“I felt completely comfortable in the center!”

General Impression

Overall Rating:    10 / 10

The program center was called a foster home for disabled children, however in my home country foster home often refers to orphans, but most children weren't orphans at the center. Many children came in the morning and left before dinner to receive treatment and medication during the day. As the children suffered from severe physical and/or mental disabilities the primarily responsibility for the volunteer was to massage the children (like a personal trainer as the children couldn't sit or stand so need a lot of muscular movement) to feed the children, and to play with the children. Some of the older children were more mobile, so I could spend time coloring or playing blocks with them. As I had prior experience working with special needs children, I felt completely comfortable in the center and was often alone with the 15-25 children. The center is severely under staffed and the helping the nurses was a major goal of the volunteer. The children were incredible and even though we couldn't communicate through language they quickly became familiar with me and would come running to me or wait by the door when they knew I would show up soon. Because of the routine of the daily schedule, I had a large chunk of time free as the children slept during the day, free from 11-2. I used this time to explore the local neighborhood and temples around the center. The accommodation and food was incredible. There was a live in chef that made traditional Vietnamese meals but the entire staff was very accommodating to any allergies or food preferences.