
- Accommodation: Shared room in guesthouse/hotel (if you require single accommodation, price will be increased)
- Food: Group meals are included (excluding alcoholic beverages); you will need to purchase your own food if sightseeing or eating on your own (budget approximately $100 per week if eating on your own)
- Airport Pickup: Included on arrival date in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN). We will also provide return transportation to airport in Vietnam to fly back to Los Angeles, if flying with the group. Ask us for details if you're traveling apart from the group.
- Training: In-country orientation
- Getting to the project sites: Ground/air transportation to and from the project sites is included
- Support: Ms. Allen will personally lead the volunteer group onsite, and will be available to offer support and assistance along with the group guide/translator. LKF will provide volunteers with guidance in fundraising and also with the LKF approved volunteer kit.
- Flights to Los Angeles and return (to your home airport), Insurance, Visas, Passport, Local Transport and Food if sightseeing/traveling without group, any personal expenditures (shopping, tourist fees, sightseeing fees)
If this sounds like an opportunity you don’t want to miss, please complete your application:
Completed Applications are due for review & group selection by June 11, 2010
Volunteer Group will be selected and volunteers notified by June 18, 2010