Vina Volunteer Service
Activities : Help the local community in Sapa by doing volunteer work to learn and truly experience authentic local culture by joining their daily life activities such as...
Activities : Ecotourism Community development internships offers a great opportunity for those who want to get practical skills & experiences by doing real task Stay...
Activities: Volunteer in Danang in helping poor children, offering you a great chance to do volunteer work to support the street school children school in Danang. Volunteers...
Would you like to join us to help minority ethnic children? Sapa is one of the places in the North of Vietnam where numerous minority ethnic group live. They live in the...
Volunteer Abroad in Vietnam to complete university dissertation research If you are an individual or a group of undergraduate students who want to conduct the research...
Fantastic experience in Mai Chau
Submitted by Rachael | September 23, 2016
My trip to Mai Chau was my first time in Vietnam and also my first volunteering experience which turned into a memorable adventure. Everything was taken care of by David at Vina Volunteers who made sure I had my visa, transportation and accommodation taken care of as well as making sure someone met me to take me to my hotel in Hanoi upon arrival in Vietnam. David also made sure I had plenty of information regarding Vietnamese culture and general advice on visiting Vietnam.
I stayed with Xuan during my Ecotourism and Community Development program after spending a few days sightseeing in Hanoi and was pleased to be welcomed into her clean, comfortable home in the beautiful green village of Ban Luc. I spent several days with David and Xuan on treks to remote areas outside of Mai Chau where we met and ate with Thai and Hmong people in their villages before returning back to Mai Chau to work on writing content for my project. I particularly enjoyed taking part in the daily routine where I got the chance to eat meals with Xuan, take time out with the locals after lunch and explore the local areas on foot in the afternoon.
For anyone wishing to truly experience Vietnam and participate in living like a local, I would absolutely recommend choosing this homestay project. The families are welcoming and will quickly introduce you to their way of living which will provide you with a true insight into Vietnamese people and their customs.
Love teaching in Mai Chau very much
Submitted by Helen | September 23, 2016
My time teaching English in Mai Chau was one of the most rewarding and unforgettable experiences of my life. I taught adults and children in a local school for up to three hours per day and in the evening stayed with a wonderful lady called Xuan, who took care of me as if I was a member of her own family. Staying with Xuan meant that I had many opportunities to experience the customs and lifestyle of the White Thai people as well as enjoying guided tours of the local area and beautiful surroundings. Mai Chau is the kind of place you can easily work in without knowing the language as the locals are so friendly and always willing to help with a smile.
At the end of the three weeks I was so pleased with how my students had progressed from barely understanding English to confidently playing games and singing songs with me. Being the only English speaking teacher in the school was a big challenge for me but it certainly kept things interesting and helped me develop my own language and communication skills.
David is an absolute credit to Vina Volunteer Service and made sure I was comfortable during my stay and accompanied me to the school to introduce me to the staff and translate for me, as well as providing me with all the information I needed upon arrival. He is clearly passionate about caring for volunteers and making your stay as comfortable as possible. When I continued my travels after the program, Vina Volunteer Service gave me the confidence to travel alone to my next destination with the peace of mind that I had support available if I needed it. The fact that VVS is a small organization does not affect the service at all, and I would like to thank the friendly, honest and caring staff for making my stay so enjoyable and worthwhile.
2 weeks of memorable experiences
Submitted by Melinda | September 23, 2016
From the moment I joined the group of enthusiastic volunteers in Mai Chau right to the end of my experience volunteering, Vina Volunteer Services have helped me to fulfil my dreams of seeing Vietnam in a safe and caring environment that allowed me to relax and have fun. Registration was a painless and easy process, and the staff managed to answer all of my questions with no problems so I could feel at ease right away. I was slightly nervous about travelling alone but I soon found my feet when I was promptly collected at the airport by the very friendly Mr. Nguyen who explained all about the projects that happen amongst the communities in Mai Chau.
The astonishing beauty of the fog covered mountains and rice fields in Mai Chau coupled with the smell of delicious authentic food simmering away as you arrive into the village is an unforgettable and welcoming experience for your senses. I met and stayed with Ms. Xuan and her partner who welcomed me with open arms and immediately took care of my luggage. Both of them made every effort to make sure that I was happy and comfortable and although their English was limited they were excellent hosts. Ms. Xuan was also kind enough to prepare my meals for me which I have to say were irresistible.
My first day of teaching in the elementary school was quite nerve-wracking at first, but the children were so friendly and willing to learn that by the end of the first day I felt like I had been doing the job for weeks. I also brought some art supplies with me so that the children could practice using their English in a fun and creative way. They really seemed to pick words up easily and it was so rewarding to see them progress so quickly after only a few days. I was also privileged enough to teach some young women in a shop in Hoa Ban who wanted to learn how to socialise with tourists and tell them stories about their work. Each evening I would spend one hour with them discussing their work and listening to them tell me funny stories about their lives whilst teaching them basic words in English. One of the ladies particularly impressed me as she had lost her leg in an accident and was living in Hoa Ban after being rejected from her arranged marriage due to her disability. Their spirits were always high even though to most of the world they seem like the poorest of people.
Ms. Xuan gave me a tour of the surrounding area and even helped me to witness an arranged marriage taking place in the village which was so interesting to see first hand. The work done by VVS is small scale, but it makes such an enormous difference to the lives of the people living within the communities. The experience working as an English teacher has made such a positive impact on my life that I would urge anyone with an interest in experiencing different cultures to get involved in a similar project.
Submitted by Akiko | September 20, 2016
My interest in volunteering overseas took me to Tavan village in Sapa where I completed the 'preserve natural resources and help communities' project over the course of seven days. Upon arrival, I was served three delicious local dishes of Vietnamese food which made me feel so welcomed and special. During the course of my stay I helped the family prepare these meals which was useful for me to see how they prepare traditional Vietnamese food and also great to give them some assistance in return for their hospitality.
One of the highlights of my stay was trekking with our guide who was a member of the family I was staying with. His local knowledge and experience allowed us to see a variety of incredible plants, species of animal and also spend time with a number if minority groups getting to know their way of life. The most important thing for me was to see the stunning landscapes that Sapa has to offer which were even more breathtaking in person as opposed to the pictures I had seen online. Witnessing the lush green mountains and fields was really dream come true, and I felt so privileged to have the opportunity to explore freely during my morning treks.
The local way of life is simplistic and natural with the day beginning with planting trees, picking fruits and vegetables and fishing to provide food for lunch. I gained a lot of respect for the traditional way of life in Sapa and although the community was poor compared to city life, everyone seemed happy and friendly.
Vina Volunteer Service were so helpful with organising my trip in terms of scheduling and transportation which was difficult for me as I don't speak any Vietnamese. After my trip I felt completely satisfied with how supportive and professional Vina Volunteer Service were on the lead up to and during my stay, and I will definitely return to them the next time I choose to take part in a project like this again.
Once in a lifetime experience
Submitted by Hibi | September 20, 2016
My time living with the family in Mai Chau for two weeks was a beautiful and educational experience that I will never forget. Ms. Xuan was a fantastic host and was patient whilst I learned and practiced the local language of Vietnamese. Waking up early every day to complete the daily routine was effortless with plenty of interesting tasks to keep me busy (and also lots of breaks in between) such as going out to collect the snails, fishing, cutting the grass and working in the fields. The women in the village made me feel so comfortable and at home that I felt like I belonged to their community during my stay.
One of the highlights of my stay was definitely eating with the family and learning to cook the traditional Vietnamese way. This really helped me to fully experience their way of life first hand and made me feel like one of the family. The local markets are a treat and very easy to access nearby as well as the stunning landscape that can be easily explored around the village on foot or by bike if you need some time to relax and reflect during your time in Mai Chau.
I would completely recommend taking part in the homestay organic farming project in Ban Luc as the people are so warm and welcoming and appreciative of the work that you do within their community. Vina Volunteer service has been so helpful and supportive and really given me peace of mind so that I could fully take advantage of my volunteer experience here in Mai Chau.
Program: Volunteer in Vietnam organic farming