I'm Linh Lan, I graduated from the Dept of Rehabilitation – Occupational Therapy of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy. When my teacher introduced me about the healthcare program volunteer opportunity at the Lawrence S. Ting Foundation (LSTF), I was very curious and went to their website to learn more about their efforts assisting People with Disabilities (PWDs) in Vietnam. This wowed me much. As a result, I confidently applied and was lucky to be given the opportunity to volunteer.
During the 3-month volunteering work at LSTF, I have learned useful skills and experienced many interesting things.
My first assignment was to contact PWDs or their caregivers to help them make appropriate choices on assistive devices when they applied through the "Wheelchairs of Love" initiative. It would be a pity if people with disabilities who can still use their hands to drive a manual wheelchair to move independently chose an attendant propelled wheelchair. They will be totally dependent on their family members whilst moving around.
As a result, LSTF designed its whole application manners to help PWDs receive the most suitable assistive devices, thereby helping to optimize their independence in living as well as to reduce the burden for their family. In addition to that, LSTF also came up with the idea of producing a series of instructive video clips on how to use and maintain assistive devices so that PWDs can make the best use of them.
So I was responsible for developing content ideas and scenes for four videos on topics such as how to measure the body of people with disabilities, how to use a tricycle, and how to use an attendant propelled wheelchair as well as a manual wheelchair.
During the process of making these videos, I received a lot of help and guidance on how to compose content, develop a screenplay, and write an understandable narration. I really don't know how to express my appreciation for the help from LSTF colleagues who gave me a lot of motivation to constantly improve the scripts.
The "Wheelie" group was established to get the proper sceneries and fit with the contents and is comprised of five members: Hanh, Linh Lan, Phuc, Phuong, and 김예니.
I was really concerned about the filming day since "there is a big gap between the paper script and the actual filming." And that was true, other volunteers and I discussed a lot about the shots and reviewed them regularly, to prevent missing frameworks.
Volunteering helps us retain and sharpen our skills
Our group worked directly with a PWD to produce the video "how to use a manual wheelchair." Although I was well prepared mentally for movies I nevertheless filmed another story in the house of this PWD. This PWD was fortunately extremely friendly and helpful. He said he hoped this movie will assist other PWDs to live more independently. Furthermore, the members of our voluntary team were superbly flexible and sensitive. All filming was finished and it was then time to edit it. Also for my own reasons, this was the time I could not go on with "Wheelie."
After waiting for some days, eventually, four videos were posted on LSTF's YouTube channel. I was so glad to see that achievements and our Wheelie were such an excellent team! Thank you so much “Wheelie” team.
On my last workday, I had lunch with all LSTF fellows. I laughed and talked as much as I could. I couldn't imagine that by the end of that day.
Thank you cannot express how grateful I am for the invaluable experiences. I have had at LSTF. I sent the separate card to every LSTF colleague - Ms. Betty, Ms. Ha, Ms. Ngoc, Ms. Hanh, Ms. Gia, Uncle Diep, Uncle Hao, and Uncle Hien to express my emotion.
I hope Lawrence S. Ting Foundation is continually assisting PWDs around the country.
To know more about our work, you can visit the LSTF’s Youtube channel Lawrence S. Ting Foundation-LSTF, and engage with them on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LawrenceSTingFoundation/