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The Salvation Army (Macau) Learning Centre Teaching Volunteering Programme
Equips Social Work Students with All-rounded Coordination and Management Skills
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The Salvation Army (Macau) Learning Centre (The Learning Centre) cooperates with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the City University of Macau (the University) to organise a 3-month Volunteering Programme for year-one students from the Social Work Programme of the University. Upon its completion, participating students of the Programme find both their coordination and planning skills have improved.
 
Volunteer Amy Li planned the children’s summer activities of The Learning Centre, ‘I always take part in volunteer work and usually take up an assisting role. This time I have the opportunity to take everything on myself, starting with conception all the way to execution. It gives me a sense of satisfaction, and a chance to understand the difference between theories and practice. When the participating children are not interested in the games we’ve designed, we must listen to them and revise the course according to their suggestions in order to arouse their interest in learning and achieve the teaching objectives.’ Her teammate Eurice Leong said, ‘I worked as a private tutor and piano teacher before, but I’ve never led any children group activities. Under the guidance of The Salvation Army instructors, I learn to think about the participants’ needs in order to design activities suitable for them. Doing all these from scratch is a very valuable experience.’
 
Dr Jacky Ho, Assistant Professor, Programme Coordinator of Social Work and Programme Coordinator of Social Science, City University of Macau agrees that learning through practice is highly beneficial for the students. ‘Social work is a people-oriented service. Students realise the importance of thinking from the service users’ perspectives and maintaining mutual communication and good relationships. All these are greatly helpful for their work in future,’ said Dr Ho.
 
Dr Elsa Tsang (Candidate), Senior Programme Officer of The Salvation Army Educational Services Department stated that when developing cooperation plans with the University, it is hoped that volunteers will take the leading role while The Salvation Army giving assistance in order to give the students a higher degree of autonomy. From project design, coordination, execution, adjustment to evaluation, they may fully master the skills of programme planning. A new phase of the teaching volunteering programme will begin in December, providing training to first year students from the Social Work Programme.
 
Moreover, through serving children with special educational needs (SEN), volunteers may understand their unique characteristics and help promote social inclusion. Just like many other volunteers, Amy works with SEN children for the first time. She agrees that the volunteering programme has deepened their understanding of these children. ‘During the drawing session, children who are usually mischievous show their love for parents in their drawings. We can see a pure heart behind all their impulsive and unruly acts. Their “mischiefs” are only a matter of self-control,’ said Amy.
 
About The Salvation Army (Macau) Learning Centre
The Salvation Army (Macau) Learning Centre provides professional after-school support services for students with special educational needs (SEN). Our specialists such as SEN experts, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, etc. help to support students and families in need.
Through the volunteering pr...
Volunteer revises the activ...