The Orphanage is located in the picturesque Ba Vi province approximately 50kls from Hanoi. Ba Vi is a true delight with its mountain range complimented by the flat lands for the farming of rice and various other fruits and vegetables. Their rich fertile land provides the landscape with much flora and fauna and is a wonderland that the nature lover can get truly immersed in. The centre is only 10kls from Son Tay a medium size town with all modern amenities and a deep Cultural history. Hanoi is close by and only around a 90 minute public bus ride to the middle of the city.
The center not only caters for children but also for the homeless of Hanoi and those that are experiencing real difficulties in their lives. The centre also caters for some elderly residents who have no family or home to go to. Such a variety of people will give the volunteer a real insight into what life can be like for some in Vietnam.
There are approximately 320 people at the centre and a few of the children attend the local school.
This center is our primary focus in Vietnam as I am yet to see one so needy, it has the capacity to break your heart, but also a far greater capacity to bring understanding and joy. The children have severe physical and intellectual disabilities but greet each day with a smile, something that you will carry with you when you leave and understand no matter our minor irritants, life is good for us, the center continually grounds you and gives you a far greater awareness, just open your mind a little.
There is also a nursery for babies without disabilities. Volunteers can engage in a number of activities here including rehabilitation, if skilled enough, teaching a little English, art therapy, helping with caring, and many physical activities if you would like to engage in them, such as gardening, painting, repairing, there is a major staff shortage here.
If volunteers wish to travel to Hanoi for a weekend, or maybe visit Sapa or Halong Bay then a bus trip to town is easily arranged, otherwise just immerse yourself in this lovely rural setting and enjoy all of the wonders that it has to give.
Volunteers will be accompanied for the first 2 days at the center by a VIVPS member to ensure that you settle in well to the program and are comfortable in your environment. We love Ba Vi so we look upon these days as a real bonus.
Cost: One Off Placement Fee: US$520
The Placement Fee is payable one month in advance of your arrival through EFT or Western Union
If you need to cancel your trip due to an emergency VIVPS will refund US$400 of the fee, but will retainUS$120 to cover administration costs
Accommodation: Volunteers will be accommodated in a hotel approximately 5 kilometers from the centre for around $10 per day, basic Vietnamese evening meals can be found in the village and although the area is quite isloated it but does have most conveniences including a coffee shop and wifi. Volunteers travel to the centre each day on pushbikes provided by VIVPS with most remarking how great it is to start and finsh the day riding through rural Vietnam.
Meals: The VIVPS coordinator will show the volunteer all of the types of eateries in the area and explain the meals that would best suit the volunteers requirements. The coordinator will show the location of each place and also cater for volunteers with special dietary needs. Most meals would only cost between $1 to $2.
Activities: Activities for the volunteers will be determined by the volunteers skill set and physical ability. VIVPS and the director of the Orphanage will sit with the volunteer on the first day and arrange a time schedule if required. We like to call the center an open book and somewhere within the pages you wil find an area that you are comfortable with and basically decide your own workplace. We do not ask volunteers to do anything they are uncomfortable with, but there is a place for all.
Minimum Length of Stay: 2 weeks
Support: Airport Pick up
Placement in a quality project, allowing you to maximize your time and efforts for a good cause
Guidance and support of the local VIVPS Coordinator (24/7 in case of emergency)
Site visits, ongoing support during the term of the assignment