The Founder; Counsellor & Consultant
Noor van Hout is born and raised in The Netherlands, but currently living in Ghana since April 2012. Throughout her personal and professional development, she has gained a lot of working experience abroad, particularly in Africa.
She studied Social Work (BSc) and Pedagogy (MSc) at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands. During her studies, she wrote her Bachelor Thesis in South-Africa where she did research on a project about Prevention Mother to Child’s Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/Aids. It was there she fell in love with Africa and the people!
After her graduation, she went for the first time to Ghana in 2009. As an Educationalist and Behavioural Therapist, specialized in child development and disorders, she has supported and advised different non-profit organisations (children’s homes and schools) in Southern and West Africa in order to improve their quality of child care and education (2009-2013).
During the academic year of 2013/2014 she has worked as a School Counsellor (Learning Support) in an international (private) boarding school with students from Primary – Secondary level, in the Central Region of Ghana.
After gathering years of working experience in development projects, (pre-) schools and child care organisations, fostering quality care, support and education in Ghana, Southern Africa and The Netherlands, Noor felt the time had come to build further upon her dreams, vision and philosophy.
An independent initiative; Dreams in Africa Counselling and Consultancy, based in Ghana was born, whereby Noor offers professional services in (individual) child/ family support (parenting advice) and (pre/ primary) school/ teacher support.
Noor works independently or together with the support of professionals (international interns or volunteers), who have a suitable educational background and the heart and passion (a natural talent) for working with children and guiding them towards independency, as they are important role models. For more information about the possibilities of internships and volunteer work in Ghana, check the website: http://www.letsgoafrica.nl/en/programmas/lets-go-ghana/
Noor’s essential required qualifications, experience and skills:
- Qualified Educationalist and Behavioural Therapist, with more than 4 years of counselling experience in The Netherlands and in development countries (Botswana/Ghana).
- Possesses 3 years’ experience of coaching and training teachers in a development country.
- Experience in setting up and reviewing curriculums, teaching plans, reports of advice.
Noor’s personal qualities:
- Able to adapt to different work environments and situations.
- Able to work with different cultures and accept different norms.
- Able to analyse different work situations quickly and works demand-oriented.
- A self-starter who can work creatively on her own initiative.
- Confident and able to create positive professional relationships.
- Happy to travel for long periods to support different schools and people.
- Good organizational and interpersonal skills.
- Natural talented and empathic to children’s needs.
For more information about Noor’s professional background check her LinkedIn profile here.
“What makes Dreams in Africa Counselling and Consultancy unique?”
Dream in Africa offers a unique international approach on child’s/youth development, stimulation and education through combining different scientifically proven methods and materials (e.g. Montessori Method, Early Learning, Child-Centred Education) based on values and experiences from multi-cultural backgrounds (e.g. European – African). Therefore, we believe we can offer each child “The best of both worlds!”
Noor also believes that the future of a child or organisation is written in its foundation. That is the reason why we focus on the basis of development; the start of life; the foundation.
The focus of our services is on quality; we look at the bigger picture without losing important details out of sight, not on quantity. Noor works independently or together with the support of professionals (international interns or volunteers), who have a suitable educational background and the heart and passion (a natural talent) for working with children and guiding them towards independency, as they are important role models.
We provide special care; diagnosis and treatment. We do not judge or label. Naturally children are not stupid, lazy or crazy. Everyone is unique and one of a kind. Nevertheless, children could be born with certain deficiencies and therefore a child might have special needs. We are responsible to meet these special needs and adapt to the child as much as possible. We involve parents and siblings, since family support is an important part of the counselling.
We stimulate engagement of parents, family members, teachers and/or management. Parents, caregivers and teachers support and collaborate with one another as partners in guiding children to reach their full potential at different stages. Engagement is a ‘must’ to succeed and make a long-term change.
Dreams in Africa provides care, counselling and support at home and consultancy in schools for children, parents and teachers to nurture and improve child/youth development, stimulation and educational practices.
The aim is to establish a healthy and stable foundation within a child and a safe and inspiring environment at home and in school.
Quality, Sensitivity, Reliability, Stability, Safety, Consistency, Engagement, Child-Centred, Unity, Family-oriented, Personal/ Home-based Care and Attention, Love, Passion, Growth, Health and Development.
Counselling & Support
(Individual) Child Support
Every child and adolescent between the ages of 0-21, who experiences difficulties in their daily life activities, can use some extra support and special attention.
For example, children and youth with:
- A delay in reaching developmental milestones
- Speech or communication problems
- Behaviour problems
- Poor co-ordination/mobility
- Low cognitive ability
- Poor attention span
- Poor perception and memory
- Poor social skills
- Inappropriate or immature personal behaviour
- Decreased motivation
- Poor self-concept
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of gross and fine motor skills
- Emotional disturbance
We diagnose and support children who lack behind in school and experience problems with social (peer) relationships and/or face problems at home. We cooperate closely with parents/caregivers and involve them during the guidance and support we offer to their child.
Family Support/ Parenting Advice
Holistic child development support services for parents and siblings. By understanding your child’s developmental needs and learning how to respond, parents and siblings can guide their child/sibling to reach his/hers highest potential – social-emotionally, academically, physically and spiritually.
Home consultation provides practical guidance for parents. We offer professional services and work together to lead parents through changes and different stages in their child’s development. E.g. fostering functional skills development (practical life activities, self-help skills), creative development, social and personal skills development (self-discipline, self-esteem, confidence), and language development.
Parent Support includes: child care and play, activities and learning at home, fostering creativity, practical tips on parenting techniques, based on observation, conversation and cooperation with the parent or caregiver.
The service begins with in-home consultation, training and then combines with telephone consultation to give parents access to expert help every day as and when they need it.
(Pre-/Primary) School/ Teacher Support
We do not enter a school with the intention to judge or tell them what they do wrong and that we know better. Our aim is to support and to advice the staff in order to learn and implement new, additional teaching methods and structures in the school.
Our consulting services can range from:
– Teacher Training
– Monitoring and Assessment
– Coaching and Mentoring
– Curriculum design, planning and implementation
– Project/School Management
– Report of Advice
– Educational Workshops
carefully developed through observations, conversations and meetings. We cooperate and work closely with staff and management of the school.
Specifically, our job can consist of:
- Support school teachers to review and agree on criteria for quality teaching and learning;
- Train, coach and advice teachers on different teaching strategies, appropriate learning methodologies;
- Advise on the development and consistently use new teaching and learning material and aids;
- Introduce qualitative assessment of (girls) students on life skills, including HIV/AIDS and reproductive health awareness;
- Advise on library set up;
- Advise on the development of individual learning assessment of all children in their class and apply strategies to meet these;
- Advise on the development of effective time tabling and monitoring to maximize pupil learning time;
- Identify motivational support for teachers (e.g. participate in exchange visits, attend refresher courses, upgrade skills and award ‘teacher of the year certificates’);
- Motivate teachers to identify, praise and share good practices among each other.