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The Red River is the biggest river in Vietnam. The delta is located in the capital Hanoi. The city continues to expand with many people coming from the countryside into the urban area. This however is an expensive endeavor with the government imposing a tax on those coming from the rural area to prevent a massive influx of people. Despite this, many poor people still decide to come, and end up living in houseboats at the river. Since they do not technically live in Hanoi, they must pay for school which is usually free until the age of 12. The entire family must work hours that most people would consider inhumane. The children wander the streets begging and collecting rubbish. An entire family barely makes $2 a day.
The volunteers will work in a Youth Centre in Hanoi which prepares and sends disadvantaged, poor and street children to public schools and vocational schools where they can acquire a proper education and get integrated into society. The Youth Centre provides education to the children but also raises funds to cover their school fees. The Centre demonstrates the important role of volunteerism and public-private partnerships in social development. The Centre is also a friendly place for local youth to exchange their knowledge, experience and culture with international volunteers via workshops and everyday exchanges.
The participants in this project will bring much needed attention and support to disadvantaged street children and children living in an illegal settlement at the Red River in the outskirts of Hanoi. The volunteers will organize different games, entertainment and educational activities for the kids, which may include teaching English, basic facts about other countries, health and hygiene, etc.