Jack Petchey Foundation
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Stephanie Hovey - International Citizen Service

Stephanie wants to help children around the world

University graduate Stephanie spent several months working with Bolivian children on the Luoteca project with Aldeas Infantiles SOS – a non-profit, independent organisation which seeks to enable children around the world to grow with love, respect and security.

Stephanie, who has a degree in Clinical Psychology and a strong interest in Global Mental Health and Child Development, focused on improving behavioural management in the centres and conducted research on behalf of Aldeas Infantiles SOS. She made observations at a number of centres to assess children’s behaviours and distributed surveys among teachers to explore their views and knowledge of behaviour management. After collating her findings, Stephanie created a leaflet for teachers on understanding children’s behaviour and techniques for behavioural management.

“Aldeas Infantiles SOS’ were really happy with my work and are looking forward to implementing the leaflet and further training across all of their children’s centres. With a positive learning environment in place, children are more likely to behave and have a better readiness for learning.”

Stephanie, who is seeking to develop a career working in Global Mental Health, knows it is vital to gain a wealth of experience working around the world for this field. She had completed a handful of volunteering projects previously, but this latest venture was the most beneficial.

“I gained a huge amount of experience putting my skills into practice in an unfamiliar environment and working independently on a project I designed myself. I also improved my language skills significantly and developed my patience and team working skills through collaborating with ‘Aldeas Infantiles SOS’ staff throughout the process.

I loved getting to know the culture of Bolivia, exploring the country and working closely with Bolivian volunteers. It was an enjoyable and hugely worthwhile experience.”

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Stephanie in Bolivia

“With a positive learning environment, children are more likely to behave and have a better readiness for learning”