I am here because I care!


The idea to help out in one of the poorest countries of the world through voluntary work with children, has been occupying me for almost three years.

I therefore did not know what exactly to expect, when I applied with an organization based in Washington, some time ago. But I knew, I wanted to give it a try …

The flight from Vienna to Seoul proved trouble free, and with the (noteworthy) film “Spotlight” I tuned back into the English language. The film is based on true events and describes how journalists of The Boston Globe uncovered abuse cases within the Roman Catholic Church in Boston. In an interview with an affected person, the journalist explained her motivation thus: “I am here Because I Care!”

Probably this is the driving force for me and many others, inside and outside our movement, as well – “We do care”

And while Isabel is spending her last week in Greece to help refugees, already preparing for her next assignment in a hospital in Nepal, I moved into the VPV (Volunteers For Peace Vietnam) house in Hanoi yesterday late at night, to teach socially deprived children for the 6 weeks to follow.

The house is a pool of volunteers from all countries and continents – I share my room with helpers from South Africa, Australia, Canada and Japan.

Around 20 volunteers are accommodated in the Volunteer house, and as projects and working hours are very different, there is a constant coming and going.

VPV house lounge
VPV house lounge

The indication that flexibility is a top priority in such an assignment, was already confirmed on the first day and so today – after a briefing for all new arrivals – I met the coordinator of the Hanoi University of Industry (HaUI), where I will be teaching both tutors and students in the course of the next few weeks, before helping at a secondary school during the second part of my stay – as I had originally planned.

The evening was dedicated to an introduction to Vietnamese – so on that note,
Tam Biét (Good bye)!

Translation from German: Serena Nebo


Image Title Author License
VPV house lounge VPV house lounge Thomas Farthofer CC BY-SA 4.0
00_IamHereBecausIcare_by_THOMAS_FARTHOFER_CCBYSA40 00_IamHereBecausIcare_by_THOMAS_FARTHOFER_CCBYSA40 Thomas Farthofer CC BY-SA 4.0