Greenheart Volunteering with Disabled Children in Hanoi

Ratings
Overall
7
Impact: 7
Support: 3
Fun: 3
Value: 8
Safety: 9
Review

The program itself was really fun and it was great to meet all the volunteers from different countries.
That being said, I ran into many difficult problems during my stay.

To start, nobody picked me up at the airport. First time in Hanoi, all alone, I arrived at 11pm on a Friday and there was no one there to meet me. I tried calling my program supervisor but she didn't answer my calls or Facebook messages or emails until Sunday. I ended up taking a cab into the old quarter and staying in a hotel for two days on my own.

Problems I encountered with the housing:
-The program supervisor specifically told me it was a ten to fifteen minute walk from the city centre. It was an hour bus ride or 30 minute car ride...walking wasn't even an option.
-She also mentioned that the volunteer centre was close to the dormitory. Another lie that proved her lack of knowledge concerning the entire Greenheart program in Hanoi.
-She supplied me with the wrong kind of visa and failed to tell me that I would need a new one upon reentry into Vietnam, despite the fact that I told her I would be leaving the country (before she got me the visa of course). I ended up getting another visa, which I had to pay for myself, after a friend made an offhand remark about the different types and I checked my own.
-I was also told that I would get a room by myself or shared with one other person at most. At one point during my six week stay, I shared a bedroom with five other people, minimum of three two others.
-The house frequently ran out of water. There were many times that I arrived back at the CSDS at 5pm after volunteering and taking the hour long bus ride, only to find out that I couldn't even wash my hands. Forget a hot shower, with as many as 36 volunteers crammed into a house I showered in cold water almost every time.
-The nanny at the CSDS went through my private locked locker and took some of my items. She took my slippers, some of my unopened food and my coat hanger that I brought from home. Nothing expensive but the invasion of privacy was unbelievable; the other volunteers and I kept our passports in our personal lockers prior to that incident).
-She failed to check up on me once throughout my two month trip. I contacted her about four weeks in, after which she responded, but I would have expected her to be at least curious as to how my trip was going after the huge miscommunication about my arrival time at the airport.

Would you recommend this program?
No, I would not
Year Completed
2015