You like to travel, you enthusiastically want to participate in volunteer activities, Volunteer travel Program Vietnam is the perfect option for you!
There are many ways to travel. If you love the streets, desire to explore new cultures, be curious with history, enjoy the freedom to feel the journey, the normal tour services shall not be able to bring you all things above.
Moreover, you want to help people, want to contribute.
Volunteer travel / Volunteer tourism is created when you and your companion, follow the organization, have a fixed but flexible schedule and help the community.
Volunteer Travel Program Vietnam is very popular abroad and is becoming increasingly hot in Vietnam, such as Sustainable Development Club (SDC), Volunteer for Education (VEO), French Society of CODEV …
Volunteers taking part in Volunteer Travel also help each other improve themselves, especially young people and students. Joining with the team, you will be able to cultivate the skills that no schools can teach.
Meeting many new people – your teammates and the people who gets your help and support, interacting with international friends, taking the responsibility during your journey to help you grow up. More importantly, it helps you to see the world in a completely different way than before.
If you join Volunteer Travel Program Vietnam, you will pay the cost of travel, meals, basic rest, ticket price, insurance… as normal travel. Sometimes there are also free trips of social organizations. Volunteer trip combines tourism to understand the cultural identity of the region, especially in mountainous and remote islands. Of course, with the “social” factor, each trip always carries responsibility for environmental protection, community development.
Each trip has different purposes, sometimes teaching children, picking up rubbish, organizing donations, medical treatment, nature preservation, cultural guide …
Currently, Volunteer Travel Program Vietnam is open to registration, international friends living in Vietnam can join.
On average, every week there will be at least one volunteer trip, if you want to participate, you should study, research and register, prepare for the trip.
Volunteer education in Ba Waterfall – Yen Bai
Previously, as a student, I attended some volunteer travel, such as: donation and transferring gifts to the local people, pupils in the Ban Lac (Mai Chau, Hoa Binh), Da Bac (Hoa Binh), picking up litters at Bai Dinh Pagoda (Ninh Binh). They are small trips, small work.
Volunteer travel is like going on a tour, having a leader, having a hard time, but in addition to watching the sky and relaxing, you spend half of the time to participate in social activities, help local people and community. This trip was to help children learn English and organize an event of cultural exchanges with local people at the evening.
At 6:30 am, we gathered at the meeting point, the cars departed to Yen Bai Province. My team had 20 friends, mostly dynamic students. This was the second time I went to Yen Bai, I had been to Nghia Lo – Suoi Giang before. Car took 4 hours to Yen Bai. The group had a family of four, their two children joined as well! How wonderful that this group was consisted of all the girls!
We arrived to Nha San (traditional house) homestay at 11:30 am in Dong Ty village, Phuc An commune, Yen Binh district. It is a large homestay with garden and comfortable parking. Stilted house can contain up to 30 people. Private sanitary area with 4 bathrooms, hot and cold full, clean. The kitchen has a separate kitchen for guests to cook. Room price is 4-5 USD / person / night. The host is Dao ethnic. She told me that she got 10 years of experience running Homestay business.
The stilt floor is in the middle of the forest. Around the house there are flocks of ducks, rice fields, large vegetable garden …
Half a century ago, thousands of people here participated in the largest migration in history, ceded the dams, blocked the river to build Thac Ba Hydropower Plant. Since then, the villages along with Thac Ba lake became a place to settle down and develop their career. Therefore, this place has attracted many international visitors from France, Germany, Sweden, Australia … to experience the local culture and landscape.
The group quickly arranged the furniture and had lunch.
Lunch was very gorgeous and suitable with the region here with fried bamboo, roasted pork, roasted shrimp, dry fish … We devoured lunch meal, then until 2 p.m, we went to the People’s Committee.
When the cars stopped, some of the children were already waiting in the hall, their eyes were flashing with excitement. Called the hall but it was just a small meeting room. There were 4 long tables and chairs for the children. The old blackboard was cleaned for the class. Their school is not far away from here.
We put tables in the U shape to make them easy to operate and communicate. The crotch was crooked by being too old because termites eat woods. A moment later, the children came enough, the class began!
Volunteer groups assigned tasks to each person clearly. The teaching group consists of 6 main members, who practice singing, watching lesson plans in advance to teach the children. They teach English, the simple vocabulary familiar to children to practice writing and pronunciation, singing and playing games with prizes …
The children came mainly in the primary school age, all ages. Therefore, their heights were also very various. Children from grade 5 can learn English. So most of them did not know anything about this strange language.
Today’s teacher was a member of the group, she was in 5th grade in Hanoi, and her family came to the program. Compared to other older members, he “taught” and guided their friends with the same age more charming, although at first he was very confused.
During school hours, the children were quite shy, the enthusiastic cheerleaders raised their hands to answer! Therefore, the combination of LEARN and PLAY helped them to be more confident and focused.
The weather was cooler, the group organized the children out of the playground. A freelance coordinator worked as a facilitator for volunteers and children to play together.
The class ended, we went to visit O Do waterfall which just had experienced floods, the water from the waterfall flooded the road. At the rock bottom footfall there is a famous heart-shaped rock niches. Unfortunately, water was flooded, so we can not see it!
The next step is learning how to make and knit shrimp bag, one of the routine work of local people here.
Picking up from afar, the instructor waved and greeted peacefully, cheerfully led into her house. Her little house was on the side of the road. In the house, there were not much furnitures, everything was just simple. She put a carpet in the middle of the house for everyone to sit and knit.
First of all, told a little about the shrimp bag. Thanks to Thac Ba lake, the ecosystem here was very rich. One of the resources was the family of shrimps. Shrimp was pretty that was much longer than 30 cm, the same size with 1 liter bottle of wine. On average, she can knit 30, 40 shrimp bags. The price is 0,5 USD/unit. This was the main source of income for the whole family.
The time that she need to knit a bag was 30 minutes. She can both cooking and knitting. Often buyers will buy 100 – 200 to put together and make a “saola”, placed under the lake to catch shrimps. Bags were woven from jiang or jade tree. Visitors come here to knit and then enjoy the shrimp bag as a souvenir.
Her children were ready to make Hom (base of shrimp bag), we would knit from the next step! Knitting is the basic form of knitting subject that everyone already learned at school. She made a shrimp bag along with heartedly guided people how to knit. Atmosphere was serious but fun. Each pair of hands (although were not very skillful) carefully and concentratedly knit each row. Everybody tried to lift the knit straps closes carefully, the brittle knit clearly to avoid being broken.
When knitting, everyone tried to show off each other’s achievements. Time passed quickly, when we noticed it was dark outside. The two children of the instructor, came home, then saw their mother knit shrimp bag with us, the elder one (twelve-year-old) instantly seated here and guided us with her mother. The younger one (7 or 8 years old) seated and made Hom. After the school hours, they were hard-working to help their parents earn extra income.
They talked to each other in Dao language and then friendly turned to guide us in Kinh (our national language). As I understood, spending time ranges from 90-120 minutes to guide visitors to experience the culture, especially hand-crafted shrimp bag, this helped each family to collect more money than the money to sell shrimp bags normally, It also helped to develop local community tourism.
Although it was distorted, uneven or slow, everyone was still excited, the first product was born …
Ending an fascinating afternoon with many pleasant and surprise, the whole group prepared for even more energetic evening!