Assist with the caretaking of children with mental and/or physical disabilities at a local hospital in Ho Chi Minh.
The children at this daycare center are from families that don’t have the means to provide for the daily care of their offspring. In this project, you will take care of these children by feeding them, comforting them, playing games with them and helping to make them more socially active. This project is best suitable for participants who are flexible and independent, who preferably have some experience working with children and have good common sense and some life experience.
This home cares daily for between 20-25 Vietnamese children with a mixture of disabilities. They are all from families from poorer backgrounds who cannot afford to pay for the daily care of their children. The key area for improving the quality of the children's lives is enhancing their speech and muscular capacity. Daily routines are carried out for the children, which you will be participating in. Activities such as playing games, dancing and singing are encouraged by the hospital staff and the children themselves. The hospital also encourages painting, art and other means of creativity to activate and inspire the children. As such, volunteers bringing any materials to support these creative activities would be very much appreciated.
Aims & Objectives
This project aims at caring for children with disabilities and to collectively work together to improve the quality of life for the children. It also gives hope and care towards the less fortunate, and allows you to develop good relationships and friendships to the children and staff. In addition, this project provides you with valuable experience on teaching and care for the disabled.
Weekly Schedule & Activities
You will be introduced to the project, staff and children. You will also discuss your exact desired role at the project with the manager.
Tuesday to Friday
You will begin the actual work in your volunteer program. Your exact role will depend on the needs of the disabled children's home at the time, however, the daily activities and responsibilities normally include playing games with the children as well as helping with their speech and posture. Volunteers with experience in social care are relatively free to be creative with their input.
Typical Day at the Project
08:20 Leave for the project, it takes 20 mins to walk there or you can get a taxi which takes 10 mins and costs around 40,000 VND one way, you then begin work
11:15 Return back to the accommodation
11:35-13:45 Lunch break
14:00-16:00 Volunteer at the project
Working time is approximately 4-5 hours work per day. A coordinator will be with you at the project every day, the project has 3 permanent staff.
Please note that the volunteer activities and schedule can change at any time based on the needs of the project, local conditions, the weather and unforeseen circumstances.
Evenings & Weekends
During the evenings the volunteers are generally free, and there are no program activities scheduled unless otherwise mentioned. Weekends are free.
The project is either closed or has alternative activities on the following public holidays in 2017:
02 Jan: New Year's Day
28 Jan - 05 Feb: Vietnamese New Year. Change to renovation work at the school or hospital. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to join the Vietnamese New Year preparations and celebrations together with the local people.
06-09 Apr: Hung King's Commemorations - Change to renovation work at the school or hospital
30 Apr: Reunification Day - Change to renovation work at the school or hospital
01-02 May: International Workers' Day - Change to renovation work at the school or hospital
02-04 Sep National Day - The project is closed
Mandatory Volunteer Requirements
Minimum age of 18
Police clearance certificate
Basic level of competency in English
Passport copy required but a copy can be made on arrival
What Makes a Good Volunteer?
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering work and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. At times, alterations in activities are due to changes in local conditions. This can be part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that it is.
Please be aware that the volunteer accommodation is in a brand new building and some construction work is still taking place. Our partners will do their best to keep the disturbance for the volunteers to a bare minimum.
Your accommodation is on a campus in a college dorm. We have our own rooms inside this dorm, which are reserved for volunteers only. The rooms are shared between 8 participants with private hot water shower and air-conditioning. WiFi is available, but please note that the quality of the Internet access depends on weather conditions. In Southeast Asia internet accessibility is often rather unstable due to heavy rain.
There is also a room reserved as an office, where you can go to if you want some peace and quiet. We have books and magazines available here for you to borrow. There is a nice local cafe next to our dorm.
All volunteers are expected to be environmentally conscious and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. You will be expected to clean up after yourself, and to participate in keeping the accommodation neat and organized.
PLEASE NOTE - This accommodation has a 23:30 curfew.
Important Arrival Information:
We highly recommend buying a cheap local SIM card for your whole time in Vietnam (for your own personal safety and for easier/cheaper communication with other participants, staff and family back home), and especially if travelling to us by yourself, this becomes especially useful. These are extremely cheap in Vietnam, costing around USD $3-5.
Our local staff will meet you at the airport upon your arrival and arrange your transfer from the airport. He will be awaiting you at the arrival section with you name, and take you to your accommodation.
Participants, who arrive before the weekend or by land, are required to meet at our meeting point. A taxi from the airport will cost less than USD $10.
Our meeting point is:
23/8 Hoang Viet Street
Tan Binh District
Ho Chi Minh City
The arrival transfer is only available on the Saturday and Sunday before your program begins. We discourage late arrivals as it may take longer for you to settle into your program. Any emergency or early/late arrivals need to be communicated to us via email [email protected] and the late arrival instructions need to be followed.
Transfer Coordinator: +84 (0) 122 8310 910 (Anna)
If you are lost or have any major concerns regarding transfer, please try to contact the coordinator first. Anna speaks English, no need to get a Vietnamese person to call these numbers.
Tourist Police: Dial 113. The Touristic Police of Vietnam are trained to assist you in English. Direct any safety concerns to them.
Transportation Between Your Accommodation and the Project:
The volunteer covers the local costs for transportation between the accommodation and the project
Getting Around in Ho Chi Minh:
There are many taxis around the campus. You can easily catch a taxi from the main road to get to any destination in Ho Chi Minh.
Important Departure Information:
Check-out is on the Saturday before 12:00 in the last week of your program. We will assist you in arranging a local bus or taxi back to the airport. A bus will cost around USD $3 and a taxi USD $10.
Three meals a day are served during the week. On weekends there are two meals a day (brunch and dinner). Meals are typically Vietnamese but also include some Western dishes such as sandwiches, spaghetti and bread. We do, however, recommend you try Vietnamese food in all its variety including vegetables, egg, tofu, seafood and meat dishes with rice and/or noodles.