Project Overview

Our week-long Immersion Trips are more than a vacation or a volunteer experience. The GYA Program prides itself on creating a trip filled with cultural immersion and critical thinking. Ambassadors will leave with a better understanding of Vietnamese culture, the challenges facing vulnerable children around the world, and of their own personal beliefs. 

Janelle Vietnam.jpg

Our time in Vietnam will be based in Ba Vi, a beautiful rural area approximately 60 km from Hanoi City and home to the Ba Vi Disability Center. The center is run for orphaned children and children living with disabilities, the homeless of Hanoi and those that are experiencing real difficulties in their lives. There are also a number of elderly residents who have no family or home to go to.  There are approximately 320 people at the center and 180 of them are children.

While our focus will be on learning about the challenges facing youth with disabilities in Vietnam and what’s being done for their benefits, the GYAs will also take part in workshops highlighting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, their role as Global Youth Ambassadors and how they can continue to develop their leadership skills at home. These workshops are lead by GYAP leaders as well as expert Vietnamese staff. 

The immersion portion of this project includes hands-on involvement in caring for the youth at the Center (from babies through to early teens).  This includes taking part in the nutrition, education, and therapy programs.

Throughout the week our team will live in a guest house in the local community. GYAs will have a genuine Vietnamese experience and gain a deeper understanding and empathy towards the community. It will also be an opportunity to create close friendships with each other and learn more about other youth around the world passionate about
social change!

partner Overview


An Australian owned and operated social enterprise founded by Terry Donnelly. 

"We are a family, our volunteers, our kids, our organizations, and if you come to us then you become part of that family and are given the respect accorded to each member. We started our Helping Hands Vietnam program a little over two years ago so that we could give more and provide relief for those in need, we work at the grass roots and are proud of the direction VIVPS and Helping Hands is moving. We operate on 4 guiding principles, love, compassion, understanding, and truth - those principles guide our work and our lives and we hope that we can share our way with you

Our primary focus is now on children with disabilities, specifically our Ba Vi program, the most needy program I have seen in Vietnam in my 7 years here, I hope you can come and join us, you will be welcomed with open arms and we will try our best to ensure you have a joyful and meaningful time here, please come with an open mind and heart and limit your expectations, this is a third world country, not only by name, but also by nature." 




Hoai Nyguen

(Volunteer Coordinator)



Day One

On arrival in Hanoi we will be met by our Vietnam partner organization and transferred to a hotel in the city.  This evening there will be an informal gathering to chat and get to know each other.

Day Two

After breakfast there will be a brief introduction to Vietnam and a tour of the old quarter, lake, pagoda and markets. This afternoon we will transfer from Hanoi to Ba Vi by private transport (approximately an hour). Once settled into our guest house accommodation there will be an orientation of the local area, customs, culture, group expectations and we will go over our schedule for the coming week.  In the evening we will have a Vietnamese language lesson followed by Workshop 1.

Day Three

This morning we head to the Disability Center where we will receive an introduction to the Center, meet the children and staff, then go over the work we will be doing.  Lunch will be back at the guest house with an opportunity to ask questions before heading back to the Center for the afternoon.  Workshop 2 in the evening.

Day Four

We will be working at the Center for the day – returning to the guest house for lunch and rest before returning to the Center for the afternoon.  Workshop 3 in the evening, followed by free time.

Day Five

Back to the Center this morning.  After lunch we return to the Center before visiting the nearby National Park.  This evening is a chance to make plans for a special fun activity we will run for the residents at the Center on our final day. 

Day Six

Working at the Center today, returning to the guest house for lunch as before.  There will be time to make our final preparations for our event at the Center tomorrow.

Day Seven

Back to the Center for our final morning there.  There will a lot of excitement from the residents as they anticipate our special treat. This afternoon we will travel back to Hanoi for our final night together, and share a farewell meal.

Day Eight

This morning we will debrief and explore ways Ambassadors can continue to help both here and at home.  Depending on the time of our departure flights, we may have time to explore the nearby markets.  

GYAP Trip Leaders

Catarina Tarvin


Cat is the Program Director for the GYA Program. She is passionate about global health and holds a degree in Health Science. She also believes strongly in the potential for real change by making others feel loved, investing deeply in individuals, and allowing them to know their own self-worth. Cat has lived and worked in the United States, Rwanda, and New Zealand.

Avalon Bourne


Avalon is our Program Coordinator. She works in youth leadership and development and believes that young people hold the key to achieving major positive change in the world. Avalon has studied International Relations and has lived and worked in Australia, Spain, Kenya, the U.K. and India.