What is the Counselling and Social Work in Belize project all about?
Volunteer within the social services systems of the Cayo district, on placement in counselling and social work in Belize. You will help understaffed centres support young people and women who are in need. Dealing with issues ranging from domestic violence to behavioural problems, drugs and alcohol abuse,and especially incest and sexual abuse, there are many areas in which the children, young adults and women need the assistance of professionals and adults they can trust to deal with these highly emotional areas.
Those in support come to the centre through referrals from the police or social services, or through seeking help in person. The project aims to give them a safe place to go, to provide them with the opportunity to build trust with responsible adults, access to counselling and ultimately to help them prepare for a new start in life. With limited trained counsellors and social work professionals working in this field, they are looking for help in building a base of trained and experienced volunteers.
Why choose this Counselling and Social Work project?
There is a lack of counsellors with a range of skills within the overstretched social service systems in Cayo,to support children, young adults and women which means this project really benefits from the extra assistance provided by experienced volunteers. Clients need to be able to talk about what has happened to them and learn that there are adults who can be trusted, which is exactly what this project aims to do. Your personal benefit from assisting Counselling and Social Work in Belize will come from sharing your compassion, skills and time with vulnerable people and from supporting the project to achieve their goals. The longer you stay, the more you will build relationships and gain invaluable insights which you can take home to your own work placements.
Role of the Counsellor & Social Work Volunteer
Volunteers will be placed according to their skills and experience and the current project needs. Initially you will need to build trust with the clients and this may mean you spend time out of the centre going to the park and involved in other activities. Once you have built trust, you will be asked to draw on your counselling skills in either group or one on one sessions. You will be able to discuss your clients with a locally trained supervisor each day. Volunteers at the centre may be asked to help counsel students who come from a range of backgrounds and that are looking for support with sexual, marital, health or mental health issues.
Education is an important aspect of this placement. You may be asked to conduct parental educational sessions about violence amongst students, drug and alcohol abuse, student support and more. You may also be asked to help design sessions for young children to help to prevent abuse and improve their understanding of what is appropriate. Skills development is also important as well as assisting children with their homework, to develop CV/Resumes with young adults and to build self esteem. Your role will be varied and you must be prepared to be flexible.
What skills do I need to be a Counsellor & Social Work Volunteer in Belize?
Volunteers looking to join our project focusing on Counselling and Social Work in Belize should have a solid background in counselling (sexual abuse, domestic violence, mental health, child psychology, social work, career counsellors) and have a good ability to interact with people from different cultures. This can be a challenging placement. Long term volunteers of up to 6 months are highly sought after with the option of possibly extending this stay to a full year. Those with training skills are welcomed as educating the community is an important function of this project to try to reduce the number of cases of abuse and to support those who see or are indirectly affected by abuse. Business skills, training and teaching experience are useful. You will be asked to attend a telephone interview and send your CV/Resume before being accepted onto this project to ensure your suitability for working in such a sensitive area. It will also help us to best match your skills and match them to the needs of the project.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To support young people in need
To share your experience of counselling and social work with others
Put your work and life experience into practice in a different setting
Where will I work in Belize?
Kaya’s programmes are based in San Ignacio and the surrounding communities. San Ignacio, referred to locally as Cayo, is located 2 hours from Belize City along the Western Highway and is a tourist centre. The town and the surrounding communities contain a diverse mix of creole, Maya and mestizo populations. San Ignacio is also an attractive market town set among pleasant tropical hills. The friendly people of San Ignacio enable rich cultural exchanges and productive development projects.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4+ weeks
- Cost: £2584 / $4033 for 4 weeks
£272 / $424 per each extra week
- Requirements: Age 21+
- Location: San Ignacio and Cayo District, Belize
- Working hours: Monday-Friday, in line with school hours
- Project availability: All year round
- Arrival day: Saturday
What is included
- Accommodation: shared room in volunteer accommodation with access to a pool table and a bar
- Food: 3 meals per day; light breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and a cooked evening meal. Volunteers take it in turns once a week preparing something from their own country
- Airport pickup and drop off at Belize City International Airport
- Training: Pre-departure manual, learning reflection manual, orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24 hour support
- Excursion Planning: Staff can help to suggest weekend activities (activity price will be extra). Trips may include; canoeing through jungle, caves, tubing, visit Mayan ruins, hiking and horse riding.
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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