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Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh Community Involvement

In this project you can enjoy all that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer and also volunteer in one of these important initiatives: working with disabled children, street children's orphanage, helping with campus life, or hospital volunteering.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectHo Chi Minh City
Project LengthMin 1 week - Max 8 weeks
Arrival AirportTan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City
Volunteer WorkCommunity assistance
Age17 - 70
Age Exceptions This project accepts volunteers who are 17 years old and younger with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.
Family Option This project accepts volunteers with children as young as 5 years old.

What's Included

AccommodationShared rooms at student accommodation
Food3 meals a day
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersAirport pick included on arrival day
Pre-Departure KitFull project details will be sent following registration
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, visa (if required)
* Most projects are located within walking distance of the accommodations. However, if you volunteer at the orphanage, you will need to take public transportation (the cost is about USD$0.50 per day).


Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam, and it attracts a large number of tourists yearly. When you walk around the city you find various beautiful buildings representing the city's past through Vietnamese, Chinese, and European designs and styles. Modern structures stand next to pagodas, and street-food stands create a sizzling energy.


About the Project

This project aims to bring volunteers to some of the most underfunded communities in Ho Chi Minh City.  Working with disadvantage populations, the project offers hope and education to many people that are in great need.  From working with special needs children and orphans to helping out a public hospital, there is always work to be done.   Through cultural exchanges, the project gives opportunities to people who can benefit most.


Volunteer Work and Contribution

Volunteers will be assigned to a specific project that firstly depends on needs and availability and then on personal preferences.  These projects include:

Working with Special Needs Children: There are about 12 children with special needs living at this home because their families cannot afford to properly care for them.  Your main role will be to comfort and care for children while engaging them in fun activities, arts and crafts, singing, dancing and games, all with the aim of improving their quality of life.  You will also help them improve their speech and muscular capacity with the assistance of the staff. 

Children's Orphanage: According to the needs of the project, you could be working with young children, aged 0 – 5, or with older kids up to age 18. Many of them have been through traumatic situations so, in addition to giving them food, shelter and clothing, the orphanage tries to give the kids confidence, attention and love in order for the children to reach their potential. Tasks here can include general caregiving or homework assistance and teaching basic English for the older kids.

Campus Life: At this project you will be working with college students studying tourism and will be paired with a “buddy” although you will have the opportunity to work with a group of students in the classroom as well. Through cultural exchanges and role playing of real life scenes, you will help you these Vietnamese students practice their English and prepare for their careers. 

Food Shop: This NGO-run food shop provides good-quality lunches at affordable prices for only 10 cents. The food shop's customers include the elderly, students, people with disabilities, workers and struggling families. You'll help out by preparing lunches and serving meals to the community.

A typical day: You will have breakfast at 7:30am and then head to your project around 8am so that you can begin working by 9am.  You will work until 11:30am at which point you will head back to the residence for lunch.  From 2pm - 4:30pm you will work at the project again and dinner will be available at 6pm.

Please note that this is only a guide and things at the project can change at any time.  If you are working with children, you schedule will follow the typical school day.  


Living Arrangements

Accommodation: You will stay in the dormitories of a college campus and share your room with up to 15 other volunteers.  Rooms are single gender, basic but comfortable, with bunk beds. There are 8 shared showers  - 4 hot and 4 cold.

Food: 3 meals are provided daily.  You will eat all of your meals at the restaurant on campus from Monday - Saturday.  On Sunday, staff will bring you meals and occasionally you may be taken to a local restaurant for dinner.  Meals consist of typical Vietnamese dishes of rice, vegetables, noodles and some meat, seafood or tofu.  There are also western-style dishes such as spaghetti and sandwiches.

Laundry: Cheap laundry service is available close by.

Internet: There is WiFi in the rooms as well as internet cafes nearby.


Culture Week (highly recommended)

For an additional fee you can extend your stay for a week, with a program designed to introduce you to Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese culture, as well as give you time to get to know the other volunteers.  During the week you will visit some of Vietnam's iconic landmarks, market places and even go to a traditional water puppet show.  You’ll take cooking and language lessons, learn about traditional jewelry techniques and get an understanding of Vietnam’s past, present and future.

Minimum Requirements

  • Good level of English
  • Motivation to work with children and meet new cultures
  • Able to work in hot and humid climate
  • Immunizations (please consult your doctor)
  • Police Clearance is required

Here's an excerpt of Matilda's experience:


"This is roughly how every day at the orphanage went, each one with little quirks and quiet achievements. I remember how amazing it felt to watch the kids learning and growing, even in such a short space of time while I was there – hearing them say my name, words I had taught them, singing songs I had sung to them or games I had taught them. I began to get to know and love the personalities of each of them, it was so gorgeous"

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Hanna's experience:


"During the second week I volunteered at the orphanage where I played with children aged from 2 to 5. The children there were happy to see you and wanted to play with you. A lot of them wanted to learn English so in order to achieve that they would point at different things and smiled when you told them what it was."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Yee's experience:


"I learned a lot about the culture in Vietnam and was able to explore the famous places in Ho Chi Minh as well. Apart from the amazing time I had during the cultural week, I was more keen for my week of volunteering to come, as that was my main purpose of enrolling myself to this program. I’ve never been happier that I chose to work in an orphanage as I; myself enjoy having children around me."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Anna's experience:


"The Ho Chi Minh Community Involvement placement starts off with four days of Culture Week, a fantastic opportunity to get to know the other volunteers we would be living with for the next three weeks. This involved language and culture classes, a tour of the city and its major historical sites, cooking class and Vietnamese towel folding class (the last two of which caused a LOT of laughter!). Then we all started work."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!



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