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Volunteer in Special Needs/Childcare in Vietnam
International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants

Volunteer in Special Needs/Childcare in Vietnam

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Great opportunity to make a difference

Though I was only a part of the volunteer program for 2 weeks, there is no denying the immediate impact that our presence had on the children in the orphanage we visited each day. I worked with the toddlers, aged 17 months - 5 years, and they are so full of love and light. We were supposed to have a "prep" time at the end of each day to plan for the next day, but that was completely unnecessary, as the kids preferred free play, and turns being held.....any organized activity was simply not a part of their daily agenda :) The orphanage we visited was very well run and maintained, and though there are probably more kids than the staff can handle (67 kids, aged 1 month to 22 years old), they are trying their hardest to give these kids a shot at a good life, and that is highly respectable.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 30, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    Hi Jessica, it’s great to read about your experience volunteering on the Special Needs/Childcare project in Ho Chi Minh. It sounds like you got a lot out of your two weeks in Vietnam by giving just as much to it. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

3 weeks in Ho Chi Minh city at a daycare for children with disabilities

In August 2016 I fulfilled my lifelong passion to volunteer with children who needed it the most. I spent 3 weeks in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

And I have just booked again to go in 6 weeks time, same place, same program!

I was based at a local hospital where I cared for children with disabilities from unprivileged families living close to destitution but had the support of this vital volunteer program and hospital day care. I gave my time, my love and my gentle hand to children who just wanted to be accepted. I assisted local staff in providing therapeutic treatments, feeding, play time, entertaining and educating.

In my spare time I visited an orphanage where my heart was broken; 3 floors and 75 children with no mummy & daddy and a safe place to call a home. There were no bedrooms for these children - they shared communal floor space and simply was provided with a pillow, they were fed twice a day and relied on donations from volunteers - donation of time and donation of basic supplies for everyday living.

The orphanage was over an hour on the bus out of district 4 and I was struck by the vision of poverty on the streets, no documentary can prepare you for that. I fell in love at the orphanage with every child I met – I spent most of my time in the baby room as my heart lay there, with around 10 babies under 2 including ‘tiny toes’ a 10 day old baby abandoned by his mother and born at 7 months premature. This sweet innocent child was perfect but with a long road ahead of him and no name at the time.

It’s also hard to forget Quin – a 12 year old girl with severe mental and physical disabilities who also resided in the baby room at the orphanage as the staff where not quite sure what to do with her due to her inability to walk or feed herself, she was playful and sweet and just wanted to play.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easier but I had no idea how hard it was going to be. 35 degrees of heat with no air con at the hospital or orphanage, in an area struck with poverty and a nation of people with no healthcare support. There is no public health cafe in Vietnam!

We have all had ups and downs in life some harder than the other (loss, illness and hardhsip) but we are truly blessed to have access to clean water, health care and a roof over our heads and food in our tummy’s. To give your time is to give happiness.

Last a note from the words of a true inspiration - Christina Noble.

“I will work with the ill and unwanted, with the lonely and the misbegotten, with the throw-away children of this war torn country.
The future of our world is the future of our children, our beautiful children. For many of them, it is a matter of giving them back their future, giving them a life, giving them hope and giving them the childhood they deserve.”

xx

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review November 16, 2017 at 8:20 PM

    Hi Laura, we appreciate you taking your time to provide this wonderful review. We are stoked to hear that you were able to fulfil a lifelong passion of yours and that you have already returned to the Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh Program to continue devoting your time to these children. That is a beautiful quote and we look forward to hearing how your second volunteering abroad program with IVHQ goes.
    Sean - IVHQ Vietnam Program Manager