Where to volunteer in Vietnam

Where to volunteer in Vietnam

Volunteering is a great way to give back to society. Whether you want to work with children, animals or help out in a farm, there’s plenty of opportunities to do so in Vietnam. Although the country is quickly developing and their economy is steadily growing, there’s still a lot to do here. So if you want to do something different on your travels, volunteer! This way, you also get to know a place better and, perhaps more importantly, the locals. Take a look at this list of where you can volunteer in Vietnam.

ARC Pet Rescue

Do you love animals? Then perhaps ARC Pet Rescue is the place for you to volunteer. There’s lots of strays in Vietnam who are in dire need of help. ARC Pet Rescue takes these animals in and nurtures them so that they can eventually find their forever home. You can help them by becoming a foster parent or volunteer in their D2 facility.

Volunteers for Peace Vietnam

Since 2005, Volunteers for Peace Vietnam has been operating programs in both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. They’re a non-profit, voluntary organization with the idea that education leads to positivity, prosperity, and peace. Their vision is a world of peace, where people have equal opportunities and live together with mutual respect.

Volunteer Vietnam

The volunteer projects are focused on working for and with children. Volunteer Vietnam has a few projects that volunteers can work with, such as children with disabilities, teach English and help those recovering from agent orange. Each year, hundreds of volunteers come to Volunteer Vietnam to help out in hospitals, schools and orphanages. The volunteers will get assistance and full orientation throughout the project.

Sapa O’Chau

Far up north in Vietnam lies Sapa, where the beautiful ethnic Hmong people live. Sapa O’Chau is a social enterprise whose mission is to promote learning, empower their community and provide sustainable employment. It’s a unique opportunity to live and work with the Hmong whilst enjoying the incredible nature. Some of the volunteer projects include teaching English, handicraft development projects, fundraising, marketing and PR, creative writing, IT support, etc. They only accept long term volunteers so you must be willing to stay there for at least 4 weeks. You can either get a one month visa to do so, or opt for the three month visa, so you can explore Vietnam after your volunteering experience.

Save Vietnam’s Wildlife

This non-profit organisation focuses on Vietnam’s wildlife and protecting it. Vietnam’s wildlife is unfortunately threatened by illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss. SVW are committed to stopping this illegal trade. They rescue, rehabilitate and releases animals into secured habitats. They also educate and train the public and Vietnamese law enforcement officers to make sure that the illegal wildlife trade will one day stop. Although they do offer volunteer programs, they only take in a few at time, so make sure that you apply in good time before you intend to volunteer as it’s a popular program. As part of their team, you will get a rare opportunity to work with some of the rarest species in Asia, gain an insight into conservation issues faced in Vietnam and learn more about how it is to work for an NGO. It does cost money to volunteer here, but the money will cover all accommodation and food costs. You will also have a room to yourself at Cuc Phuong National Park. If you want to volunteer for 1-2 weeks here, it will cost you about 400 USD. But if you intend on staying for longer than 7 weeks, it’ll cost you 300 USD per week. All the leftover money goes to food for the animals and materials for the captive program.

When you look for a place to volunteer, make sure that you do proper research about the organisation. Too often are there people who volunteer at so-called “Elephant Sanctuaries” where it might look like the elephants are “free” but they’re actually held there so that the organisation can get money from the volunteers. You should always read about an organisation before you decide to go. What did former volunteers say about it? It’s always good to be smart about where to volunteer. Make sure that whatever you do goes to the community.

Before you decide to volunteer, make sure to apply for a Vietnam visa. Are you going to stay for 1 month or more? Then opt for the 3 month visa so you don’t have to rush through your Vietnam trip! There’s so much to see in this country so you want to take your time here. Depending on where you’re from, you can either get a Visa on Arrival, which is an online visa, or go to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply with them. There’s also a third option which is called E-Visa. This is an electronic visa that gives you a 30 days, single-entry visa.

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