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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are a few of the questions we are most frequently asked about volunteering. If you can't find the answers you need, we'd love to chat. Just email us and we will have an answer for you within a few days.

 

What is a good length of time to volunteer?

That is entirely up to you, but here at GGC Volunteers we have all volunteered multiple times, and we agree that 1 month is a preferred length of time to volunteer.

Why? For the first week in a developing country, or a country new to you, you need to spend some time to get used to the sights, sounds, food, weather, roads, culture and traditions.

Everything seems astounding. But by the end of week two, you feel like you have a handle on the experience, and where you can be useful. By the end of a month, you KNOW you have made a difference.

A constant stream of very short term volunteers is incredibly disruptive and upsetting to the children. You are also less likely to understand your responsibilities and your role. 

We like you to stay a little longer for another important reason. We want you to bond with our kids, our families, the Vietnamese staff and the country. If you see the need, and you love the experience, you are going to be a GREAT volunteer.

That was all the long way of saying that we send volunteers to be useful and to work where we are needed.  

Do I need to have any particular skills to be useful in the program? Do I need to be fit?

You don't need to have any particular job or profession, although if you are a physiotherapist, nurse, occupational therapist, speech therapist, doctor or teacher then your knowledge and skills can be very useful to assist the Vietnamese staff in learning how to best help the children in their program.

You do need to be willing to work under the supervision of the Vietnamese staff, and to assist in all usual tasks asked of you. You don't need to be super fit, just be able to play with the kids, get on and off the floor, go up and down stairs and pick up the children. If you have pre-existing medical conditions or past surgeries that you believe may interfere with your ability to work in our usual tasks, you must make an informed decision regarding the health and safety of yourself and others should you volunteer.

Let us know what you do. We will make sure the Vietnamese staff know. But just remember, if you are caring, hard-working, committed to the welfare of others less fortunate than yourself, have a passion to volunteer and have realistic expectations of what you can offer and achieve, then chances are you'd be a good fit for this program.

 

 

What is the accommodation and transport
like?

You will be staying in a shared volunteer house in a typical suburban Da Nang street. It's only a few hundred metres from the beach, which has a great walking path. You will generally share your room, and each room has its own bathroom (Western plumbing!)

You will have your meals in the house and your fee covers all meals 7 days a week. If you are away for a meal or travelling, the Vietnamese staff donate any non allocated food monies to a rural food program for disabled children as a community service.

Individual volunteers will generally be transported to facilities on the back of a motorbike (for safety we ask you not to hire your own motorbikes). In very inclement weather, transport may be by taxi (with any assistance in paying this additional cost gratefully acccepted in Vietnam). As an individual volunteer, you may sometimes be transported by van if you are there at the same time as a larger group.

Student Clinical Placements will usually stay within the house, and be transported by van.

If the house is very busy, you may be accommodated in a small comfortable hotel nearby which will be included in your volunteer fee. This will be booked for you.

 

 

 

 

 

How can I be sure that GGC Volunteers Ltd is a legitimate organisation?

 

Check out our GGC Volunteers Ltd Facebook page. You will see lots of posts and photos of our regular groups and volunteers, and our great kids. Read our volunteer testimonies. Go to the header of this page and click on the ACNC Registered Charity icon. This will take you to the page related to our charity registration.

You can always email us at volunteering@ggcvolunteers.org and ask us any questions about the program. We love to talk about it! 

What if I want to volunteer but I am not from Australia?

 

Although we are an Australian organisation, all of your preparation prior to your placement will be online, so living in another country is no problem!

Some countries no longer require a visa to enter Vietnam, so be sure to check this requirement with the Vietnamese Embassy in your country.

To accept your application, we will still need a police check of your country that states you have no previous convictions. Please contact us at volunteering@ggcvolunteers.org if you have any questions.

I am a professional with specific skills. Is this useful for you?

 

Let us know if you have specific skills, for example if you are a teacher, physiotherapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, nurse or doctor. We can contact Vietnam in advance and they will match you to the facilities most in need of your skills.

What is a typical volunteer schedule like?

 

Breakfast is usually around 6.45-7.15 am.

Morning Session:

Orphanage or

Autism Clinic

 

Morning Tea (University groups only):

Meeting with Vietnamese students from a local university

 

Afternoon session:

Charity clinic or

Orphanage

 

Evening Session (twice weekly):

Social evening with local school/conversational English/cooking with the kids

 

You will generally have quite a long break in the middle of the day as the kids at most of the facilities have a sleep. If you are in an organised University group, this time is often spent on notes, paperwork and in-services.

 

You will find out more about your schedule in your volunteer or student handbook.

 

 

What if I apply and pay, but need to cancel my trip or change the dates?

 

Changing the date of your trip is often not an issue, as long as the program numbers are not at capacity for the dates you want to change to. Please contact your volunteer coordinator who has been preparing you, or email us at volunteering@ggcvolunteers.org

Please click on our Code of Coduct and read about our Refund Policy should you wish to cancel your trip.

 

Why do you need so much information from me to volunteer? What if I don't get it to GGC on time?
We owe it to Vietnam to ensure that the volunteers we send are suitable for working with the kids, and able to deal with the rigours of the placement. Our volunteers must be of good standing and mature enough to put the placement and the kids first, and to be able to safely live and work in a shared environment. 
Much of your information is required to obtain permission for your visit in Vietnam, and this means from every facility we take you to, the police, foreign affairs and immigration. We are scrupulous in our procedures in Australia, and there are many paperwork requirements in Vietnam to ensure permission for your trip. 
It really is a deal breaker- if you don't send us the information needed when it is required your visit may be cancelled and any money paid will be subject to our Refund Policy.
 
Can I make my own arrangements like accommodation, transport or meals?
The program includes all of these services to make sure our volunteers and students are always ready and prepared to volunteer. Unfortunately we cannot offer changes to your volunteer fees if you would prefer to stay elsewhere or eat out. The Vietnam program requires all volunteers and students to be at the volunteer house and be ready to work prior to each session so that all participants go as a team to the facilities. Volunteers or students are not able to go to any facility without the Vietnamese staff. 
 
 

I want to get to the placement early. When can I move into the volunteer house, and will I still be picked up from the airport?

 

Your placement will almost always begin on a Monday. This means you can move into the volunteer house on the Sunday before you begin, and your in-country orientation will be on Monday morning.

Please arrange to fly into Da Nang on the Sunday and you will be picked up from the airport and taken to the volunteer house. The host organisation will be unable to pick you up and take you to any other destination.

In some circumstances, you may be able to move in on the Saturday if the volunteer house isn't full, but you must check with your volunteer coordinator who is preparing you BEFORE you book flights based on this. If you check in on the Saturday, you will be required to pay an amount to the host organisation in Vietnam to cover your additional accommodation and food. We can recommend a nearby hotel if you need to stay on Saturday night but the house is full. This will be at your own expense.

If you fly in earlier than the weekend before you commence, airport pick up will not be included.

All volunteers and students must leave the volunteer house after lunch on the last Friday of their placement.

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