The Hope Centre is a non-profit, non-government day care organization based in Hanoi for the care of mentally impaired children. This centre was founded in 1997 by Vietnamese enthusiastic teachers, and then in 2002, it was expanded with the support from an American NGO.
Number of staff: 11 teachers. All of them graduated from Hanoi National University of Education or have background in special education. Ms. Nga, the director, is not also a teacher but also a doctor of Pediatrics. Number of children: about 70 disabled children divided into 4 classes.
The centre’s mission is to provide opportunities for children with mental impairment to receive an education, and to feel included with their local community. In particular, the centre provides assistance for those children suffering from developmental disabilities including Down's Syndrome, Autism and Cerebral Palsy. As well as early grade academic learning, the education programs include physical education and therapy, yoga, painting and poetry.
The aim of the program is to jointly bring care, love and happiness to the children through volunteers’ activities.
Here are some possible tasks that you can do there:
Caring for disabled children
Assisting teachers in classrooms
Assisting the teachers and children during lunch time
Calling for charity or Subscription (depends on volunteers)
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: 40 minutes by bus.
Volunteer requirements / Skills
Volunteers should like to work with handicapped children as well as have maturity and initiative spirit. Preference: Volunteers with background or experience in medical 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 very patient and in the mean time, creative and active in that working environment.
Age: 18 or over
Minimum stay preferred 4 weeks.
Be open-minded and sociable.
Be willing to learn about different culture and adapt to different working style.
Hope Center is located in Ba Dinh district, around 5 kms away from the city center. This is a very crowded place with many shops. It takes around 30 minutes to get there from VPV office by bus.
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 may either have lunch outside or eat with the staff at Hope Centre. They have to inform the cook at the centre one day in advance if they want to eat there. Volunteres can also come back to eat at the volunteer house.