Nutrition Support for the Poor

Non-profit
·
founded in 1989
Lauren
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Coordinator | Lauren
Coordinator | Lauren
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Interact and support the local community, getting to know the people that come to the project.
Prepare, cook and serve food to locals who need affordable meals.
Assist the local staff at the food shop, setting up the tables and serving meals to underprivileged local people
Prepare the food and help with the serving of food and the washing up/ cleaning up of the kitchen
Help support a local NGO that provides low cost meals for locals who need affordable, quality meals. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+
You will be volunteering at The Smile Food Shop, which was opened to help less privileged people by providing low cost lunches for only 2000 VND per meal (about 10 cents). Founded in 2012, The Smile Food shop is run by a local NGO, as well as passionate locals and overseas volunteers, like yourself!

Your daily duties may include food preparation, serving and cleaning up, as well as putting a smile on the faces of the people who greatly value this service.

During the project you will help to prepare lunches, serving the meals to around 500 people- mostly the elderly, local workers, persons with disabilities, students and children. These people come here for affordable and quality meals each day.

This project can be at times challenging and tiring but always engaging. Knowing you are giving back to people who genuinely need and welcome your help is a greatly rewarding experience.

The Food Shop program continues to run even when the NGO run facility is closed (including a month long closure around the Tet Holiday). During those periods, Food Shop volunteers will prepare food on-site at our accommodation kitchen and the free meals will be distributed at a local hospital to patients and local workers.

Location
Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is home to some 6 million people, most of whom you will see at some point during your stay as they whiz around town on their motorbikes. The city’s Tan Son Nhat Airport lies 7km north west of the city centre and is the most popular arrival point in Vietnam for international travellers. As well as long haul arrivals there are many flights to HCMC from within Asia, especially from Bangkok and Hong Kong.

Project Tasks
Help to generate funds so that the local people can continue to be provided with quality, healthy food at low costs
Gain practical experience in the kitchen and in food preparation
Assist the local staff at the food shop, serving meals to underprivileged local people

Typical day

Monday to Friday - 4-6 hours volunteering a day
  • Breakfast
  • Leave for the food shop project
  • Assist in the preparation of food, work in the kitchen, cleaning the area and serving food, etc.
  • Lunch at the food shop
  • Head back to the accommodation
  • Free time during the afternoon
  • Dinner
***This program is relocated during periods/holidays when the NGO facility is closed and meals prepared by participants are then distributed at a local hospital***

Free-time activities

As a large city, Ho Chi Minh has a lot to offer from shops to Vietnamese water puppet shows. Here are a few suggestions:

Backpacker street
Bui Vien Street is the main street in Ho Chi Minh City, also called ‘backpacker street’. There are many cheap restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, massage parlours, markets, tour agencies and hotels/hostels. This is a great place for tourists to shop, dine, entertainment and to party!

Landmark 81
Landmark 81 is the tallest skyscraper in Southeast Asia. It towers over the rest of Ho Chi Minh’s buildings and has incredible views form the top. Not only that, it also has an ice rink, virtual reality game, restaurant and shops!

Bitexco tower
Another place to go for a great view of the city. There is an observation deck (Saigon Skydeck) open daily and offering panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City. From floors 50 to 52, there are more entertainment facilities, including a fine dining restaurant and bar/nightclub.

Dam Sen cultural park and Water Park
Fun for adults as well as kids, this water park is guaranteed to get you smiling! Plus, it also has some lovely gardens to walk around too. There’s animals, musical shows and restaurants too, making it a fun day trip.

Thien Hau temple
Thien Hau Temple is a beautiful Chinese temple, situated in district 5 of Ho Chi Minh city. It is dedicated to Thien Hau, (also named the Lady of the Sea). Inside there are many intricate carvings, statues and paintings, a very pretty and atmospheric place to visit.

Vietnam Quoc Tu pagoda
The Quoc Tu Pagoda is located in District 10 of Ho Chi Minh City, and is another interesting temple to explore, with its lovely incense smells, colourful statues, murals and shrines. It’s one of the tallest pagodas in the city with 7 floors. Usually only the first and second floors are open, but they open up the third and seventh floor to visitors every 15th of the month.

Monkey Island
A couple of hours out from the city is ‘Monkey Island’, also known as Can Gio Island. This huge 80,000 hectare nature reserve contains mangrove trees, water coconut forests, and yes- monkeys! Hundreds of them live wild here and they will be sure to say hello to you- just be sure not to bring food with you, they are pesky little creatures!

Ba Den mountain (The black virgin mountain)
The Ba Den Mountain trail takes you through lush jungle, mountain streams and caves, before reaching its rugged top. You can also take a cable car up to the top to see some wonderful views from above, sometimes from above the clouds!
Swimming
Sightseeing
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Hiking
Museum/
Opera
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Involvement Volunteers IVI
Accommodation
3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
1 day orientation
Daily transportation to project
In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
Fundraising support
University course credits (where applicable)
Certificate of Completion
Airport Pickup at Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Airport
SGN (Tan Son Nhat International Airport)

Pickup Window
Arrive on Saturday or Sunday between 06:00 - 22:00 to be met upon landing by our team. Flight arrivals after 22:00 will incur an additional fee for pickup. Saturday arrivals need to book one extra night at our accommodation.
Accommodation
All accommodation and meals are included in the cost of the programs. All volunteers are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. You will be expected to clean up after yourself, and to play your part to keep the accommodation neat and organized.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the accommodation is in a volunteer centre which is located on a college campus. You will share the rooms with fellow participants, but be in close proximity with local students. This allows a really nice cultural exchange and bonding. Rooms are dorm-style with 4-6 people per room. Rooms are well equipped with air conditioning, and fans and good sized single gender bathrooms, clean and functional. Internet access is available at the accommodation and there are various internet cafe’s nearby.
Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
3 good meals are provided every weekday during your project, with 2 meals on the weekends (breakfast & dinner). Bottled water is easily available in Vietnam and volunteers should budget approx US$1 per day.  There is also filtered water available at the campus.

You will be eating local Vietnamese dishes, with predominantly rice at most meals. The Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh flavours, soups and stir-fries. There may also be some western dishes such as spaghetti and sandwiches.
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City. We assist you to find cheap flights to Vietnam.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Vietnam provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Vietnam you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Vietnam.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Program starts every Monday. Arrivals on Sat/ Sun. If arriving on Sat, an extra night is charged.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
1 - 20 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$565
2 weeks
$720
3 weeks
$860
4 weeks
$1,170
8 weeks
$2,070
12 weeks
$2,965
20 weeks (max. stay)
$4,305
Average fees
$390 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Involvement Volunteers IVI will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Involvement Volunteers IVI during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Nutrition Support for the Poor

Help support a local NGO that provides low cost meals for locals who need affordable, quality meals.

$390/week

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