WLS International

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8.3 / 10 after 31 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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I did a volunteer program with WLS International in Vietnam in 2009 and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! The coordinator was just fantastic. Nothing was too much for her, anything I needed regarding my program or personal things she was always ready to help. Thanks to her help it was very easy to settle in and to enjoy this amazing experience. The orphanage was such a worthwhile experience, I felt very useful and welcome. A volunteering experience like this really changes your perspective on life and enriched my life in a fantastic way. Thanks WLS International!
Peter

Program:
Location:
Posted: February 28, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

Peter, I am thinking of volunteering with WLS in Vietnam. Can you please tell me where you lived while volunteering? Thanks.

I volunteered with WLS International in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I was teaching at an orphanage and the experience was great as the orphanage, the children and the staff were so friendly and kind. I feel I made a real difference to the lives of these children and it was hard to leave. I found the program to be very well organized. The coordinator was very professional and helpful. I was taken care of and the coordinator showed me around. The volunteering was very fulfilling and life changing. I would be very happy to recommend Thailand and WLS International.

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 13, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

Having volunteered before I looked forward to my trip to Vietnam with WLS. Unfortunately I was most disappointed. I selected Vietnam because WLS had a home base (a good way to meet other volunteers) instead of a hotel. What they don't tell you is that you are staying in someone's house. A house that runs multiple businesses, has different people that you don't know roaming around the house all hours. On top of that the bathroom hygiene was unacceptable (note: I do stay at $10/night places so I wasn't expecting luxury!) I ended up moving to a hotel. The main problem with WLS was the placement. I volunteered at a food kitchen. What a well oiled machine it was there. Many local volunteers of all ages gave up their time to help. It was a great, honest organisation providing meals to those in hospital that would otherwise go hungry. The problem was simple. If the food kitchen runs perfectly well with local volunteers why did I pay around $1000 to volunteer there? If a charity can support itself locally then I would have much preferred to volunteer where my services were actually needed.
The WLS contact gave me incorrect information about the hours the food kitchen operated, particularly the start time and the days of operation. The first day I arrived 30 minutes before their 2 hour break. As no one spoke much English I had no idea what was going on. I sat there waiting the first day not knowing that the volunteers actually start at 7am. So by the time my contact brought me to the kitchen and left, I then sat for an hour not knowing why we weren’t working. Luckily on the 2nd day a volunteer spoke English and I got all the details.
The WLS contact were very nice and friendly but did not know anything that was going on. I do blame WLS for this and not the staff. I am sure they are only paid a small amount to house these volunteers and that’s it.
After the 2nd morning I did not speak to anyone from WLS and even after the trip WLS did not contact me at anytime asking for feedback. If they had I would have let them know how unhappy I was with WLS direct instead of writing it in this forum.
You are doing yourself a disservice by paying large amounts of money to any volunteer organisation which are out of touch with what the local community actually need. I am sure that there are many organisations in Vietnam that could benefit from foreign help, unfortunately mine was not one of them.

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 14, 2009
Overall:
0 (worst)
Support:
0
Value:
0
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

Nettie, Can you please tell me where your housing was? Did you volunteer with any other project other than the food kitchen? Thanks. I am considering volunteering and was wondering.

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