Why was Vietnam and Friends established?
Unfortunately, Vietnam is one of over 100 developing countries on our planet. Therefore, many people in the Vietnamese society suffer from a very vulnerable life. There are many reasons for this, e.g. poverty, mental or physical disability, social injustice or prejudices. The result is that they have a difficult life, not enough food, clothes, no place to live, less or no future perspectives.
Another issue is, that they and their children can’t get adequate education (some don’t even have access to schools and universities). It’s not easy to get employed without the required qualifications hence; this causes less or no future perspectives for them and often leads into poverty. It’s a devils’ circle, which it is not easy to escape from. So, in many cases, this disadvantaged people are not able to live on their own and dependent on the support and help of other people.
Therefore, Vietnam and Friends was established to help disadvantaged people, especially children, on the way to better living conditions, independence and a safe future. We provide unofficial education and trainings for them, support in finding a job and we empower them to believe in themselves.
Because of our more than 3000 km long coast, Vietnam is the no. 7 on the list of countries, which will be affected by the climate change the most. When the sea level is rising, large parts of our country will be flooded and unusable for living and agriculture. The people in Vietnam don’t know and think a lot about protecting the environment. We destroy our forests, pollute the air enormously with the emission of around 20 million motorbikes, we waste resources, produce mountains of garbage (especially plastic), and throw it everywhere.
Vietnam and Friends want to raise the awareness of environmental issues within the local community, by organizing actions & activities with young Vietnamese people (at universities, public places…) and by providing trainings & information for local people and our volunteers.
What is Vietnam and Friends?
Vietnam and Friends is a Vietnamese non-government organization. Our guidelines are the universal human rights; equality & no discrimination, freedom & independence, tolerance & respect, solidarity and peace. We want to keep the spirit of dedication and creativity alive among our volunteers and us and we want to reach our goals through teamwork.
Vietnam and Friends gathers local and international volunteers to support disadvantaged people in Vietnam and to take care of environmental problems.
We cooperate with several partners to carry out our volunteer projects, e.g. with schools, support centers and other local associations as well as with international NGOs.
Within Vietnam and Friends volunteers from Vietnam and other countries can harbor their voluntary dreams. A voluntary service is a great chance to see and experience the real situation in less developed countries, to place your motivation and energy into something really good and useful and to make a little change. It is also a good way to learn more about yourself, live a different life, and gain more autonomy and experience and to strengthen your personal skills as well as your personality. Furthermore, getting to know people from different nationalities, hearing about their lives, joining cultural exchange and finding new friends is joyful and opens your mind.
- Train necessary skills to disabled and people in need, for a better chance to find a job in their future (e.g. English, customer service...)
- Support handicapped and people in need in finding a job (e.g. build connections with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), NGOs...)
- Raise awareness about environmental protection within the local community
- Accountability: We take personal responsibility for using our resources efficiently, achieving measurable results and being accountable to supporters, partners, volunteers and others.
- Ambition: We demand the best of our colleagues, and ourselves, set achievable goals and firmly commit to improve the quality of everything we do.
- Collaboration: We respect and appreciate each other, thrive on our diversity and work with our partners in making a difference.
- Creativity: We are open to new ideas, advice and criticism, embrace change and take disciplined risks to develop sustainable solutions.
- Integrity: We aspire to live and work to the highest standards of personal honesty and behavior; we never compromise our reputation and always act in the best interests.
During the first time after the foundation of VAF, mainly the participation fees of our volunteers and donations will finance it.
The long strategy of VAF is to base only on the donation of sponsors. We would like to decrease the participation fees for volunteers and if possible, to erase it. We think that a voluntary service should be for free and we want to welcome motivated volunteers from all over the world, not depending on their financial situation. Moreover we also want to be independent from the volunteers’ money, to choose volunteers because they are qualified for our projects, not because we need their financial support. In the future, we hope to achieve that each volunteer is sponsored for accommodation and food for the whole working time in a VAF project. The volunteers should only pay for their airplane tickets and transportation.
We guarantee complete financial transparency and that all donations of sponsors and the participation fees from our volunteers are used as effectively as possible. Every January, VAF will organize a financial meeting, which all sponsors and volunteers are sincerely invited to, and report about the last financial year. We also send a financial report to all sponsors.
Average cost of one volunteer per month for 2016: 8.500.000 VND or 370€ or 395 USD
|Project budget (support, material, activities...)|
(Office renting, salary, material…)
(Budget of urgent activities)
Accommodation and food
Hi - Xin chào
I’m Lâm, the Director and founder of Vietnam and Friends. I was born in 1985 in Hanoi and collected my first experience with NGOs and voluntarism in 2007, when I started to work as volunteer in a Youth house for children from the “fisher village” on the Red River in Hanoi. Two years later, I went to France to work as a work camp leader for SJ France (Solidarités Jeunesses) in Poitou-Charente for 1 year. After my return to Vietnam, I became the long-term volunteer coordinator of SJ Vietnam.
In 2011, I got the idea for a new NGO, which combines my experience and knowledge in working with volunteers and my commitment to support Vietnam and its people on the way to a more developed country. In April 2011, with the support from many other friends, I started establishing Vietnam and Friends.
I speak English, French and, of course Vietnamese. ;-) I also started to learn German in 2010.
If you have any question, please feel free to contact me:
DANG The Lam,
Vietnam And Friends
Tel: +84. 9 04 69 36 96