• Vietnam
    • Ho Chi Minh City

Program Details

Apr 29, 2019
Feb 18, 2014
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About Program

Join SJ Vietnam as a volunteer near Hanoi to promote social justice! SJ Vietnam workcamps provide volunteers with the tools to spread cultural understanding. Workcamps also focus on helping disadvantaged and disabled Vietnamese adults and children. Special workcampus allow volunteers to work on local events and festivals. Long-term volunteer projects offer a variety of positions for 1-12 months, including office administration, social work, environmental conservation, website development, teaching, and more. Volunteers may participate in regular courses, training, and seminars to prepare for the volunteer experience. Visit the SJ Vietnam website for more information!

Program Reviews

3.50 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • 5 rating 50%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 50%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 3
  • Support 3
  • Fun 3
  • Value 3
  • Safety 2.5
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I absolutly come back again

I took part in volunteering program in Hanoi for 2 weeks last January and It was wonderful. We together organized activities for poor and disabled children. I also had fun with local volunteers and that was great.

38 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Don't Volunteer with SJ Vietnam

I volunteered two weeks at a pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City painting walls and fences and organizing activities for children. It all sounds like such a rewarding activity and a great way to give back to the comunity. However, the organization of this workcamp was a complete disaster.

The campleader was very unorganized and very close minded. We wasted time every single morning waiting for materials. We would get to the pagoda by 9 am and we would wait for him to bring breakfast. Then we would wait for him to bring the paint. Then we would work for an hour or so and we would eat at 11:30am. Have rest time until 2 pm. Wait for more materials, work some more, be at the hotel by 4:30 and stay there until dinner time which was at 7 pm. We had so much time doing absolutely nothing just because he did not have the materials ready for us.

Not only that, but on our first day with the children, we were very unorganized and we felt very stupid in front of them. So after that first day we had a meeting with the camp leader and organized a whole lesson for first grade (because that's the grade that we had that first day). Next morning, we show up and we have a new set of 4-5 graders instead of the 1st graders that we had the day before. The campleader worked with us organizing the lesson and never told us that we would be working with bigger kids. Imagine our frustration!!

On our other activities with the children, the volunteers would share ideas about what kind of activities to do with the children, but he would just do it his way and not even consider the ideas that we presented.

We (volunteers) tried to stay very positive and at times I thought that maybe it was some kind of cultural difference. But we had two local vietnamese volunteers and there was tension and frustration within them too. After the first week, I emailed the workcamp coordinator expressing our frustration. She said that she will come by the next day, and so she did. But nothing changed. She was very rude and didn't even say: "Hi! How's everyone doing?" She just stood there talking in Vietnamese with other people and didn't even look at us.


But please do so with other organizations or in other countries because working with children and helping them is a great way to give back to the community. I am planning on doing another workcamp in the future. It was a terrible experience for some of the volunteers because they do not want to ever do another workcamp, but I think that this workcamp was just a very bad first impression for a first time workcamper.

40 people found this review helpful.

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