The Open Heart Foundation opened its door for internship programs to students since 2009 to be part in the implementation of the organization’s programs and services and to immerse them to the culture of the Philippines. For this year, two students from Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences were the third Batch of students who had their internship program. They are Klara and Leonie. The objective of the internship program is for the students to relate and describe the experiences and knowledge gained about the programs and services of the Foundation; describe culture, attitudes and behaviors of the clientele of the organization; explain the process of preparing a Social Case Study Report; discuss the administration of a social service and development agency; and enumerate and describe the procedures on how to conduct psychosocial interventions. The whole exposure lasted for 6 weeks, from August 1 to September 12, 2019.
During their first week, the students were oriented about the operations of OHFWI, they were given the tasks to make write up to get to know and be familiarized with the organization they will be working with. The following weeks, the students were exposed to the Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP), Child Abuse Prevention and Community Intervention Program (CAPCIP), and the Health and Nutrition Program (HNP), particularly in the areas of Quezon City, Cavite and Rizal. They were able to observe the process of opening the feeding program in Rizal, from pre-weighing and evaluation of target beneficiaries of the program, and the implementation process.
Each of them were assigned to one case to experience case management in the Philippines. They conducted home visitation, exploration of the program in the local government, and produced a social case study report which will be their tool for their treatment plan. They were able to conduct at least two activities in their treatment plan on each case.
Klara conducted three lessons of tutorial to evaluate her client in reading skills then left exercises for the client to continue developing his skills. Leonie on the other hand, conducted psychological session with her client for her to learn and develop her skills in dealing positively with her traumatic experiences and gain strength necessary to handle possible issues in the future.
Both of them encouraged the parents of their clients to seek capability training to equip themselves and have a better job opportunity. The two interns then facilitated two additional Psychosocial sessions. First, is the “Self-Awareness Session” to the 15 beneficiaries of OHFWI in Quezon City. The objective of this activity was for the beneficiaries to learn how to make positive and healthy decisions as an important part of preparing them for responsible adulthood. Second, is the psychosocial activities with children in conflict with the law and children who need protection in GMA, Cavite. The objective of this activity was for the children to reflect one’s own behavior and to determine the children´s need for protection and support they need.
The interns were also exposed in the process of how the government and private social work service agencies are organized and administered to develop a programs and services, mandates, etc. for the welfare of the children and youth through attending the meeting of the Regional Council for the Welfare of Children which is a government network of OHFWI and to the Local Council for the Protection of Children in Carmona Cavite and for having a visit at Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office in GMA, Cavite.
They were also able to join the outreach program of OHFWI in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro as part of the celebration of the 27th anniversary of the Foundation.
These were part of the activities for them to experience and gain knowledge on the aspect of Social Case Work and Administration of Social Welfare Administration.
The two intern students were able to complete all the activities assigned to them despite the challenges in language and time constraints. They were able to demonstrate knowledge on the strategies applicable to all types of clientele system, shows adaptability and flexibility in the system of implementing the program and services here in the Philippines. They were immersed in the Filipino culture by recognizing the uniqueness of the diverse individuals and groups’ situation including effects of personal and societal forces and influencing behavior.
Article Prepared by Saleah Joy Uclusin, RSW