<strong>As</strong> <strong>volunteers</strong> <strong>at</strong> <strong>Thien</strong> <strong>Phuoc</strong> <strong>Center</strong>, <strong>Ho</strong> <strong>Chi</strong> <strong>Minh</strong> <strong>City</strong>, <strong>Vietnam</strong> <strong>We</strong> (Sarah Quintalo and Bastian Schumacher) decided to go abroad after finishing our studies to work as <strong>volunteers</strong> for some time. <strong>We</strong> wanted to have a project, in which we feel use- and helpful and where we get in contact with the local people and see and live their daily life. While we were searching we found out th<strong>at</strong> it’s not easy to find reputable organis<strong>at</strong>ions, th<strong>at</strong> offer interesting projects and don’t charge enormous amounts of money. Finally over Lucecita we got the chance to get in contact with Sister Kim <strong>Chi</strong> from the <strong>Thien</strong> <strong>Phuoc</strong> <strong>Center</strong> in <strong>Ho</strong> <strong>Chi</strong> <strong>Minh</strong> <strong>City</strong>. The center is an orphanage for disabled children. Our work there was to help the staff with the daily tasks, but also to just take time for the children and play with them. <strong>We</strong> went for nearly 6 weeks to <strong>Vietnam</strong>. During 3 ½ weeks we worked in the center and after we took 2 weeks to visit the country. The time was short but just enough. It was a phantastic experience! During the time we were working we could really get in touch with the vietnamese way of living. <strong>We</strong> had to adapt ourselves to a new country, which means different culture, different clim<strong>at</strong>e, different infra-structure and so on. Th<strong>at</strong> was hard and exhausting sometimes, but definitely gives you another and closer view on a country than a just touristic trip would do. Working with the children was much fun and when we saw the happy faces every morning when we arrived, we knew th<strong>at</strong> our work was also meaningful. The children have much time during the day, where they have to busy themselves, as far as they can. Of course they are happy if there is somebody playing with them. But it is difficult to explain complex games, th<strong>at</strong> have also an educ<strong>at</strong>ional function if there is nobody th<strong>at</strong> speaks english and vietnamese, which happens quite often. For playing nearly all necessary stuff is available <strong>at</strong> the center, like pens and paper, jigsaw puzzles (which lots of children love), Lego, balls, and lots of other kinds of toys. To get a closer look on the work <strong>at</strong> <strong>Thien</strong> <strong>Phuoc</strong> <strong>Center</strong>, there are sections following, picturing the daily routine of the children, our daily routine and the staff working <strong>at</strong> the center. Concluding the plans to construct a new center are presented. Daily routine <strong>at</strong> <strong>Thien</strong> <strong>Phuoc</strong> <strong>Center</strong>: The children get up <strong>at</strong> about 6.30 am. They have their first meal and after, until 10 am, some of the children get physical therapy and the rest has time to play. After the second meal <strong>at</strong> 10 am there is siesta until 2 pm. During siesta the children are staying in their beds. Outside it’s anyway too hot. From 2 pm until the next meal <strong>at</strong> 4 pm the children have time to play again. After the meal they go back to bed for 2 or 3 hours. In the evening there’s again time to play and the last meal, before the children are brought to bed <strong>at</strong> about 9 pm. Like this is the regular daily routine. About once a week groups (normally sponsors) are coming to visit the center and to bring some presents (like little toys or candy) for the children. Once in a while comes a volunteer music teacher to do music therapy with the children for about half an hour. Rarely they take all the children out for a day trip. Our daily routine: <strong>We</strong> worked 5 days per week <strong>at</strong> the center. Thus we had also some time to visit Saigon and around. <strong>We</strong> were quite free to choose which days we want to come, as long as we let the people <strong>at</strong> the center know before.

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