Doing volunteering work is a good way to step outside your everyday routine of work, night time dining and bar hopping. It is certainly not for everyone and it can be a rude awakening.However, working with a side of Vietnam that was previously in the shadow, brightens one’s soul changes your perspective on life. The country, and you too, also begins to grow. You won’t save the world, you might not even get a thank you, but that’s not really the point. Then again, it could also inspire you to run far away, write a check and never return. Either way, it’s worth the time and effort involved. Everyone has something to contribute, even if it’s just their compassion. Volunteering may not be for everyone, but giving it a go is the only way to find out. Many couldn’t live in Vietnam without the compassion of others.

    Top tips for volunteering

    a. Motivation

    if you are going to commit to volunteering, it’s worth looking for something that really motivates you, whether it’s a cause you really believe in or practical experience you would like to gain.


    Think carefully about how much time you can dedicate to volunteering. Can you really manage three mornings a week? Or would once a week be more realistic? It’s nearly always possible to increase your hours, but reducing them once you have already committed could be trickier.

    c. Location

    volunteering at an office or school offers lots of opportunities to meet new people and be part of a team, but if you are too busy to regularly commute, or if working from home suits you better, online volunteering could be a better option.

    Enjoy! Volunteering can be a rewarding experience on many levels, as long as it’s good fit for you and the organisation. If you are clear about what you expect and what you can offer, you should find there is a great opportunity out there for you. So where do you start if you are considering volunteering in Vietnam ? It’s worth doing a bit of research to find an organisation you are really interested in. Whatever you decide, your support can make a big difference.

    Charity organizations in Vietnam

    1. Giving It Back To Kids (GIBTK)

    This is a US charitable organisation which has built 384 homes, 16 kindergartens, delivered 676 bicycles and funded 882 major operations. This unfortunate truth is that more than a third of Vietnam ’s rural population, some 22 million people, live below the poverty line. So, it is in the countryside where much of GIBTK’s efforts are directed. GIBTK has a full-time staff in Vietnam , with a head office based in Danang. Although the efforts of organisation have undoubtedly paid off so far, there is still so much more to be done. Robert, the founder of GIBTK, implores, for the sake of children most at risk “get involved with us with another organisation or a neighbour.


    To volunteer, donate or learn more about Giving It Back To Kids, visit www.givingitbacktokids.org


    2. Smile Group 

    It is an HCM City based organisation that offers not just financial and information support, but classes for the children, group outings and regular weekly get-togethers coping with HIV/AIDS. For some more information or to make donation to Smile Group, visit www.smilegroupvn.org or call +840835050912.


    3. Sao Mai Computer Center

    It aims to change the lives of visually impaired people nationwide by providing them with computer equipment and training. In almost a decade of projects, the group has overseen software development, free computer training and put hundreds of blind people online using special web browser software. “There is plenty of focus on housing and food, but little on education. If you give blind people that chance they will take it and show their ability to society” Phuc, the founder of Sao Mai Computer Center , said. He has spent his profit from his café “Luciola” to fund this center.


    Visit Luciola (Đom Đóm) café at 9B Phan Đình Thoại, Q3, Ho Chi Minh City


    4. Disability Resource for Development ( DRD )

    It founded in 2005, this organisation trains people with disabilities for employment and helps them set up small businesses. The organisation also counsels people with hearing impairment, holds sign language classes and free literacy and English classes. Additionally, it gives out more than two dozen annual scholarships to students with disabilities. With the aid of mentors and its mentor and its extensive resource library, DRD helps disadvantaged people to find jobs and gain better awareness of their individual rights and responsibilities. Consciousness of disabilities is not the same here as in western countries. People with disabilities friendly bathroom facilities are nonexistent and wheelchair compatible buildings and sidewalks are extremely rare. People with disabilities are often left to fend for themselves. DRD opened “life is beautiful” café & clubhouse which 70% of its staff is disadvantaged people.


    Disability Resource for Development ( DRD ) is located at 91/6n Hòa Hưng, Q10, Ho Chi Minh City

    If you are interested in volunteering or donating to DRD


    Call +840838682770 or visit www.drdvietnam.com


    4. Green Bamboo Warm Shelter

    a project of the Ho Chi Minh City Child Welfare Foundation was founded in 1992 and has been helping street boys ranging from eight to 16 years-old, reconnect with their families, get back into school, attend vocational training centres and find job placements. The children who come through the doors arrive in many different ways; some come via another charitable project whereas others are brought in by the police or appear independently. Each year, the shelter gets between 60 and 100 boys arriving at the shelter. There are always more during the rainy season. On average, it helps around 40% to go home, 30% to attain a job or vocational training and 20% to get into a school.


    Located at 40/34 Calmette, Q1, Ho Chi Minh City


    5. Gò Vấp Orphanage

    This orphanage opens its doors to abandoned and disabled children but needs support to keep it going. It has been open since 1975 and was initially funded by the church before the government took control the year after. The majority of the children living here were abandoned at hospitals while others have been pulled off the streets. Currently there are 242 children at the centre that are split into four groups. Newborns are in the first group, group two is for kids with orthopedic and mental disabilities, the third is for severely disabled children, with the fourth for teenagers. It takes four staff to feed 20 children; they have to work very quickly and efficiently so that everyone gets enough attention. There was an instance where a child who was about to be adopted died of a basic illness simply because the team is not strong enough. Acting as second mothers to hundreds of children, these women are focused on trying to prime some of kids for reintegration into society.


    To help, visit the Gò Vấp Orphanage at 45 Nguyễn Văn Bảo, Gò Vấp or email bttreem@hcm.fpt.vn


    6. Catalyst Foundation

    In 2006, The Ho Chi Minh City based Catalyst Foundation came to the dump and has helped to improve the people’s lives. From funding education to encouraging business growth, its goal is not just to help the community now, but to provide a self-sustaining future. Since starting the project, Catalyst has built a library and an elementary school. Community members receive ongoing education about the threat of human trafficking. They attend monthly workshops, ranging from hygiene to community leadership. The organisation provides families with food, clothing and other items as well as help people secure identity papers. Catalyst hopes families realise children will have greater earning power if they go to school and get better jobs rather than being sold for a one time payout.


    Visit www.catalystfoundation.org for more information.


    7. Maison Chance

    It was founded in 1993 by “Tim” Aline Rebeaud to help disabled people and orphans. It serves as a home, school and training centre. In 1996, Tim contacted friends in France for help. They decided to get involved and join in her commitment to the underprivileged. The first Maison Chance association was created in Lyon and the same year a second association was formed in Switzerland . In 1998, Maison became recognised as a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Eight years later, a third Maison Chance association was born in Belgium and now in the US and Cananda. By providing them with skills and a salary, the NGO helps them get started on their own.


    Learn more about Maison Chance and visit their online shop at www.maison-chance.org


    Published 19/01/2013 Viewed 3442 Category CHARITY
    --- There is no comment for this article ---

Copyright 2012 by MoonPhoenix Co. Ltd.