SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The question Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT, answers most often is “why does a child (especially a healthy one) need massage?” She answered, “Babies and children simply love to be touched. In fact, they thrive on it and it is a crucial part of their development. Children need physical contact for healthy growth and development.
Normal affectionate touching is important, however, a regular routine of massage can offer additional benefits to both the caregiver and child. Studies have shown increased weight gain, improved immune function, and deeper more restful sleep. All of which are needed to encourage appropriate emotional, cognitive and physical development.” She also created an article on its impact on growth and development.
Allen formed Liddle Kidz Foundation (LiddleKidz.com) to fulfill her mission of teaching and sharing the healing and nurturing power of massage. The Liddle Kidz Foundation also has a charity component, Liddle Kidz Foundation Global (LiddleKidz.org), which brings nurturing touch to orphans. Allen firmly believes in giving back to the community.
This year, she travels to Vietnam, which was chosen for its unique populations and cultural richness. In addition to teaching, Allen hopes her efforts will raise awareness of the particular challenges faced by Vietnam’s orphaned children, many who are victims of landmines and suffer from the affects of Agent Orange. The orphanages to be visited vary in size from 50 to 500 children. Allen will lead a team of volunteers, who will work with and train caregivers of children affected by Agent Orange, land mines, children with disabilities and special healthcare needs, as well as healthy children.
Allen created the daylong training curriculum, and course materials have been translated into Vietnamese. The goal is to establish nurturing touch programs so that caregivers are empowered to continue providing massage long after the Liddle Kidz volunteers have departed. Furthermore, Allen remains in contact with those who have completed training following up, answering questions and providing guidance, thus ensuring that the training isn’t lost.
The program works. Allen provided an example of how it touches families in a profound way. In 2008, Liddle Kidz performed a similar mission in Thailand. One of the orphanages was Bann Fuang Farr Orphanage just outside of Bangkok. There she taught pediatric massage to the parents of a child with cerebral palsy. The parents gave up their child to the orphanage because they could not afford the medical care. Thus, they visit their child regularly and now perform therapeutic massage. The fact that Allen enriches the parents’ relationship with their child in this manner is its own reward.
This year for the Vietnam mission, there were approximately 700 applicants for the volunteer trainer positions. Allen selected 20 individuals to travel to 6 Vietnam orphanages. Of those 20 was Rebecca Blake, a San Francisco yoga and infant massage teacher. Blake teaches yoga and infant massage at It’s Yoga Kids. The other volunteers hail from all over the United States and Canada and bring additional skills and experiences to this campaign. The Liddle Kidz Foundation volunteers are prepared to fly into Ho Chi Minh City on December 8, 2010 for a 2-week stay.
There are millions of infants and children worldwide who are struggling to live to their fullest potential. Would you like an opportunity to bring nurturing touch and pediatric massage to orphaned and displaced children around the globe?
Do you wish to share your skills with children who are affected by Cerebral Palsy, AIDS/HIV, landmines, Agent Orange, developmental disabilities, genetic birth defects, mental and emotional trauma?
Just ask yourself . . . can one person make a difference?
Take this moment to make a difference in the life of a child.
Apply now to be part of our next international volunteer team . . .you too, can be a Liddle Kidz Ambassador!