No matter where you’re traveling to or living in, giving back to the community is undoubtedly an excellent way to appreciate the country. Donating isn’t solely about monetary contributions, but any old or unused belongings of yours can be incredibly valuable for other misfortunate individuals. While in Vietnam, there are many channels where you can give a second life to your old stuff or support the local communities, so see below for where to donate in Vietnam.
The easiest and most trusted way to donate in Vietnam is via authorized NGOs and NPOs. The social causes network in Vietnam is extensive and caters to many major causes both on a national and international scale. Their campaigns focus on the long-term and sustainable development of society, with comprehensive research and action plans. There are also many volunteer opportunities and grand events hosted by notable persons you can take part in with these organizations. Though these organizations are independent of the government, they work closely with the authorities. Some NGOs and NPOS in Vietnam you can look into are:
The children’s foundations are among the most primary organizations in Vietnam, aiming to assist children in underdeveloped areas, children with disabilities, children affected by the Orange Agent, etc.
Volunteer work at Blue Dragon Vietnam
CARE (Health care): https://care.org/our-work/where-we-work/vietnam/
AHF (HIV/AIDS): https://www.aidshealth.org/global/vietnam/
VinaCapital (free heart surgeries for children): vinacapitalfoundation.org
Read more on Volunteer in Vietnam
Even though NGOs and NPOs in Vietnam are more methodical, well-structured, and broadly supported by the government and local authorities, hardly can they look into other specific problems, which seem more minor yet no less impactful for the locals’ lives. Private organizations generally emphasize innovative solutions to the communities’ long-standing issues. These private projects have certain impacts on the local communities and authorities, but they lack the needed resources to expand. With careful researches, there are many ways you can contribute to or even invest in more contemporary projects for modern questions.
Song Foundation: building disaster-resilient houses in areas that are frequently stricken by storms and floods
Song Foundation is a women-led organization focusing on reducing the impact of natural disaster and reforestation in Vietnam
Read more on the Updates on Flooding in Central Vietnam
Rock-Paper-Scissors Children’s Fund: teaching music and art to underprivileged kids in Vietnam.
Hope Box: helping women and children under sexual abuse and domestic violence
On a smaller scale, yet no less important are Facebook groups specifically established to help the local community. Despite being more spontaneous, Facebook groups are more personalized and expats-friendly if you’re living in Vietnam.
Laws for Paws Vietnam: https://www.facebook.com/lawsforpawsvietnam/
The ultimate page for dog lovers in Vietnam! The four-legged residents here are mostly rescues, and there are always adoption or foster opportunities available should you’re looking for some puppy love. Donation is always welcome, either in monetary or physical form, such as beddings and food for the dogs, and you can also volunteer at the center to look after, walk the dogs, or simply spend time with the fur buddies.
Laws for Paws is the one-stop for rescue dogs in Ho Chi Minh City
Related: How to Bring Your Pets to Vietnam
Help Saigon’s Homeless: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HelpSaigonsHomeless/
This group is organized by expats focusing on providing either meals or shelters for homeless people in Ho Chi Minh City. You can donate either your old clothes, some money, or take part in charity trips around the city.
Breast Cancer Network Vietnam: https://www.facebook.com/bcnvietnam
As a support group for breast cancer awareness in Vietnam, this network collect not only monetary donations but also hair donations to support breast cancer patients in Vietnam
Pagodas and churches in Vietnam serve as both religious centers and sanctuaries for those in need of both mental and physical aid. Most pagodas and churches are home to homeless or orphan children or even animals. However, these centers do not generate high income despite lives here are kept mostly frugal and are often overlooked as they are not discussed much on mainstream media. Therefore, any donations to these pagodas and churches are greatly appreciated, especially to those in remote areas in Vietnam.
Vietnamese pagodas also usually deliver free vegetarian meals for the poor locals
Donation and sharing are always noble acts and highly-encouraged, and for more considerate donations in Vietnam, do look at some dos and don’ts when looking for where to donate to Vietnam:
-What should and shouldn’t be donated:
Depending on the specific cause, the needed donation can vary, and for certain cases, you need to take what can be donated into account more carefully. For example: don’t donate summer or too flashy clothing to an area usually going through bitter-cold winters. It is a wise move to contact the organization beforehand for what items you can give.
-How to avoid scams:
As sad as it might sound, some malicious individuals or organizations might take advantage of others’ misfortunes for their gains, so while it is essential to be compassionate, you must also be smart about your choices. Look up the organization’s past activities, credentials, and even reviews from part members before making your donation, especially if it’s a large amount of money or collective contributions of many people.
As a middle-income country, many lives in Vietnam are still in need of support, and other environmental and humanitarian causes are working tirelessly in hopes of a more developed and sustainable society. As there are many channels to work with, one must also be careful with how the organization works. If you’ve had any experiences with charities in Vietnam, feel free to share with us in the comments section.
For more ethical travel, check out also Our GIVEBACK Program
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