Firstly, it is a great honor for me to be able to welcome you here in Vietnam. I would like to express how happy I feel to have the opportunity to manage and meet a group of people like you who
have travelled from different countries. I believe we can do our best to utilize an environmentally conscious attitude,
bring a smile to the children of thereserve, and become closer by working together on this project.
Welcome to Vietnam, I am sure you will be inspired by the country, the local people and, Vietnamese food.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your interest in volunteering in Vietnam. We respect you and your kindness. I look forward to meeting you in Vietnam. Best Wishes,
Vietnamese Lunar New Year, more commonly known by its shortened name Tết, is the most important and traditional holiday and festival in Vietnam.
It is the Vietnamese New Year derived from the Chinese New Year based on the Lunar calendar, a lunisolar calendar. The name Tết Nguyên Đán is Sino-Vietnamese for Feast of the First Morning,
derived from the Kanji characters 節元旦.
Tết takes place from the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tết by cooking
special holiday foods and decorating their houses. There are a lot of customs practiced during Tết, like visiting a person's house on the first day of the new year, ancestral worshipping, wishing
New Year's greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a shop.
Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. During Tết, Vietnamese visit their relatives and temples, forgetting about the troubles of the past year and hoping for a better upcoming
They consider Tết to be the first day of spring and the festival is often called Hội xuân (spring festival).
In Vietnam, to celebrate Tết is to “ăn Tết”, literally meaning "Tết eating", showing the importance of food in its celebration. Some of the prepared foods are eaten year-round, while others
are unique to the festival and only eaten during Tết. Also, some of the food is prepared vegetarian as it is believed to be good luck to eat vegetarian on Tết. Some traditional food on Tết are:
“Bánh chưng” (Chung cake) and “bánh dầy”: essentially tightly packed sticky rice with meat or bean fillings wrapped in banana leaves. Bánh chưng (rectangular) and bánh giầy (circular) are
symbolically connected with Tết and are essential in any Tết celebration. Preparation is time-consuming, and can take days to cook. The story of their origins and their connection with Tết is
often recounted to children while cooking them overnight.
Spring festival Chung cakes
ROLES AND TASKS
Making Chung cake and give it to poor children/families.
Organizing event (music, games) for children.
Aims for this project are:
- To create a chance for disadvantaged children to participate in the Tet holiday festival by making Chung cakes.
- To provide an opportunity for international volunteers to experience Vietnamese culture.
- To expose the children to different cultures and people from around the world by working with international volunteers
- To promote friendship between local people and international volunteers during work camp (share experiences, skills, things in life etc).
1. Work description
Local and international volunteers will work together every day during the week in SJ Vietnam’s Volunteer centre to make Chung cakes and prepare a special performance for the children at the
2. Leisure and exchange activities
As you know the work camp is not only to help the disadvantaged people but is also a chance to meet new friends, learn about local people, and share your experiences with other people. Volunteers
have free time during their lunch break time, and in the evening, as well as on weekends. This is an opportunity to you and other volunteers to arrange different activities to share details about
their life, family, country, and experiences.
Some planned activities for volunteers include:
- Welcome party with all local and international volunteers
- Meeting for a daily evaluation and cultural exchange activities each night: To share ones emotional experiences, to discuss results and find solutions for the project, to hold workshops on hot
topics and to understand more about each other.
- Vietnamese night: Local volunteers will arrange one night to introduce you to Vietnamese food and music in addition to a Vietnamese lesson.
- Your cultural day: Each volunteer from the work camp will prepare something special to share from their country and their culture.
3. Tentative schedule
- Working time start at 8:30 am
- Lunch time from 11:30 am to 13:30 pm.
- Working time in the afternoon from 13:30 pm to 17:00 pm
- Usually you have to get up before 8:00 am. Please ensure you are up and ready to get to work on time!
3) DAILY LIFE
Depending on the number of participants, volunteers will sleep in the SJ Vietnams office.
Food will cook by the volunteers themselves or they will have meals in nearby local restaurant. Vietnamese food is considered as easy to eat but if you have any special dietary needs please
inform us in advance.
All volunteers will go by public bus from the accommodation to the project site.
Day off and holidays: You will have free time during the evenings and the weekends to spend as you please. During those free moments you can travel to discover further wonders of Vietnam! Located
in northern Vietnam, Hanoi is the capital of the country with a population of seven million. The city is a thousand years old and follows the banks of the Red River. Hanoi counts many colorful
districts including the French styled Old Quarter near Hoan Kiem lake, the modern New Quarter, and the more touristy Tay Ho area.
4) WHAT TO BRING:
Basic pharmacy kit
Pictures of your hometown and family
Craft materials for your project, if possible
In Hanoi there are four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. But it is possible to divide the climate into two main seasons: the rainy season from May to September (it’s hot, heavy rain),
and the dry season is from October to April (it is cold, little rainfall). Please bring clothes according to the season.
5) MEETING TIME AND MEETING POINT
Meeting time: 9:00 AM the first day of workcamp
Meeting point: Suit 903 - Building N01 - 282 Linh Nam - Vinh Hung ward - Hoang Mai district - Hanoi.
In Vietnamese: Phong 903, N1, 282 Linh Nam, Phuong Vinh Hung, quan Hoang Mai, Hanoi
Please inform the work camp coordinator if you arrive late.
This is the Google map’s link of our office: http://g.co/maps/84hn5
6) HOW TO GET TO MEETING POINT
SJ Vietnam can arrange a taxi to pick you up at Noi Bai airport and bring you to our office. There will be a taxi driver at the entrance gate of the Noi Bai airport with a board with “your name”
on it. Normally the taxi fare is around 19 USD (380.000 VND) to come to our office.
For those of you who can come earlier, please follow the instruction:
If you come to Hanoi early, you can stay at a backpackers’ hostel for a price of from 5-10 USD/person/per night or a hotel from 15-30 USD/room/night.
*From Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi Center( about 30 km):
1.1 By taxi: This is the most convenient way if you carry bulky luggage and it takes 45 minutes or 60 minutes depending on traffic. Taxi price: around 17 USD. (There are 6 taxi companies that can
legally work at Noi Bai airport which you can see at the taxi desks near the luggage belts where you pick up your bags). They have a fixed rate of 400,000 VND (20 USD) to go to the city
Noi Bai airport taxi
Total journey costs 20 USD
1.2. By public bus: Only available after 6.30 AM and before 6 PM. It is quite complicated and takes around 2 hours to reach to city center.
- When you get out of the airport, find the white electrical bus in which runs to the bus station (around 3 minutes). It costs 5,000 VND (around 0.4 USD)
Electric bus at Noi Bai airport
- Then take the bus numbered 17 (all public buses in Hanoi are red and yellow) to the last stop (Long Bien station). It is around 15,000 VND (around 0.7 USD) (sometimes you will be charged more
for your luggage)
Public bus in Ha Noi
- Then please take a taxi to your hotel which is 2-3 km more. Taxi costs 11,000-18,000 VND/km (it costs around 50,000-60,000 VND until reaching your hotel)
- Please use the Mai Linh taxi company which is a green color or green and white color (see the picture below). Otherwise there is a high possibility you will get overcharged.
Total journey costs around 4 USD
1.3. By minibus: When you get out of the airport, turn right and cross the lane to find the minibus (12-seats bus) (35,000 VND, around $1.7 USD), which only stops at the center of Ha Noi and
takes around 1 hour.
Then take a taxi, which costs around 50000 VND (3 USD). (Take Mai Linh taxi only) and show the driver your address.
Total journey costs 5 USD
We recommend you to take the taxi from the airport if you go in a group because it’s less complicated and the safest way to get to our office without any trouble. When you get off the taxi:
1. Address: room 903, N1 Building, 282 Linh Nam street, Hoang Mai district, Hanoi.
2. The opposite side of the building is a petrol station.
3. You will see Argi bank office on 1st floor of N1 building
4. Please turn right and go to the back of the building; you will see the entrance gate.
5. Congratulations, you are in front of the entrance gate now!
6. Go to the 9th floor and knock at the door. Welcome to SJ Vietnam!!