Vietnam

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Deciding to volunteer in Vietnam last minute (while travelling in Vietnam) I cannot stress how efficient and clear the communication was with IVHQ. These guys know what they are doing. Green Lion - the local team - took over, and although not as quick to reply, they did confirm information sent. Picked up at airport and taken to the accomodation without worries. The building currently under construction, which had its drawbacks (but end stages) it has a lot of potential, but fulfilled all needs. Delicious food, nice atmosphere among the team and participants. An introduction week with cultural exchange and other experiences as well as useful information to help ease into the following weeks to come. Feedback submitted every week and taken seriously.
The 3 weeks (or remaining 2 and 2 days) of the medical placement went by quickly. I was glad to see that we could be involved by assisting the nurses, which in turn hopefully helped the patients. The conditions are different and a local guide from Green Lion was present at times to aid with language barriers. However, not a lot was medically explained as to why they did so, which could come as a bit of a shock, for me it was. Overall though, watching and experiencing families pull through the tough situations their members were in while at the hospital is inspiring. Have an open mind, follow the steps that IVHQ points out to you and you will surely have a good experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Dec 12, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I spent a month teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City, and loved every moment of it. The Green Lion staff are some of the friendliest people I have met, and go out of hier way to ensure that your stay is enjoyable. The first week consists of 3 orientation days to show you around the city, which were great but for this reason I recommend you volunteer for more than 2 weeks, as not much of the first week is spent in your program. The people I met there were so enthusiastic about travel and helping those in less fortunate circumstances than their own, creating a great atmosphere at the accomodation. The lovely family that live across the road pretty much do everything, from the cooking, laundry and running the corner store. Food served 3 times a day is a great way to experience Vietnamese cuisine, and they make sure to accomodate for all. If you are thinking twice about volunteering abroad or traveling solo for the first time, don’t! I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone, not that I was out of it for long because the Green Lion staff that run the volunteering projects make you feel right at home,

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Nov 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

In August 2016 I fulfilled my lifelong passion to volunteer with children who needed it the most.

I now go back in 6 weeks time, same program and same location :)

I spent 3 weeks in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; 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

Program:
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Oct 2, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
9

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Getting a big hug and a thankyou in Vietnamese from an elderly man to whom i was serving food in the Food Outreach program in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam would definitely rank as one of the most cherished moments of my life.

The Food Outreach programme organized by International Volunteer HQ in Ho Chi Minh City was a truly unforgettable experience. Great Website, Outstanding support from the Program Manager at IVHQ, Prejourney resources, Value for Money, A very warm, friendly and helpful local team in Vietnam and a great experience in the volunteer program are all the reasons why i would definitely recommend International Volunteer HQ to any aspiring volunteer. Highly Recommended !!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Sep 21, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

I had the most incredible experience this past June working as a Physical Therapist in a local village outside Hanoi. This was only my second time abroad but I definitely caught the "travelers bug" and want to go on another Projects Abroad trip in the future. The Projects Abroad staff were very helpful and just were wonderful people in general. They made it super easy to get connected to the other volunteers in Hanoi and were always reaching out to me to make sure I was adjusting to being in a new country. They also focused on making a family vibe between the staff and amongst the volunteers. A perfect example of this happened recently when I sadly went through a family loss when I arrived home in July. My coordinator has contacted me on multiple occasions to send love and make sure I'm doing okay. The fact that they still keep in touch with me even though I'm thousands and thousands of miles away is so heartwarming.
If I were to go on another abroad volunteer trip (which I know I will in the future) I will definitely go through Projects Abroad again. Thank you for giving me an unforgettable summer I will always appreciate it.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Aug 31, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Volunteering in a different country with an entirely different culture and language altogether has changed my perspective on the different lifestyles each individual may have. Being in Vietnam for a month, I've learned that a simple smile speaks so much more than words could, especially with the language barrier. Making friends with other volunteers from different countries and hearing their own stories of their own cultures has also broadened my view of other nations.

Overall my stay in Vietnam was truly a great investment. Not only did I make friends from all over the world, I made friends with whom I had great and amazing adventures with even in a short period of time. I've gained so much exposure that I couldn't have ever gotten just from watching videos or even documentaries on the TV or the internet. You've got to experience it all by yourself by taking that leap of faith and stepping into an unknown ground. Trust me, you might not like it at first, but over time, it'll grow on to you. Just like how Vietnam has grown on to me. When I look back on my volunteering experience in Vietnam, I'll always feel a sense of warmth. Till then Vietnam9especially my IVHQ family there), I'll see you soon!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Aug 10, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I would highly recommend to volunteer with IVHQ in Vietnam as it is a life changing experience and enables to open up your eyes to a completely different culture and lifestyle. Although at times, it was quite challenging due to being away from home IVHQ team was extremely supportive and helpful. I will definitely volunteer with IVHQ in the near future again.

Program:
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Jun 30, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

My name is Viktor, and I have just completed a 2-week medical volunteer project in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I found this experience so wonderful that I felt teary when the time came to leave Vietnam (My fiancée who completed the program together with me can attest to this!) IVHQ has been instrumental in ensuring an amazing experience for all of us volunteers. Their staff were very responsive and eager to help me and my fiancée with the logistics of flying from Canada to Vietnam, long before program start date. The IVHQ website was also a great tool that helped me prepare and stay organized in preparation for the volunteer program. All of the requirements needed to start volunteering in Vietnam were all in one place (i.e. Application fee, resume/CV upload, criminal record check upload, etc.) The site also contained an excellent and customized guide to prepare us for the country we were travelling to, including a basic language primer. Upon arrival to our site in Vietnam we were warmly greeted, and given clear and succinct instructions on the schedule of activities. Leah (one of the coordinators) lead our group of volunteers through a number of cultural activities with infectious enthusiasm and spirit. Her positive energy was so moving and powerful, it made a deep and lasting impact on my own disposition towards life. Our project was centered at an orthopedic hospital, the majority of patients were recovering from trauma and injuries related to moto/moped accidents. Khanh and Thanh - the 2 on-site coordinators were very friendly and experienced. They were our line of communication with the local medical staff, as we lacked proficiency in fluent Vietnamese. We did a wide range of activities at the hospital. These ranged from aiding the nurses with wound care, premixing IV/SC/IM medications, taking vital signs of all patients on the ward, to shadowing countless orthopedic surgeries and assisting the acupuncture doctors with IM B12 injections and removal of acupuncture needles. By the end of the 2 weeks, both me and my fiancée wished that we had more time to do a longer volunteering session. Unfortunately, we both had prior commitments to get back to back home. But the memories of all the new Vietnamese friends we've made live on - through the power of social media! To summarize, this IVHQ Medical program in Vietnam was a fantastic learning experience, that has transformed me in positive ways. Perhaps the most influential factor that I derived from this Vietnam experience, was derived from the patients at this orthopedic hospital. Being a witness to the strength with which the Viet people hold themselves during excruciating pain and traumatic injuries, has toughened me up and made me more resilient to dealing with difficult situations in my own life. This is not a goodbye, but a see you later Vietnam. I would definitely redo this program if given the chance.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: May 18, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I volunteered in Vietnam as an Occupational Therapy student over a period of four weeks during my summer break. I was recommended Projects Abroad by a friend, and after doing some more research and making contact with the team who answered all the questions that I had, I decided to head to Vietnam for my placement. The Projects Abroad team in Vietnam really know what they're doing, and are good what they do. They understand and have a vision of what it looks like to facilitate sustainable placements that are of benefit to the host organisation.

I volunteered at Hanoi Friendship Village, home to 120 children and 60 veterans all affected by the Vietnam war. The village provides medical care, therapy and both educational and vocational classes for its inhabitants. I spent the majority of our time there in the therapy room providing occupational therapy focused therapy for children and adults that came in daily.

Personally, I gained so much out of this experience. I became a lot more independent, found that I was a lot more resilient than I initially thought, and I really opened up to new experiences and meeting new people. I think that through this experience, I have also become a more globally conscious individual. The Projects team made it clear that there were only ever a call away, and they not only looked after us on placement, but ensured that we were immersed in the Vietnamese way of life. They organised activities with other volunteers including Vietnamese cooking class and pottery making. I stayed at one of the volunteer houses with fellow volunteers from different countries around the world. On the weekends, we explored and visited many of the attractions of Hanoi together, and spend many a night sitting on low plastic stools and tables eating food on the footpath with the locals as motorbikes and cars rushed by beside us. Vietnam is a beautiful country, rich with history, and being able to make a small positive contribution to the lives of the Vietnamese people through this volunteer experience is something I will always hold close to my heart.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Apr 15, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
7

Projects Abroad

I travelled with Projects Abroad for two weeks over my school's winter break. I would recommend anyone interested in interning for Occupational Therapy to strongly consider this program. If you are up for a challenge and ready to immerse yourself in a culture that is most likely unlike your own, this is the trip for you. Not only do you get a feel for community and the struggles Vietnam was left with after the war, but you are taught how to work together and how to love one another through the struggles. Living with volunteers from around the world was enlightening, and I learned a lot about cultures and countries other than my own.
Traveling throughout Vietnam as strongly encouraged by the staff. They were extremely helpful in answering all questions and providing their insight. There were also set up activities throughout the week and on the weekends. The two volunteer houses in Hanoi were only 15 minute taxi/motor bike rides from the old quarter where we ate and and shopped all day. The Occupational Therapy Placement was in Friendship Village where the staff was kind and the patients were full of laughter and smiles.
Projects abroad is an amazing organization. They are kind, organized, helpful, and here to make sure your experience no matter how long is amazing. I highly recommend Projects Abroad for anyone with a helpful hand and a desire to experience communities around the world.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Jan 23, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Sounds like you had the time of your life in Vietnam! It's great that you were able to learn and put to practice your Occupational Therapy skills, while also getting to know around Vietnam. It is such a beautiful country! Thanks for sharing your experience!

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