Volunteering in Vietnam

KimAnh Nguyen

San Diego, CA Volunteer

$2,230.00 Raised of $4K Goal

Raised by 41 people in 6 years

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Total Shared(s): 66 - Total Raised via Sharing:$435.00

Volunteering in Vietnam

The Story

Help support KimAnh with her volunteer trip to Vietnam! For more information, please click on "Load More," thank you!


During the months of January through June of 2018, I will be working as an Overseas Volunteer in Vietnam for two different programs and I am here to ask friends, family, and Samaritan strangers to help me fulfill my financial needs for the trip and time there. The money will be used to pay for my program fees, flight and bus transportation, food, and more.


The first program I will be involved in is the International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ) group. With IVHQ, I will be placed in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) for four weeks to work with children with special needs affected by Agent Orange. In this project, I will be working in schools, hospitals, and orphanages in tasks involving rehabilitation and therapeutic treatments, education, music and art, and teaching English to local staff. 


The second program I will be involved in is Hong Bang (http://hongbang.org/), a non-profit organization whose mission is to support poor rural communities in the areas of education, health, agriculture, and social services with the goal of helping these communities retain their dignity as they move toward greater self-sufficiency. My role in this program is to work in a vocational training center that is located in the Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province. For about four months, I will be helping women and girls develop professional skills that will increase their economic independence and stability. 


My passion, love, and gratitude for Vietnam were born on a beach in the city of Đại Lãnh at thirteen years old when, on a family vacation, we handed out hygiene products, over-the-counter medications, shoes, clothes, toys, and more to the villagers in need. As my family and I gave out these products, I saw people fight over them, over shoes and toothbrushes. I will never forget that moment because it was the first time my heart broke for humanity, the first time I felt truly humbled, and the first time that I recognized my life calling towards helping the people of Vietnam in any way that I can.


At seventeen, I had the opportunity to go to Vietnam again to serve the people through my church. I joined the Nehemiah Medical Mission Group ran by Reverend and Doctor Christian Van, M.D., which consisted of volunteer doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and students as we served impoverished villages around Cần Thơ and in Vietnamese-speaking villages in Cambodia. This trip reignited my desire to give back and to do everything I can with my born privileges to help the country that gave me my family, my culture, my identity, and my life. 


Today, I find myself in a position where my heart and soul is aching to go back to Vietnam and to give back after taking the past few years to invest in my education. With a BS in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences in combination with my extensive coursework in Special Education, I am coming back to Vietnam this time with skills and experiences that will assist me in my work. Additionally, aside from growth in my education, I have also grown in maturity, faith, and compassion. 


I truly believe that God instilled in me a profound passion for helping the vulnerable populations of the world; the elderly, the impoverished, children with special needs, and third-world citizens. I would not be fulfilling God's will and plan for me if I did not feed this passion that he blessed me with and if I did not share the blessings that he has given me.


Suppose there are brothers and sisters who need clothes and don't have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, "God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!" - if you don't give them the necessities of life? (James 2:15-16). 


I am undeserving of my blessings, and that is something I think about often. Why was I born in America when other Vietnamese children had to grow up selling lottery tickets to help support their family? I don’t have an answer, aside from recognizing that God's mercy is great, but what I do know is that I am a child of Vietnam with resources and an education that can help change someone’s life and that is what I plan to do with the life that the Lord has given me. 


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2). 


The six months I spend in Vietnam will be about serving others while subsequently advancing my Vietnamese language skills so that I may return to America to help the population of Vietnamese people here as a future Vietnamese-English Speech Language Pathologist. I pray, hope, and trust that with the support of the community, this fundraiser will be able to fulfill my financial needs as I embark on this mission to help improve the lives of others, including my own. 


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Fundraiser Updates(3)

about 6 years ago

As my time is nearing the end of my trip, I am working to raise more funds to purchase therapy toys and to cover medical costs for a few families. One of the families I have worked closely with has four sons of the ages 26, 18, 10, and 6. The 10-year-old has severe autism and is nonverbal. His family spends $54USD per month on this child's medication and that is approximately 25% of their monthly income. The 18-year-old is hoping to attend college this fall and if I am able to cover this child's cost of medication for a few months, the family can better help their other son be more financially prepared for college. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. After I come back from Vietnam, I will be attending graduate school and I hope to one day be in the financial position to donate to causes like this as you all have for me. Thank you again!

about 6 years ago

So far, the work has been rewarding, humbling, and painful. Rewarding in the sense that these children's smiles warm me and fill my heart. Humbling in the sense that I am able to see how these families live and how much love they have for the children. Staying after to watch parents pick up their kids is one of my favorite parts, each child's eyes light up and so do their parent's eyes. It is a love I cannot understand because I do not have my own children, but it is a love that I know is universal. The pain comes when I realize that I am only here for a short time and cannot maintain speech sessions with them. I do hope that my seminars for the teachers will explain well enough how to continue the speech therapy. I appreciate you all greatly for donating and making this all possible for me, the children, and the teachers.

about 6 years ago

Thank you so much to those who have donated! I will be maintaining a blog as I go through my experience and will keep you all updated with the blog!

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