Ba Vi - Disability Center
The Disability Center is located in the picturesque rural Ba Vi province approximately 60kls from Hanoi. Ba Vi disability center has stolen the hearts of many who have come, our return rate to this program can in any given month be over 50% with some already having been here 5 times in the past 7years, this is a phenomenal rate for any program or organisation. This is a program that really tests you as a person and gives you an insight into who you are and what your true capacity is. It is a highly emotional place and very third world, yet it is the giver of love that you will rarely find any where else.
The center not only caters for children but also for the homeless of Hanoi and those that are experiencing real difficulties in their lives. The centre also caters for some elderly residents who have no family or home to go to. Such a variety of people will give the volunteer a real insight into what life can be like for some in Vietnam.
There are approximately 320 people at the centre and a few of the children attend the local school.
This center is our primary focus in Vietnam as I am yet to see one so needy, it has the capacity to break your heart, but also a far greater capacity to bring understanding and joy. The children have severe physical and intellectual disabilities but greet each day with a smile, something that you will carry with you when you leave and understand no matter our minor irritants, life is good for us, the center continually grounds you and gives you a far greater awareness, just open your mind a little.
There is also a nursery for babies without disabilities. We do not place volunteers in the nursery as it is well resourced and staffed and we have greater needs throughout the centre, Volunteers can engage in a number of activities here including rehabilitation if skilled enough, teaching a little English, art therapy, but primarily our volunteers help with caring and play activities. There is also many physical activities if you would like to engage in them, such as gardening, painting, repairing, there is a major staff shortage here.
If volunteers wish to travel to Hanoi for a weekend, or maybe visit Sapa or Halong Bay then a bus trip to town is easily arranged, otherwise just immerse yourself in this lovely rural setting and enjoy all of the wonders that it has to give.
Volunteers will have a fulltime coordinator in Ba Vi to ensure that you settle in well to the program and are comfortable in your environment. We love Ba Vi and we are sure you will too.
Cost: Placement Fee / Donation: US$560 - reduced for returning volunteers
The Placement Fee is payable one month in advance of your arrival
If you need to cancel your trip due to an emergency Red Lotus will refund US400 of the fee, but will retain US$160 to cover administration costs
Accommodation: Volunteers will find accommodation at a guesthouse in Thuy An village, only a short walk to the center, cost is around $10 per night. Basic Vietnamese evening meals can be found in the village and although the area is rural it but does have most conveniences including a coffee shop and wifi.
Meals: The Red Lotus coordinator will show the volunteer all of the types of eateries in the village and explain the meals that would best suit the volunteers requirements. The coordinator will show the location of each place and also cater for volunteers with special dietary needs. Three basic meals would only cost around $6 per day
Activities: Activities for the volunteers will be determined by the volunteers skill set and physical ability. Red Lotus will conduct an orientation at the centre and inform the volunteer of where our current need is greatest but you may work where you feel most comfortable. We like to call the center an open book and somewhere within the pages you wil find an area that you are at ease with and basically decide your own workplace. We do not ask volunteers to do anything they are uncomfortable with, but there is a place for all. We do not place volunteers in the nursery area as we feel this room is very well resourced and volunteers are required in much more needy areas.
Minimum Length of Stay: 2 weeks
Support: Airport or Hanoi Transfer
Placement in a quality project, allowing you to maximize your time and efforts for a good cause
Guidance and support of the local Red Lotus Coordinator (24/7 in case of emergency)
Ongoing support during the term of the assignment