Humanitarian / Volunteer work

Hi guys,

I am from Singapore.

Over the last few years I have been travelling in and out of Vietnam and gradually I have fallen in love with this beautiful country and its people (however not the ‘cong an’ and cabbies :mad:).

Currently, I am thinking of taking a career break and wanting to get involved in humanitarian or volunteer work. HOWEVER, to my surprise, I found out that many of these organizations actually charge a fee. And it isn’t cheap 700USD per week?!! I was wondering if these organizations are more interested in making $$ or help the poor? I am happy to pay for my accommodation and food provided from the centre but 700-800USD per week is way too much!

Does anyone know of any genuine organizations that allow volunteers to help out in the centre? I would like to work with orphanage.

Thanks in advance :D

Consider, that Vietnam is not cheap and those organisations have to have/bring the money, so they can help.

Accommodation and food are not free neither, paper works and administration are costly and labor is cheap, dirt cheap

Despite the price tag, which I consider stiff, you will find out, that a bit romantic and voluntarism are supposed for short timers and not as long time residency. Pay 700 USD, stay and work a week and leave after.

I am sure, there are alternatives, less pricey, but not real free.

There are three or four of these gouging outfits that stiff you  accommodation fees and expect you to donate free labour, too.

One is a New Zealand based outfit operating in the Da Nang area, along with another. There is another is the Hue area and finally, a US based outfit working in the MeKong.

Volunteer Abroad in Vietnam from US$270 (New Zealand)
ELI Program fees start at $890 (Colorado)
2 Weeks     US$890
4 Weeks     US$1130
6 Weeks     US$1270
8 Weeks     US$1410
10 Weeks     US$1550
12 Weeks     US$1690

GVN Program Package
2 weeks - US $1697
4 weeks - US $1997
6 weeks - US $2297
8 weeks - US $2597

Plain blo ody robbery.

If you can get a basic room for USD$5 (five) anything over $10 is a rip - the one in the MeKong offers wooden 'rooms' with no facilities. The toilet is down in the bushes and washing is a basin - outside in the open.

Food is cheap in VN, and therefore having to pay more than USD$5 is paying too much.

You could actually stay in a nearby hamlet/village/town and still have change from USD$50 a week. You could then live-away and volunteer your labour.

Paperwork is minimal and NOT costly, a tourist visa is good enough. Transport is easy to te nearby town using Mai Linh or Hoang Long sleepers buses (all fiyyed with data loggers - AVOID open tour buses).

One challenge here is camping. The Cong An frown on it and will find you a shack - even if it is worse than your tent!

I tried sleeping at the station in Kep, part way between Ha Noi and the CN border, damn Cong An happened around about 03.30H and proceeded to hunt down a bed for me.

Another help project is helping the farmers in the MeKong - they always welcome an extra set of hands, as do fishermen. Just travelling from village to village.

Hi I3ully and Jaitch,

Thanks for your valuable inputs. After going through the forum, seems like both of you are very experience in how things work in Vietnam.

[at]Jaitch - based on what you have shared, do you have any specific organizations that I can check out?


The Christina Noble Children's Foundation is a well-run organization with good reputation.

They take volunteers for 3 months, working with different centers. You pay your own accommodation and expense. No salary, but no charge either :). I have a friend of a friend work there. Based on their website, they are looking for volunteers now. … 202012.pdf

Contact them to see.

Check this site out.  I too will be in VN beginning of August for 2 years to do volunteering work.  Take care.


You can come to orphanages to suggest that you would like to help them, they always welcome you with free accommodation and food, especially orphans because they wish your love a lot. There are some address I have experienced:

1. Dieu Giac pagoda with large orphanage: 177 Trần Não, Binh An ward, dist 2. Meet Miss Cô Bảo.
2. Long Hoa pagoda with large orphanage and all of children are boys: 60/7 Huỳnh Tấn Phát, ward Phú Mỹ, dist 7. You can come to the library and request the girl who is working there to meet the manager.
3. Liên Hoa pagoda with large orphanage: 85/122 Bùi Minh Trực ward 5, dist 8.

There are many organizations working there like Volunteer for Peace for children (VFCV), Gentle Fund Organization (GFO)... You can google to take info and contact with them to get help.

Good luck!

You can try to visit SJVietnam, they have many project and almost them in North of VN. But very good projects. Check it out, I am sure you will pay less than 7000 USD/week for fee. Or maybe Helping Hands Saigon, that is a Charity group. Ask me if you want to know more.

Hi all,

Thanks for all the inputs.

[at]Jaitch - Do you know where can I find more information (website) for the project that is helping the farmers in the Mekong?



You are a good peorson, here is a orphanage you can come to help and stay there.

Add: 923/5 Tan Ky Tan Quy street, Ward. Binh Hung Hoa A, Dist. Binh Tan.
Phone: 37501807 - 22287871 . Sr. Cu

I know this orphanage very well, there are more than 60 children are living there, i also took some foreigner came there sometime, so if you need someone to helpl, you can contact to me

Hi Anpham,

Thanks for your reply.

Are you working in the orphanage? Or do you help out during your free time?


Oops.. forgetting to ask, what is the name of the orphanage?

Thanks! :D

i am so sorry for that missing. The name of orphanage is " Nha Tre Mo Coi Truyen Tin, Mai Am cua Be".

I teach at the school in afternoon 3 day a week, and i work for a website at home, so i can help you but my time at school.

Hello noah83,

orphanage is always good, even more, as you now already a contact there. And I bet, there is sufficient need.
I would give it a go.

That's right, l3ully.

Thanks for all the input. Will be heading down in Nov. :)

New topic