OT / PT Volunteers Testimonials

Jerid Stevenot

 Working at ASSA was a great experience. It challenged the students and I to work in a culturally reflexive way. It also challenged me to broaden my occupational therapy skill base. ASSA is a resource rich rehabilitation centre. With the use of my creativity and ASSA’s ingenuity a lot is possible.

I would love to come back and continue my relationship with ASSA!

Dawn Chishlom  
ASSA is a wonderful place to volunteer.  The clients and staff welcome you from the first moment you arrive and you instantly feel part of their community.  The clients are so positive and hard working; they are truly inspiring. The learning opportunities are tremendous for both preceptors and students.  I highly recommend this experience to others, and I plan to return again in the future.    
Ana Topalovic

My experience volunteering as an OT at ASSA has been wonderful and truly memorable. From the moment I arrived, and every step along the way, the staff were very helpful and always going out of their way to ensure that I and the other volunteers were completely comfortable and maximally taken care of. Ram, the head physiotherapist, worked efficiently and tirelessly to create a smooth transition of working at ASSA, as well as planning weekend trips for our group to sightsee and explore more of South India. Additionally, the guesthouse is a great space for therapists and students to reside in, as it has both the essentials as well as luxuries such as AC and wifi. And finally, when reviewing my time at ASSA, I must also mention the home cooked meals in the canteen. Every meal was absolutely delicious, and the kitchen staff always ensures you never leave hungry! Overall, it has been an honor taking part in the daily functions of such an impressive and extensive facility, an experience I would recommend to any OT, PT or student.

Caitlyn Debruyne  
 Thank you for a wonderful placement here at ASSA. The staff here are had workers and very enthusiastic and the rehab services wonderfully organized. I was sick and as a result struggled with the food. But meals makes great meals that are very fresh.    
Michelle Hurley  

Working at ASSA was absolutely incredible. When I arrived I was welcomed with open arms and immediately felt at home. ASSA is very concerned with our safety and did a wonderful job at making sure we felt safe and comfortable.The facility itself was a lot bigger than I ever imagined and everything runs so well. The clients all have nothing but good things to say about the facility.

As an occupational therapist at ASSA all of my clients were extremely motivated and eager to participate. Teachers, staff interpreters were always available and eager to assist.

I think ASSA is an amazing organization and is very unique to India. This has been an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. Hopefully one day I can return for another volunteer opportunity.

My only regret is that I was not able to stay for a longer period of time due to previous commitments!

 Leslie Birkett , OT – 2016  
Volunteering at Sangam was an opportunity for which I am grateful. I was able to work with many children and with a few of the adults on the spinal cord unit. I also participated in some of the outreach conducted by the staff at Sangam to the multiple villages in the region. Those experiences were what made my time at Sangam so special. It was humbling to work with these patients and experience first-hand their determination and positivity. In addition to the patients, the staff were wonderful colleagues. Volunteering at Sangam allowed me to dig into my creativity and head back to the foundation of my OT knowledge. This strengthened my core belief in the value of occupational therapy as an important rehabilitative practice. I was extremely fortunate to have my family join me for my last week at Sangam, so that they could share in my experiences. My husband built some much needed equipment and my 13 year old son assisted throughout campus and loved his opportunity to interact with the children. I only hope Sangam got as much from us as we did from them!
 Janine Stang , OT – 2015
 I was so inspired by my time at Amar Seva Sangam. ASSA supports the client’s physical and mental wellbeing while providing them with the resources and opportunities they require to be valued members of society. The atmosphere on the campus is one of community and togetherness that I am honored to have been a part of for a brief time. I feel that my time at Amar Seva Sangam made me a stronger occupational therapist as it took me back to the core of the profession and encouraged me to think outside the box while reinforcing best practice, no matter where in the world you are practicing. I loved getting to know all of my clients and their families in the spinal cord injury program. Their determination and positivity were infectious so it was amazing to see that Amar Seva Sangam supported these client’s in every way possible.    
Jamie , OT – 2015
My time at ASSA has truly reminded me why I became an OT. Working on the spinal cord unit specifically has pushed me to step outside my comfort zone and exhaust every possibility to help clients reach independence with goals that are important to them. My time here has taught me the importance of body language and how a simple smile can go a long way. Although I’ve been frustrated at times due to a severe language barrier, I quickly discovered that here at ASSA and in India as a whole, the most important messages can be said without a single word, as India is a culture of the heart! I’ve been moved to tears numerous times at the sense of ownership both staff and clients take in helping one another. There is also a sense of camaraderie here between clients that is touching to witness and be a part of. These young and older men have experienced a traumatic event that has forever altered the course of their lives, however instead of wallowing they are trying to not only work on their own personal recovery, but cheering each other along by celebrating the small successes! To them every gain is worth acknowledging. Even more, when seeing their friends struggle due to a physical limitation, they are always there to help in any way they can can despite their shortcomings. On the unit, one man’s strengths can compensate for another man’s weaknesses and make all the difference! I’ve worked in many countries with access to all the necessary resources to promote a speedy recovery, but it is in India where not everything is readily available that I’ve learned the most valuable techniques and lessons as an OT. Thank you ASSA for reminding me of the importance of love, tolerance and perseverance. Thank you to all the staff and clients who welcomed me with open hearts. I’m already already missing you and looking forward to my next visit!