| Volunteer tour group communicate in English with students
For the community
Having been hurt because of the family, Ms. Carol, a tourist from Canada has chosen to come to Vietnam to be healed. Not only being attracted by the beautiful scenery and peaceful life, during the days in Hue, she and the group members also experienced many emotions through volunteer activities.
With a 37-degree heat under the sun, Ms. Carol and 14 tour members from Indochina Best Travel Company performed tasks such as carrying bricks, mixing mortar and netting. They built chicken coops, toilets, kitchens and purchased necessary items to support the lives of disadvantaged households in Huong Chu Ward (Huong Tra Township).
Ms. Carol said: “The hot weather makes our job more difficult, but I still do my best. I feel great to be able to help the families, to have meals and talk with such lovely and friendly people.”
Not only Ms. Carol but also with many tourists, the journey to visit and learn about Hue’s history and culture associated with volunteer activities has brought many new emotions that they have never experienced.
Mr. Michael, from New York (the USA), shared: “This is my first time participating in a volunteer tour and also my first time coming to Vietnam. The family that I came to help was great, I helped them build a new kitchen, build a chicken coop. I feel the results are very meaningful and worth the effort that I put in."
According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Duyen, who is in charge of operating the volunteer tour group, this is her fifth year operating a volunteer tour for the community, and for nearly a year, the group has cooperated with the Association in Support of Vietnamese Handicapped and Orphans (ASVHO) of the province to carry out many meaningful programs in Hue.
Ms. Duyen said: “Volunteer tourism is a special form of tourism when it brings together people who are both passionate about tourism and volunteer work. These activities not only contribute to supporting the livelihoods of the households, but also change the perception and thinking of the tourists. From strangers, tourists from all over the world will connect and join hands together to support families in need with practical activities."
Sow the seeds of love
The family of Ms. Ha Thi Len (Huong Tra Township) is one of the households that has just been supported by a group of foreign tourists. Her mother is old and weak, her husband is mentally ill, Ms. Len is the main breadwinner in the house. She amasses little money by buying and selling used bottles and scraps to raise her two children. Not only is the economy in need, the house she lives in also lacks a toilet; even the kitchen, it is dilapidated to cover them from rain and sun.
Understanding that situation, ASVHO of the province cooperated with the tourist group to help Ms. Len build toilet, kitchen, coop, breeding chickens and animal feed. In addition, the group also donated necessities, gas stove, bicycles and school fees, helping Ha Minh Nhan and Ha Minh Kiet, Len's sons, to go steadily to school.
Ms. Len was touched and said: “I really cannot say anything more than my sincere thanks to the Association and the tourists. Now that I have a coop and chickens, I will try to take good care of the chickens to earn more income."
The livelihood assistance program is one of the very practical programs of the ASVHO of the province. Besides building ‘houses of love’ and repairing houses for disadvantaged households, the Association also maintains interest-free loans for members to motivate them in livelihood development.
Mr. Pham Ba Vuong, Chairman of the ASVHO of the province, said: “The support of volunteer tourist groups from Indochina Best Travel Company not only creates sustainable value, accompanies disadvantaged households, but also provides practical help for the families with handicapped members, and the orphans to have more motivation to get ahead in life.
For many tourists, volunteer tourism has brought much greater attraction than mere tourism. Coming from the deepest feelings, tourists have found connection, joy and happiness in the volunteer work that they perform.
For example, Ms. Ruth Dziadek, 78 years old from England. Participated in the volunteer tour in Hue twice, in next September, Ms. Ruth Dziadek will come to Hue for the third time and join hands with other members as well as accompany the ASVHO of the province to help more disadvantaged families.