Ky Quang Orphanage for Disabled Children (Ky Quang Pagoda) - South (VNM-67)


Type: Disabled, Children - Country: Vietnam

Brief description and main aims

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’.

In teaching, we aim to provide English language speaking environment for children to practice and improve their confidence in using a foreign language in communication. In caring, we aim to bring a better social life for the children.

Main Activities

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 200 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 orphaned children with a mother figure who looks after them.
 
At the moment, about 200 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 26 disabled children at this moment suffering in particular from cerebral palsy, blindness or Down's syndrome. Here, they are fed with lunch and dinner, are interacted and played with, sleep and receive some basic therapy during the day. In the evening and night, they sleep in different rooms with other orphaned 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 three main activities for volunteers:
  • Teach English to 15 primary pupils (9 to 13 years old)
  • 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 very 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:

Volunteer tasks

There are three type of works for volunteers

  • Teaching English
  • Caring (caregiving) for orphan and abandoned children
  • Caring for disabled children

Depend on volunteer’s motivation and the need of project, volunteers will be responsible for either taking control of the English class, taking care of the disabled children, or playing with the orphans in the kindergarten.

For teaching, volunteers will work as the main teacher with the support of Vietnamese volunteers in translating and maintaining the class. Volunteers will be required to make lesson plans and prepare the materials to ensure continuity in learning from the teachers before and after them.
Although most of students have studied English in the past, it is unlikely they know how to speak and listen properly.

Due to this, volunteer’s work should be concentrated on helping students with speaking and listening. Volunteers are expected to teach in the morning or afternoon every weekday, for about 2 hours per day. They can use the rest of their time for the lesson plan or/and in the other areas that need voluntary assistance.

Volunteer requirements / Skills

Volunteers must be 18 years old minimum. Volunteers must show their willingness to help and
Volunteer for Peace Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Project Description List updated November 2016 38
ability to stay self-motivated. For teaching, volunteers need to take the initiative in planning and taking classes. Most importantly, volunteers need to have confidence in the classroom and time management skills to ensure an effective lesson.

Location

Ky Quang Pagoda is located at Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City. The travel time is about 1hour and 15 minutes by bus, more or less depends on traffic situation.

Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)

Volunteers will stay in a dormitory, sharing rooms with volunteers of other nationalities joining the same program. Normally, rooms are arranged with about 2-4 volunteers per room. In the busy time, the number can be maximum 5 or 7 volunteers per room in 4 or 5 bunk beds (August or March). Western toilets and hot showers are available.  The house has TV, PC with internet, free WIFI, fridge, kitchen with cooking facilities, common room. Laundry service near the house with the cost US$1 for 2 kg.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner are provided. 
 
Food is local style and usually be rice, meat, fish and vegetables & Vietnamese soup. For vegetarians the choice is usually limited to rice, bread, vegetables, egg & tofu.
 
Volunteer is free to use kitchen for personage cooking.
 
By individual requirement, the single or twin room can be arranged.
  • The travel time to project from home is between 15-20 minutes by bus.

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