1. Where is the project based?
This centre is located in Ba Vi District, suburb of Hanoi (70km distance of Old Quarter). This is hill tribe area. It is in a beautiful rural location surrounded by paddy fields and corn fields and it a great opportunity to experience real Vietnamese culture.
2. What does the project do?
It’s role is admission, care, nursing, orthopedic surgery, education, and vocational training for handicapped children of war veterans, invalids, and sick soldiers, plus children effected by dioxin, and those in poor families in all towns and provinces in North Vietnam.
This is a comprehensive rehabilitation centre, both physical and mental treatment. Up to now, the centre has completed its functions with some achievements as the following:
v Medical treatment: the skilled nurses and doctors on therapy and rehabilitation have helped nearly 2000 disabled children. Children can move, do some simple activities and even can work as nearly normal people
v Educational and vocational training: children who have language literacy has been taught as normal children. Some of them learn simple handicraft work and earn money for themselves
3. Why does it need volunteers?
Thuy An Centre receives financial support for government as well as international organizations. However, its infrastructure has downgraded a lot due to no renovation for a long time.
The staff is limited while the children number increased. The centre needs knowledge exchange in physical rehabilitation as well as therapy.
The children who have language literacy can learn IT, simple math, literature, English as well as vocational training
4. What is the project like? – Activities and schedule
This project suitable for both groups and FITs:
FITs: non – skilled volunteers may be involved in preparing nutritional meals, teaching English for the children in primary classes and for the nurses, assistant nurses in physical rehabilitation room.
Skilled volunteers could involve in physical rehabilitation activities like physiotherapy as electrical pulse, electrolysis, short wave, ultra sound treatment, laser, stretch the spine or help the autism children to immerse with others ….
Minimum working hours are 4 hours / day. Start and end time should be coordinated with the staff. For certain tasks work will be required in the morning and in the afternoon, for others either the morning or afternoon could be chosen.
Depending on the number of volunteers and donated funds, we have identified some key areas that require assistance:
v Painting classrooms
v Renovating some function rooms
v Workshop on medical treatment or training on therapy (for nursing group)
v Working on herbal gardens that are material for medical treatment to children there
Required working time:
v For non-skills volunteers (FITs): 01 week up to 2 month, 5 days per week
v For groups with donation: from 4 days to 2 weeks; 5 days per week
You will be staying in a hotel, which is around 4km from the project. There is a big beautiful lake next to the hotel. It is a very friendly hotel, with clean and simple bedrooms. Volunteers will stay in single sex rooms, sharing with up to two volunteers. The bedrooms have air-conditioning, a fridge, fans, en-suite and a TV. There is WIFI and a computer with internet available in the hotel reception.
Volunteers can order breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel. There is a range of Vietnamese food and they can cater for vegetarians.
The guesthouse has basic local bikes available that you can use each day.
v Toothbrushes and toothpaste.
v Most of the other supplies can be bought here much cheaper than your home countries such as reading books in Vietnamese, craft supplies such as paper, paints, crayons, toys – balls…
v Medical supplies – such as bandages, band aids, creams – for skin irritations (non-cortisone)
v Electric equipment: air conditioners, fans, rice cooker, desktop computers…
7. Free time and travel opportunities
The hotel is located in the small town of Tay Dang which is located next to a beautiful lake. It is a popular location for Vietnamese local tourists to take a dip to cool off on a hot day or spend a relaxing day fishing. Opposite the accommodation there is a small lakeside bar with a few pool tables where volunteers can wind away a few hours each evening.
The town has very limited facilities so we recommend that volunteers bring books/kindle and some music.
Volunteers normally work 5 days a week and at weekends volunteers can choose to stay in Ba Vi and relax by the lake, visit local temples and archaeological sites, visit Ba Vi National park.
You can visit Duong Lam Ancient Village – the typical traditional Northern Village - the only village listed as a national heritage site, with architecture from ancient temples, pagodas, a Buddhist collection.
Otherwise, you can take a local bus back to Hanoi. Hanoi is a wonderful city to explore by foot or bicycle, including the lakes, museums, pagodas, temples and of course the great shopping! There are also many street cafes, bars and restaurants to enjoy, especially in the Old Quarter where most tourists stay.