My name is Nhat Linh. I’m an intern in Volunteers for Peace Vietnam (VPV). After 8 months working here, I’m very thankful for the opportunity to meet and work with amazing colleagues, also having learned and experienced a lot of things with them. I appreciate the opportunity doing what I always wanted to do: working in a NGO and doing the social community work and contributing to local community development.
I’m working here as a part of IVP Team (Individual Volunteer Program). This is a program in which we receive international volunteers coming to Vietnam to work in local partner projects such as schools, universities, centers for children with disabilities or local NGOs. The thing I enjoy the most, is having a chance to know and meet people from different cultures, getting to understand how big the world is and knowing more about other countries. Also, it helps me to socialize in a bigger community where people around me not only from Vietnam, which makes me feel more confident.
I have to say that it wasn’t simple at the beginning when I started working here, mainly because I had never worked like this before. I never worked as a coordinator and never worked with a team/group where everyone has an own certain role. I was literally “shocked”, and it took me quite a long time to get used to with the work and understand more about the organization. I want to say that it had been a pleasure to work with Huong and Ha Linh, two former intern/staff in VPV. They and everyone else, helped me a lot within these days when I was new.
During the time working here, I have been doing some international volunteers related tasks such as picking up new volunteers, doing the orientation for them and taking care of them (both in accommodation and projects), sometimes I also co-lead workcamps or groups. In addition, I help other VPV staffs with their tasks when needed, attend meetings/seminars held by VPV networks/partners when assigned and help with logistics arrangement. That means I’ve learned to do multi tasks, because whenever the other team members need the help, I’d be ready to help them with my ability; and the same when I need help from others. And as we work in a close team, everyone has a certain role but we always support each other; so, I’ve learned the way to work individually and to work in a group. One important thing, I improved myself to be more responsible and “mature” when I have to take care of the volunteers, make sure they are happy with the working project and living condition here in another country. I consider myself not only a “project coordinator” but also a “friend” with the volunteers, I try my best to make them feel comfortable and encourage them to come up with creative and interesting ideas at their projects so it will be meaningful. I can’t do all of these works without the help from VPV staffs. They are supportive, helpful, always there with me. They have been helping me a lot. I can’t describe how happy I am to work with them.
Another thing I see from this experience is I have the chance to see how the local community is going on. We have been cooperating with local partners, including the primary schools and centers for children with disabilities. Looking at those adorable face playing around makes me feel happy somehow. And, observing the class of the children with disabilities makes me realize how lucky I am. I feel bad for these innocent kids, however, looking at their lovely smiles when they play with the volunteers, seems like they don’t care much about their physical disadvantage; I just simply love their smiles and the way they cope with life. That makes me feel more motivated in daily life, and I want to help a part of myself in contributing to the development of the local community, starting from the people who need help the most.
Thank you to the VPV family. We, the staff and volunteers, are a big family together. I appreciate everything here. After all, I would say one last thing, as the slogan of VPV: “Together make a better world”.