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
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 email@example.com and ask us any questions about the program. We love to talk about it!
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.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 Tea (University groups only):
Meeting with Vietnamese students from a local university
Charity clinic or
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 firstname.lastname@example.org