Volunteer Vietnam is located in Da Nang, Central Vietnam and is one of the poorest regions in the country. Located on the coast, halfway between Hanoi and Saigon, it was known as China Beach, made famous by American troops located there during the Vietnam War. Da Nang boasts some amazing beaches, spectacular scenery and whole lot of history. Its proximity to the former imperial capital of Hue, a UNESCO Heritage listed site, and Hoi Ann, the ancient city, make it a popular tourist destination, with the city and surrounds undergoing massive development in recent years.
With little government support in the form of social services, Volunteer Vietnam founder Mr Viet Dang established the organisation to assist the many disadvantaged people in the community. VV now supports a kindergarten, the Red Cross orphanage for abandoned babies, and the Da Nang Social Support Centre for the homeless, elderly and special needs children. The VV team are an amazing, energetic and enthusiastic bunch whose compassion for the disadvantaged is matched by their welcome, support and gratitude for volunteers.
The Social Support Centre is a large complex with facilities to support the homeless, accommodation for the aged who have been discarded, and an orphanage for special needs children. The centre requires help from those studying Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, not only to assist with exercising the children, but to provide exercise and other stimulation programs for the elderly who would otherwise remain in bed, or sit silently staring into space.
The baby orphanage is a special place, full of small human beings who have been abandoned for any number of reasons – a mother’s shame at an unplanned birth, a family’s inability to feed another mouth, or unable to cope with the child’s disability. The luckiest of these will be adopted by foreigners, however many will languish there until they become too old to be managed at this site. Volunteers assist not only with the care of the babies, but with playtime and activities for the pre-schoolers and physiotherapy or exercise movement for those with special needs.
Volunteer Vietnam also supports a number of English programs for school children, kindergarten, youth and vocational education trainees across a few sites. With tourism becoming an increasingly important resource in the region, the need and desire for English speaking staff is of increasing importance.
The program includes:
For more information on volunteering or for group programs, please contact Jan Drew.