Morning Star: Week 3

By Emma Byrne and Dorothee Driever

During our third week in Morning Star, we focused on doing some specific activities where our educational backgrounds came in handy. Read on to see what we got up to!

OPic 1n Tuesday night, Dorothee, who is a medicine student, decided to teach a first aid course for all the boys, with Emma’s help. Due to the variety in ages, we tried to make the topics as simple and fun as possible. There were three main areas we covered:

  1. How to treat minor and major cuts and bleeds,
  2. Basic CPR,
  3. Choking.

We acted out a lot of what we did to make sure everyone understood. The next day during PE time, the boys got a kick out of pretending to faint and giving each other CPR. For us, this was a lovely way to see that the information stuck, even with the very young boys. The hope is, that if any emergency occurs with the boys living with disabilties or anyone else in Morning Star, others will know how to react and especially when to call an ambulance.

This week Emma, a newly qualified occupational therapist, worked on increasing endurance whilst walking with one of the boys. He usually gets around crawling but has amazing potential to walk independently. Having talked to Elaine our leader, who’s a physiotherapist, for additional input, we decided a simple splint would support and straighten out his foot which keeps coming in on itself. Emma has been working on walking with a bandage as the boy has some sensory issues and we were concerned he would not be able to tolerate the sensation of the splint. Luckily enough after much persistence, he no longer notices it and is happy to get up and start walking. We are looking into the availability of the splint and we will hopefully have this organised prior to leaving Bangalore.

Emma was also delighted to discover additional wheelchairs that were unknown to the volunteers. Some are new and have additional equipment to support the boys posture whilst sitting upright. A boy in particular with low levels of voluntary movement would benefit from this input.

Therefore, Emma and Dorothee took two wheelchairs out to investigate things further. One fit him well but did not have the additional head supports and chest supports needed for an optimal seating position. The other wheelchair did but was too small for him. A particular wrench is needed to adapt the wheelchair for the boy giving it more length and width for him to sit comfortably, which we plan to buy this weekend. We will also encourage the use of these wheelchairs for particular boys who would benefit from the supported seating.

Pic 3SERVE has supported Morning Star with the development of a farm that provides some financial support to the orphanage. We were lucky enough to get to see the farm this week, together with John, one of our leaders, and Eileen, who is over visiting from SERVE. Joy came along and drove us the two-hour distance into the countryside. He showed us around the fields and greenhouse, where tomatoes and maize are currently being grown. It was really interesting for us to get to see the sustainable impact that SERVE has had over the years. It also gave us a glimpse into life in rural India.

All in all, this was a very eventful week for us, where we felt we were able to go beyond our usual work in Morning Star. We hope that this way, we are able to have some impact that outlasts our stay.