Rather than structure offices, roads, and schools, a group of youngsters assisted poor regions with the tourism potential with practicing community-based tourism, which requires almost no speculation yet is attracting a growing number of sightseers.
So as to set up the community for the new type of employment, these youngsters also educate English and different subjects to children of the districts.
Members of the Volunteer for Education Organization (VEO) does not just recognize their duty with society, they also do it because of their liberal hearts.
The combination of travel and volunteerism is what VEO has been seeking after for the past five years.
VEO members get to travel to distant regions with breathtaking sights no other spots have, where they also help the local residents.
Until now, many volunteers have taken an interest in the volunteering activities the association held helping people in northern communes and provinces, for example, Ha Giang Province, Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang Province, Sa Pa in Lao Cai Province, and Mu Cang Chai Commune in Yen Bai Province, among others.
In these areas, youngsters work with native authorities experts to train the locals on how to practice community-based tourism, typically beginning with making changes in accordance with the houses to transform them into an adequate homestay spots to invite voyagers, while the association also holds activities telling the locals the best way to enhance the visitors' experience and classes to educate English.
VEO co-founder and managing director Nguyen Huyen Phuong admits the difficulties she had presenting “volunteering tourism” to the young when she first began it in June 2013.
“When youngsters get an opportunity to go to undeveloped regions and perceive how much the people there want to turn their lives around, the members realize their own obligations with the society and figure out how to share more,” the managing director said, adding that it is a great opportunity for the youngsters to develop themselves.
At first, the volunteers who enrolled to engage in the trip also needed to pay a co-operation expense to cover transportation, accommodation, and meals.
The more trips the association held, the more expectation they had as many places changed simply after four to five months of working with VEO despite the fact that most inhabitants there are ethnic minorities who have small comprehension of the cutting edge economy and markets.
The locals advised one another to continually maintain and enhance their homestays, children to be distinctly studying English, and promote the experiences accessible in the region, attracting an increasing number of tourists.
"At first, the locals were confused to see the visitors coming here to educate, however, we came month to month so they had become used to us," Thuy Quynh, facilitator of one of VEO's ventures, said.
Besides educating the locals on how to attract sightseers, the association also teaches children English so they can probably speak with foreign tourists.
Whenever children get to interact with English through listening and reading activities, they get excited and enthusiastically engage in the activities.
In mountainous regions, students usually do not have access to foreign languages and soft skill education, so the association attempts to compensate for what the children need.
"We convey education to the ethnic minorities through English curricula, science, skill, and history," Quynh said.
"VEO's method for educating also helps the youngsters to develop the passion for reading and dreams," she included.
After numerous visits to the regions, the locals began becoming used to the volunteers and at the sight of the association's purple shirt, one could hear loud voices from an afar yelling "VEO volunteers are here."
"Next time, you should come more often," Trieu Quoc Dat, a third grader in Hong Thai Commune, Tuyen Quang Province, said after a VEO class he visited.
He was one of the most dynamic students of VEO's English class, with the accurate pronunciation that presented to him the best number of gifts among his companions.
The volunteers believe educating children English has a significant impact in enhancing the administration quality people in the regions can give while practicing community-based tourism.
Established in June 2013, VEO is a non-governmental organization, creating a network of volunteers all over the world to help the poor through education programs. Currently, the organization is merely active in northern Vietnam, however, it has plans to expand to the southern part of the nation to connect more volunteers who share the same vision.
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