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Opportunity to Volunteer
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by Don Funk
In January, I spent 5 days in Da Nang with a good friend visiting the Da Nang Street Children center and meeting with the staff. I was extremely pleased to see the work that they were doing for the children. For a short video (OK, so it’s a little longer than I wanted, 7 minutes) check this out. This includes more detail about the Street Children Center, the Center for the Blind and Deaf, and the World Heritage sites around Da Nang (see more about World Heritage sites here). Thanks to Carolyn for the voice over! A chocolate bar to whoever can spot Derek and Michael from our previous trips!
So what is it that we can help out with you ask? At each center, we have identified specific needs. Some of them we are sure to do, some depends on who comes with us and are qualified, and some are what we call at Microsoft, stretch goals.
Street Children Center
- Purchase and install 10 additional computers
- Help the children with English, and at the same time learn some Vietnamese ourselves
- Paint the existing wall enclosure at the entrance
- Possibly paint part of the children’s home
- Possible sports summer camp? I have not talked to them about this yet
Center for the Blind and Deaf
- Purchase and install 20 additional computers
- Possibly help the children with their English
- Possible physical therapy? I have not talked to them about this yet
Now the question, is how can you help?
There is of course, a financial need, I’m sure you already knew that by now. We need to obtain about 30 computers. At a cost of $200-300, this is $6000-9000. We already have about $4000. Since this is a grass roots type of project, 100% of any money donated will go directly to obtaining the computers, desks, and paint. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated.
Although there is a financial need, an even better need is to have you come with us! The travels plans are still not defined. To fly into Da Nang round trip from Seattle, is about $1300. Some of us may decide to reduce the costs by taking the train from Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi to Da Nang instead and immersing ourselves in the culture. Costs of a hotel is about $35/night. Food is about $15/day. We will most likely be in country for 10 days. Although I would like to keep everyone busy for the time that we are there, there is plenty of places to visit in our time off that is very close… Da Nang… China Beach… My Son… Hue. All of which includes sites, food, shopping, and immersing within the culture of Viet Nam. You may decide to spend some additional time, or not stay the entire time (June 25 - July 7) in Da Nang and travel elsewhere in Southeast Asia Everything is very flexible.
[Note: See Don Funk's picture journal HERE.]
If you are interested in helping, or better yet, going with us, I would love to hear from you! Each time I travel back to Viet Nam, I am amazed at what there is to see, do and learn. If you have never been, you will be completely amazed at what you thought of Viet Nam, and what actually is the real Viet Nam.
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Aid for Kids
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Vietnam Photo Journal
by Don Funk