There are two types of works for volunteers
-Caring (caregiving) for abandoned children
-Caring for disabled children
There is not a limited number of volunteers for caring due to the heavy work. For non-disabled children caring, maximum of 4 volunteers can work at this room. For caring for disabled children, there are usually 2-8 volunteers working with children. Volunteers need to check with the hosting organization in advance to see if the project is still available.
VPV’ Dormitory in Sai Gon. Shared rooms. Sleeping on bunk-bed with mattress. Showers and toilets are available. WIFI free at volunteers’ house. Breakfast and dinner will be prepared by volunteers. Lunch is provided at the project.
The dormitory is located in an urban area of Ho Chi Minh City. It is 5 minutes away from ATMs, two local markets, multiple convenience stores, 20-30 minutes from the nearest supermarket and Banks. Laundry services are 3 minutes away, and cost $0.50 to $1.00 per kilogram. Various choices of restaurants ranging from BBQs, Vietnamese local foods, to other foreign foods such as Korean foods, or Thailand foods. Bowling alleys and Karaoke stores available within 2 kilometers radius.
Ky Quang Pagoda was built in the early part of the 20th Century in 1924 and is relatively famous in Ho Chi Minh City. The pagoda is now a place of charity for unlucky children and a traditional medicine clinic for local residents. The Pagoda Orphanage was founded and is run by the ‘Bonze Thich Thien Nhan’. It has 35 staff members who stay at the Pagoda to take care and bring up these orphans. The operation funding mainly comes from local benefactors, social organizations and international volunteers and visitors. The children here have unfortunate backgrounds; many have been abandoned by their parents and relatives, babies are often found at the front gate of the pagoda and then taken in. Sometimes, the head monk receives phone calls from hospitals requesting him to take in deserted babies amongst other situations. At the moment, about 100 children and adults are living in the Pagoda, their ages ranging from 5 days old to 40 years old. There is a day care-room that includes 35 disabled children at this moment suffering in particular from cerebral palsy, blindness or Down’s syndrome. Here, they are fed with lunch and dinner, played and interacted with, sleep and receive some therapy during the day. In the evening and night, they sleep in different rooms with other abandoned children with a mother figure who looks after them.
– At present, about 30-40 local children have a chance to study at Ky Quang as some local teachers teach Vietnamese for them in the morning.
There are two main possible activities for volunteers:
– Play with 30 children in the kindergarten (3 to 8 years old)
– Give physical therapy to 35 disabled children (of different ages).
The children here have various backgrounds. Some are physically or mentally disabled, some are blind or suffer from Down Syndrome, some are Agent Orange victims during the Vietnam War, some are orphans, and the others come from poor families who cannot afford to bring them up.
Volunteers must show their willingness to help and ability to stay self-motivated. For teaching, volunteers need to take the initiative in planning and taking classes.