Volunteer physiotherapist Jelle Vogels

Last summer I went to Yayasan Widya Guna for the second time via WINS in Bedulu in Bali. Who am I? My name is Jelle Vogels, Pediatric physiotherapist in Amsterdam new-west. In 2014 I became acquainted with the WINS foundation during the Duvelloop in Haarlem. Two years later I went to Indonesia to volunteer with the “special needs kids”, a group of 25 mentally and / or physically handicapped children.

Besides the special needs kids, in the afternoon almost 100 children from the village come for extra English lessons. Because of these extra lessons and sponsorship, more and more of these children can study. Last summer, one of these children graduated as a physiotherapist. She has been working full-time at the school for half a year and treats wheelchair-bound children there. This was the trigger for me to decide to go back this year. Collaborate with a local physiotherapist, a gift experience, but possibly also with a sustainable effect.

Wednesday night, July 12, I arrived in Bedulu. Tired of the journey, but full of tension for the next morning. Would the children still recognize, how would they go and what has the new physical therapist already done?

These questions were answered in one fell swoop when I arrived at the school in the morning. With some children a look of recognition, but with all children a happy smile and many loving hugs. Not much later happened something I had not seen before, during the morning dance wheelchair children were taken out of their seats. One danced leaning against a pole and the other balanced on her knees. I soon realized that this Balinese physiotherapist did not like Bali-time (relax, maybe tomorrow, maybe later) and that seemed to be paying off.

The three weeks after that have flown, but in a quick train I have done a lot with this young physiotherapist. Together we went to treat the children and we tried out new exercises. We have created digital treatment files for all children, so we can still collaborate on reporting from a distance and I can help with the preparation of treatment plans where necessary.

The school has a place in my heart and if I get the chance, I will definitely go back again.