Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sheahan’s diary: volunteering with street children

Sheahan with children from the centre for street and vulnerable children
© UNICEF Viet Nam\2012\Nasir
I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, or more commonly known in Vietnam as Saigon, on July 31st to start my month long internship with Thao Dan Child Center. From their website, I found out as much as I could about them before the initial meeting.

Thao Dan Child Center was established in 1992 by a group of volunteers who wanted to protect and take care of street children in Ho Chi Minh City. They have two centers. The one where I was going to work was a day care center where children would be dropped off by their parents when they went to work and picked up again when going back home. The children are taught basic school subjects like math and English, as well life skills such as money management. They were also given information regarding the danger of HIV/AIDS and the threat of child abuse. The second center, called the “Safehouse”, serves as a day care center, and it also provides housing for up to fourteen orphan boys who have nowhere else to go.