Are you someone who is hard working, caring and are able to understand and adapt to the differing needs of children? If so, you would be the perfect person to come and continue the great work that goes on day in day out in Vietnam.
Help underprivileged children in and around Hanoi where your time volunteering will be greatly appreciated by the local community. The children will love the attention and care they receive and the experience will not only change their lives but also yours!
This rewarding and worthwhile programme will see you helping children of differing needs across several care centres, kindergartens and hospitals around the capital. You will play an important role in their daily lives and provide vital support and care for the children with every small step and action of love making a huge difference to them.
Although Vietnam has now been at peace for many years, effects from the war continue to haunt not only the adult population of this beautiful country, but also its children. With many people affected by Agent Orange, it is reported that nearly seven million people in Vietnam are disabled, which equates to 8% of the total population!
As with most developing countries, disabled people in Vietnam do not receive the level of support they so desperately need and this is where you and other volunteers can really help make a difference. Volunteering with disabled children is a challenging but a highly rewarding experience. By using your creativity, emotion and resourcefulness you will be able to provide the love and attention the children need.
Although you may be placed in a number of projects around the city, the tasks will generally be the same. You can expect to assist local staff in providing rehabilitation exercises, caring and playing, teaching basic subjects, arts and crafts and feeding the children.
Located in a peaceful and quiet neighbourhood of Hanoi, you will be able to explore the city at your leisure. Whether you want to have a gentle stroll down to the market, try some mouthwatering cuisine or are after a more lively atmosphere in the Old Quarter, then the capital has it all!
You will have the weekends to go on adventures and visit places like the famous Halong Bay, Sapa, Mai Chau and lots more!
The Friendship Village provides a place to live, necessary medical care and constant supervision for physically and mentally disabled children. The children that live here are generally because parents cannot care for them adequately due to the severity of their condition, poverty or the parents themselves having related health problems.
The Friendship Village complex is composed of two living quarters, two classroom buildings, a health centre and a few other buildings used by the staff for cooking and general administration. It also has an assortment of vegetable gardens that helps to feed all of the residents as well as raising additional funds by being sold at the local market.
Home to 130 residents from all over Vietnam, you will be volunteering with children and young adults aged between 4 and 26. The residents disabilities include autism, cerebral-palsy, downs-syndrome, physical deformation and severe mental disability.
You will be working along side the local staff that include nurses, medical technicians, therapists, teachers and caregivers.
The Morning Star Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that was founded in 1995 for the early detection and care of mentally impaired children.
Caring for over 190 children with disabilities such as downs-syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy, the 90 or so staff do an incredible job every day. Comprised of teachers, psychologists, nurses, doctors and physiotherapists, you will be working alongside everyone to ensure the children (aged between 1 and 16) get the one to one interaction and attention they need.
The centre strives to provide education to help increase the children’s independence and confidence and to increase their chances of being enrolled in professional courses and to play their part within the local community.
This well-organised and structured centre means volunteers can easily follow the activities planned and provide crucial support to the children. The children are grouped in smaller classes of between 10 and 20 with on average 2 to 3 teachers. The classes are tailored to the needs of the children and where possible prepares the them to enter mainstream education.
There is no better way of helping than by volunteering in one of the worthwhile care centres around Hanoi. Every day will be different, but as you get to know the children and their routines, as well as develop special relationships with them, you will soon reap the rewards and benefits.
You can be sure that your time and effort will not go unnoticed. With limited resources and overcrowding, we desperately need volunteers to help take some of the burden from our staff to ensure that the proper care and attention can be given to everyone.
You will typically be at the care centres Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm where you will be involved with all aspects. These can include:
- Caring for the children
- Playing games
- Interacting and supporting the children
- Teaching basic English and maths
- Ensuring general hygiene is followed
- Getting involved with arts and crafts as well as singing and dancing
- Preparing meals and feeding the children at lunchtime
- Assisting with movements like walking, standing and jumping
- Organising activities and festivals
- Participate in any ongoing fundraising campaigns to raise awareness about the centre
When volunteering you will be staying in our volunteer accommodation, located just outside of the city centre in Hanoi.
Located in a friendly and peaceful neighbourhood, there are convenience shops, local markets and some bars all within walking distance. The main tourist area, Old Quarter is just 45 minutes by public transport, with a taxi costing around $7 – which can be split between fellow volunteers.
You will be sleeping in one of 6 bedrooms that all have air-conditioning with up to 5 other volunteers. The bunk beds are comfortable and all bedding is provided along with mosquito nets and blankets. The shared bathrooms provide hot and cold water and western style toilets.
Many volunteers choose to relax in one of the many communal areas including the lounge and up on the rooftop.
Wi-Fi is provided free of charge, although as with many destinations it can be intermittent.
Our local team have an office on the ground floor, that not only provides a great atmosphere but also ensures you are fully supported throughout your time in Vietnam.
Wifi – Yes
People per room – Up to 5
Single sex rooms – Yes
Nearest shops – 5 minute walk
Airport Transfers – 40 minutes
All meals are provided at the volunteer house and are included within the programme fee. Meals are aimed to be as varied as possible across the week and you can expect some of the following meals:
Breakfast – Cereal, toast, tea, coffee
Lunch – Soup, rice, vegetables, meat, fish
Dinner – Rice, meat, fish, vegetables, egg, soup
We can cater for:
- Gluten Free
Unfortunately we cannot cater for Halal, as there are very few places in Hanoi that sell Halal foods.
What are the requirements to join?
We welcome all volunteers from any background, religion and nationality, as long as you have no criminal convictions and are able to supply a clean criminal background check.
Individuals need to have a good level / understanding of English but it dose not need to be your first language. As some programmes can be quite strenuous, we recommend that you should be physically fit.
What date should I arrive and leave?
You should arrive at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (HAN) on your selected start date, being the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month. You will be met by one of our local team members or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign and will take you to our accommodation to settle in.
The programme ends on a Monday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day. Our local team will be happy to help organise any onward journeys or book transport back to the airport.
Are there any age restrictions for solo travellers?
The only age restriction in place is that you have to be at least 18 years old before your programme start date. Anyone over this age is welcome. Generally the average age range for our programmes is 18 – 25, although this is by no means definitive and we regularly have volunteers of all ages.
When should I apply for the programme?
You can apply for this programme at anytime, however we advise that you apply as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing your placement on your selected dates. Some of our programmes have limited capacity and spaces can get filled up quickly.
If you are wanting to volunteer within the next few weeks, then please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
It is possible to change your start dates once you have been accepted, however this is subject to availability and can attract a small administration fee.
What duration would you recommend?
On gaining feedback from previous volunteers, we believe 4 – 6 weeks is the ideal time to get settled in and really involved with the programme. This also allows you to make the most of your free time, to explore this beautiful country and to participate in any activities.
We regularly have volunteers come for 1 to 2 weeks that tell us that they did not believe they had enough time and wish they had stayed for longer.
What will my itinerary be?
You should arrive at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (HAN) on Monday.
How will I get to the project?
All of our programmes in Vietnam are located in or around Hanoi. The furthest care centre is located one hour away by public transport, although the distance is not to far, it’s the traffic that make the journey long. Our local team will ensure you are happy with all routes and the area beforehand.
Is there Internet and phone signal?
There is Wi-Fi within the volunteer accommodation although this can be intermittent. If you are wanting to call home or use the internet while out and about, we recommend that you bring an unlocked phone and purchase a local sim card – our local team can assist. Alternatively, you can buy a cheap phone while in Vietnam for under $15.
What is Hanoi like?
Hanoi is one of the most ancient capitals in the world, where you will find well-preserved colonial buildings, ancient pagodas and unique museums. Known for it’s cuisine, vibrant nightlife, skills and handicrafts, exploring the city is an experience in itself – just watch out for the many scooters!
The Mighty Roar Local Team in Vietnam
Our programmes in Vietnam are run by our dedicated local team, who are committed to ensuring you have the best time ever. Mai and other team members provide the structure for your stay, including the accommodation, meals, airport pickup, in-country orientation and of course support.
They are sure to become your good friends and you will not meet nicer people that are willing to do everything in their power to make your stay the most memorable.
Will I get an in-country orientation?
Yes. Your orientation will be on Tuesday and will go through everything you need to know for your time in Vietnam. You will be shown around the local area, where the shops, ATM and taxi rank will all be pointed out to you.
Our local coordinator will go through all of the important health and safety information that you should follow during your time in Vietnam. You’ll learn about the Vietnamese way of life and the cultural differences.
What is the weather like in Vietnam?
There is no right or wrong time to visit Vietnam with regards to the weather. Like England, most months you will see some sunshine and rain.
The cool but mostly dry winter lasts from November to April when temperatures average 20°C. The summer runs from May to October when it is generally hot and humid, with the wettest months being August and September.
Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?
Yes of course. We welcome volunteers from around the world, no matter how far away from the programmes you are. The majority of volunteers that we host, come from the UK, US, Germany, Canada and Australia.
Can I go with my friend / partner?
We have many volunteers that travel with their friends, family members or with their partner. If required, we can ensure that you are based on the same project and stay within the same accommodation. On request, we can normally organise a private room to.
Is it safe to travel to Vietnam?
We regularly visit and participate in each and every one of the programmes we offer in Vietnam to rigorously check all aspects of the project and accommodation are safe and that all procedures are being followed. These include but are not limited to checking the living conditions within the volunteer accommodations, checking the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, tasting the food you’ll be eating and going on any weekend trips recommended by us or our local team.
We monitor the stability of all of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis and have constant contact with our overseas teams to ensure that our volunteers are safe.
All volunteers will receive a comprehensive volunteer handbook when you choose to join us on one of our programmes. This detailed document addresses a large range of issues such as health, safety, visas, as well as going into details about local cultures and traditions.
When you arrive in-country, you will be given a safety briefing during your orientation that will cover things like emergency procedures, how to use local transport and any cultural differences.
Our in-country team are on hand to help with any issues or to answer any questions and please do not forget that our UK office is available 24/7 in case of any rare emergencies.
While we can never guarantee your volunteer experience will be 100% trouble free, we have taken all of the necessary precautions to minimise all risks and to ensure the programme is as safe as possible.
Before You Depart
When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?
To confirm and guarantee your placement on one of our programmes, you need to pay the registration fee of $129 within 7 days of receiving confirmation that your application was successful. The remaining balance is then due to less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.
Payments can be done all at once or be spread out over several months and can be paid via BACS (bank transfer). We do accept additional payments methods, such as debit and credit cards, although there may be additional fees.
Do I need any vaccinations and / or malaria tablets?
As we are not trained medical experts we cannot tell you exactly what vaccinations or other medication you may need for your trip. You will need to consult with your local doctors or travel clinic.
You can also find additional information on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights?
All flights need to be booked by you, although we can point you in the right direction on where you may be able to find the best prices.
Before booking any flights, we strongly recommend that you wait to have confirmation that your application has been successful.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a compulsory part of your volunteering trip, that’s why we have teamed up with Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy. It is suitable for all of the programmes we offer and can be taken out at any time. You can read more about our insurance here.
If you decide to purchase your travel insurance from an alternative provider, please ensure it covers you for everything you will be doing. Adequate travel insurance must be in place no less than 60 days before your programme start date. Without proof of this insurance, we will not be able to accept you onto the programme.
When will I receive my volunteer handbook?
You will receive a welcome email from us as soon as you have paid the registration fee and your placement has been confirmed. The welcome email will include the volunteer handbook that provides a wealth of information that will help you better understand all aspects of your upcoming trip as well as details about our insurance policy.
Please note, that all material is sent via email and hard copies cannot be sent.
On Your Trip
Can I arrange a private room?
The majority of our accommodation only offers shared rooms that are usually same-sex. However, if you would prefer a private room please let us know and we will at least try for you.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
We will try are best to cater for any dietary requirements. When you submit your application please include any required details within the dietary section and we will liaise with our local coordinators.
Are there any public holidays that would effect the project?
Although we try to be as clear as possible of all holidays that effect project availability, due to the nature of some countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change.
If such a holiday falls when you are on your placement, this is generally a good time to experience unique festivities where you can join in with the locals.
What is the dress code at the projects?
We ask that all volunteers take the approach of a smart and responsible image during your time in the communities and on projects. It is best to also take some older clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Generally, it is best to avoid tight and very short clothing and anything that may have offensive slogans on it. Its recommended that you take some nicer clothes for weekends or any free time you may have.
We do not wish to impose strict regulations, however we do ask that you respect the local culture and do your best to adhere to the clothing guidelines within the volunteer handbook.
How much spending money will I need?
For general expenses and some travelling, you should find that $50 – $100 per week is sufficient. However, this can vary greatly depending on the amount of activities or trips you do and if you are eating out during the week..
Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?
There should be plenty of time to travel while on your placement and we actively encourage that you do! The local coordinators will be able to give you lots of travel tips and provide any help needed for your independent adventure.
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