Free (or Cheap) Volunteer Work in Vietnam
A bit of a marmite country – you’ll either love or hate Vietnam – volunteering will allow those in the former camp to stay for longer in one of their favourite countries.
Grassroots Volunteering in Vietnam
The organisations listed below have either got in touch with us to add their details to this or another of our websites, or we otherwise have reason to believe they are actively looking for international volunteers and charge reasonable or no fees to join in, live and work with them:
The activities of Sapa O’Chau are focused around their recently opened education centre, which accommodates 35 students and providies daily support for another 70, mostly from Black H’mong and Red Dao minority villages. Founded by Shu, a member of the H’mong tribe and a former child street seller, the organisation is reliant on volunteers to teach or assist in the classroom. Other positions for volunteers include designer, admin and working in their tour department.
Accommodation & Costs: No fee but volunteers should be self funding, finding their own accommodation locally.
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Christina Noble Children’s Foundation
CNCF helps children in need with education, medical care, social opportunities, and job placement. Volunteers work as carers with the children and are involved with the children’s daily routines, activity sessions and outgoings. Experienced volunteers over the age of 21 and able to stay for three months are accepted.
Where: Ho Chi Minh City.
Costs: There is no fee but volunteers must be entirely self funded.
Other Opportunities to Volunteer in Vietnam
We checked out the facebook page of Luckydaisy’s Buffalo Houses and Mountain Loft, in the H’Mong village of Ta Van (near Sapa) referenced by Caroline and David in Volunteer Experiences (see below). While this homestay have mentioned volunteering more recently, this post from 2017 gives better information on their requirements: “Hien and Indi and the other young local minority women of Luckydaisy would love to share their knowledge, skills, smiles, bar and homestay with western volunteers again. They like when you have a great working attitude, heart for local people, hospitality, living in nature, maintaining house and garden, great atmosphere. Food and bed free of course!” Luckydaisy’s seems not to be the only homestay in the area accepting volunteers. In their blog post Caroline and David mention hanging out with another traveller volunteering 50 metres up the road.
Help Exchange Networks in Vietnam
Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free in Vietnam
Stay for free in return for caring for local residents’ homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link). You can also get a free Airbnb credit from us here.
Peter Gilbert: Why I Live in… Sapa – Initially volunteering for three months as an English teacher with Sapa O’Chau, Peter Gilbert returned to Vietnam to continue helping with the project.
Volunteering in Vietnam: Teaching with Sapa O’Chau – Natasha teaches a basic financial literacy course to young girls from Sapa’s Black Hmong community.
Volunteering at the Bamboo Bar – After extraditing themselves from the clutches of souvenir sellers in a Hmong village near Sapa, Caroline and David pitch up at Luckydaisy’s Buffalo House to work for their keep.
* not all these volunteer experiences are with grassroots NGOs or low cost organisations
Image courtesy glenn forbes