Social Welfare Project at Vietnam Friendship Village (VNM-8)


Type: Health: Disability - Country: Vietnam

Brief description and main aims

The Vietnam Friendship Village opened in 1998 and was established to treat and care war veterans and children who are suffering from the effects of Agent Orange, a herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. Armed forces in its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. There are currently around 120 children and 40 veterans living in the 11 houses that comprise the Village.

Established by George Mizo, an American Veteran of the Vietnam War, in collaboration with American, German and Vietnamese governments, the Village aims to provide rehabilitation through medical care and physiotherapy, as well as basic education and vocational training for children.   
 
In 2004, an organic gardening project was started at the Village with the aim of increasing awareness of the consequences of war, and to demonstrate strategies for healthy living among those still suffering its effects. The garden now provides around 60% of the vegetables eaten at the Village. It is hoped that in the future the garden can provide all the fruit and vegetables needs for the Village, and eventually grow enough to sell and raise further funds for this much needed community center.
 
The aim of Friendship Village is to give every effected child the chance and opportunity to lead normal, happy and fulfilled lives. Clearly, given the circumstances this is no easy task, and although, thanks to the dedicated work of those at Friendship Village, tremendous advances have already been made, there still remains much work to be done.

Main Activities

The aim of the program is to jointly bring care, love and happiness to the children through volunteers’ activities.

Volunteer tasks

Here are some possible tasks that you can do there:
  • Caring for and playing with disabled children
  • Assisting teachers in special education classes
  • Assiting the teachers and children during lunch time
  • Gardening
  • Calling for charity or Subscription (depends on volunteers)
Working hours: 
There is no fixed timetable for the volunteers, their working times depend on the tasks they choose for themselves. A usual working day could be from 9 am to 4 pm with a lunch break from 11 am to 2 pm. 
Travel to work from volunteer accommodation: about 1 hour by bus.

Volunteer requirements / Skills

Volunteers should like to work with handicapped children and maturity and initiative spirit. 
 
Preference: Volunteers with background or experience in medical/ social work or special education. However, volunteers without experience or background will still be able to join in different work as children are very excited with foreigners.
 
Besides, volunteers should be patient, creative and active in that working environment.
  • Age: 18 or over
  • Minimum stay preferred 4 weeks, maximum stay 3 months.
  • Be open-minded and sociable.
  • Be willing to learn about the culture and integrate into local community.

Location

Friendship Village is about 8 km far from the VPV headquarters and 15km from Hanoi center. 

Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)

Volunteers will stay in a dormitory with rooms shared with other volunteers. Living conditions will be Vietnamese standard with shared bathroom, shared room with bunk-beds. Mattress, blanket, pillow and mosquito net are provided. Food will be provided at accommodation.Meals will be mostly local food, which vary from the daily cooking schedule. During working days, volunteers will eat lunch at Friendship Village or eat out by themselves. If they want to eat at Friendship Village, they should inform the cook in advance.

More Information

Number of volunteers needed: 3.

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