Volunteers applying through Friends for Asia can sign up to assist a newly formed NGO that is poised to assume a leading role in an at-risk community in western Hanoi. This is a critical time in the life of this NGO, as it’s currently operating under a two-year charter. With ample support from volunteers like you, this organization has the potential to set a new standard for community development in Vietnam.
This NGO works with young people in a newly urbanized district of West Hanoi. Its underlying objective is to support disadvantaged children through educational support and vocational training. By focusing on these two areas, the organization hopes to boost young peoples’ future prospects for long-term, sustainable employment.
Teaching English at an NGO is a different experience than teaching in a school. In a school, the objective is education for its own sake – and that’s a worthy cause, to be certain. However, NGOs like this one are much more specific in their goals. They develop skill sets and seek out opportunities for young people who have fallen through the cracks. Every initiative is designed with a specific purpose in mind: to enhance the lives of people in the community.
Vietnam is on the cusp of profound development. Massive socio-economic changes have swept through the country over the past decade or so, but Vietnam still trails Southeast Asian powerhouses like Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The next few years will be formative for Vietnam.
This is an ideal time for volunteers to offer their support to fledgling NGOs in this region. If developmental programs like this one are able to get off of the ground, they’ll end up setting a precedent for other potential initiatives. In far too many cases, budding NGOs end up falling by the wayside – but not for lack of drive or purpose. In many cases, they are simply short on manpower and funding.
This is where you step in. Even if you only have couple of weeks to offer, the time you spend working with students can make a critical difference in these young people’s lives. Even further, the more international support that organizations like this receive, the higher their profile in the community. This adds credibility to the cause while increasing interest and awareness.
Volunteer English teachers have a range of responsibilities while on assignment with the NGO. Most are assigned to work a classroom environment to work on speaking, listening and pronunciation skills. This is one of the most practical ways for a person without a background in education to get involved.
You’ll also be paired with a Vietnamese teacher to help with classroom management and other tasks. The center also hosts cultural exchange events and other programs from time to time, and volunteers may be asked to help. Finally, the adult staff are interested in studying English with foreign teachers.