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One day volunteer work at Huize Albertine

Two care employees asked Stichting Corantijn if they could mean something for a day during their holiday. After having had contact with the director of Huize Albertine, an appointment was made.

Joke and Wies left for Huize Albertine where they were welcomed at 8 am. First of all they got an introduction where all the troubles Huize Albertine is facing were presented as well.

The director was formerly a health care inspector and had only recently retired. She would have closed the Huize Albertine building in her working life because of the maintenance and repair backlog. However, the elderly who live here have nowhere else to go, so closure is out of the question. Huize Albertine persuaded her to raise the level of the organization so they could make a new start. She has now been working on this for about two months and it is not easy to get this all done. The GP (General Practitioner) of Huize Albertine regularly encourages her.

When asked by the volunteers if Stichting Corantijn could help she replies that any help is welcome. Also ideas on how best to approach this. The building for instance needs a paint job but there are no financial resources to buy paint and pay the painters. What is also welcome is paracetamol because this can be given without a prescription.

After their conversation the volunteers were shown around and introduced to all the residents. This is what she does every morning, just visiting the residents to ask how they are doing. This is very much appreciated by them, you see them revive. After this, Joke and Wies were entrusted to the care worker who works on the first and second floors. She was busy dressing a number of residents in white clothes for the church service and the volunteers lend her a hand. Later they escorted them to church.

One resident had to be transported to hospital by his family. The wheelchair, with flat tyres….., Joke and Wies cleaned for this purpose. The man had taken a tumble on the weekend and x-rays had to be made. In the course of the afternoon it was announced that he had not broken anything and was back.

Around half past eleven they could take a breather and eat the sandwich they had brought with them. During their lunch, they overheard a conversation between a client and a care worker. The client asked if he could use this capsule he still had because after having had something to eat he always had stomach aches. The care worker had poor eyesight and asked the volunteers for advice. They advised against it because it was a capsule of a cure and would therefore have no effect.

At noon they helped handing out the hot meal. Each resident has its own bowl, sometimes with their name on it. They received 1 to 4 pieces of white or brown bread with a scoop of fried liver in a sauce and tea. This was poured from a large jug into the cup of the resident with a cup. One resident was not allowed meat. They gave him a little butter and the last bit of jam from a jar, barely enough, but that was all there was.
The nurse who attended them wanted to go home because she was not sure a bus would be available due to the current strikes in Surinam. She went to ask permission for this from the director.

It was 3 pm, time to evaluate the volunteer work by the employee and the director. The care worker was full of praise and would have loved for them to stay for a few more days. She had never encountered volunteers, and strangers basically, who gave up their holidays in order to help.
In the past she had had different and more displeasing experiences.

Joke and Wies have had a very special day. An impressive experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.