About Red Lotus
Red Lotus Foundation
Red Lotus is an Australian owned and operated social enterprise that deals directly with the Organisations that it provides volunteer services to.
Red Lotus was founded by Mr Terry Donnelly and the programs and projects on the site have all been sourced by Terry through the friends and centers that he has worked with over the years. Terry is assisted to maintain the programs with the help of the Red Lotus coordinators. All of our partnerships are built on commitment and trust, Terry has a personal relationship with each of the program directors and is happy to call them all friends. Red Lotus sources International Volunteers that help to satisfy the needs of those partners and their beneficiaries.
Terry first travelled to Vietnam in 2007 visiting an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City and taking some time to see some of the many splendors that Vietnam has to offer.
“I am not sure what happened on that trip, whether it was the plight of the kids at the orphanage, the magnificence of the country side, the warmth and generosity of the Vietnamese people, but that trip changed my life forever”.
Terry returned on another two occasions before coming back in July 2009 with no preconceived notion of where this journey would end.
“I found something in Vietnam that I couldn’t in my world, a peace of mind and heart, and a love freely given and returned to the people I associate with, to me Vietnam had become an adopted homeland”
“I have very little, but you are welcome to share it with me” a phrase that typifies this way of life.
For the past 8 years Terry has been working as a volunteer, operating Red Lotus and living permanently in Vietnam.
“I am a fortunate person in that I have a wonderful family, children, and friends back in Oz, and now have a family in Vietnam larger than any I could have imagined.”
Terry’s work was primarily in the Disability sector working with local NGO’s in Hanoi on capacity and business development projects. Early in 2010 Terry started recruiting local volunteers for project development work with Vietnamese NGO’s.
“The National Volunteer Network gave me motivation and a sense of pride in what we do, we didn’t have aspirations to change the world, we just want to contribute in a meaningful way to the community as a whole”.
Terry also recently developed Helping Hands Vietnam, an informal charity designed to specifically help the disadvantaged in Vietnam. HHV has no administration or marketing costs, the money raised goes directly to the people it is intended to aid. HHV is based purely on love and trust, and over the past 3 years since its formation has delivered over $280,000 to help the children and people of Vietnam.
HHV now employs one English nurse and six local ladies in the areas of health, therapy and education, HHV also employs six of the local residents at the Ba Vi Disability Center, which is now the primary focus of Red Lotus .
"This is a center that truly needed help, although it has been the most difficult thing I have been associated with in my life to date, it has also been the most rewarding. Nothing is quite as pure as the love of a child, and to witness that child's growth is a fulfilling experience, knowing you have contributed a little".
“I was once told that I was an idealist, I guess to an extent this is true, but if you never dream, then how can you realize”.
Red Lotus and the volunteers associated with it share these ideals and realize that through hard work and infectious enthusiasm they can achieve whatever is put before them. Red Lotus needs the support of other volunteers, kind donors, and sponsors to realize these dreams, but together with a shared vision, high values and ethics, we look forward to any challenges that lie ahead.
“I cannot live my life for another; I can only share what I have, so I invite any international volunteer wishing to savor the warmth and joy of a truly generous country, to please find your way through Red Lotus . We will do all in our power to ensure that your time in Vietnam is one of pleasant and lasting memories”.