Ho Chi Minh is Vietnam
's biggest city and is quickly becoming a popular holiday and shopping destination for Australians.
While she doesn't mind a bit of retail therapy, Kelly Landry found out about the wonderful work I-to-I is involved in. Volunteer abroad trips operate fulfilling volunteer work in many underprivileged destinations. There's something about helping local communities and environments and Kelly relished being involved.
Volunteers become involved in the local community, make friends with locals and other travellers and have the satisfaction of doing something truly beneficial.
Kelly arrived at the Dieu Giac Temple Orphanage, which shelters and cares for more than 120 abandoned, orphaned or street children. They range from tiny babies to 18 years and come from varying ethnic groups and religious backgrounds. They are taken care of in cramped conditions by Buddhist nuns and volunteers. Once they reach school age they attend school with local children.
The nuns rely on charity to provide food, shelter, health and education but are often in dire straits to come up with all the things necessary. Treats are very rare and there was much excitement when Kelly arrived with gifts. Books, pencils, games to share, balls everything brings laughter, pleasure and joy but the best gift you can give is time, attention and affection.
Kelly and the Getaway crew were very moved to see the orphanage's latest arrival: a sweet little abandoned and unnamed baby girl just one week old. Seeing her was reinforcement of how vital the work of I-to-I and its volunteers are.
It was fun all round on a trip to the zoo. Ice-cream and other treats put smiles on everyone's faces and for most children it was the first time they had enjoyed such an outing.
Ho Chi Minh City is just one of many places you can make a difference. If you have the time to travel and the desire to make an enormous difference in the lives of children in need, please log onto www.i-to-i.com.
Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam's south.
I-to-I Volunteering operates volunteering projects around the world. They have one- to 12-week programs in Ho Chi Minh City, including shared accommodation, airport pickup, 24-hour emergency support and orientation starting at $1399 for one week per person and $249 for every week after. It involves community work with orphans in Ho Chi Minh City and surrounds. They start on most Fridays year-round.
Prices correct at July 9, 2011.
For further information
Ph: 1300 881 590
The Nha Tinh Thuong Dieu Giac
177 Tran Nao Street
Ho Chi Minh City