Social Enterprise: help us with English lessons and hostel management in Dong Van, Vietnam



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    About Us
    My name is Tan. My family and I welcome your help, creativity, and ideas at our hostel, restaurant, and bar in the beautiful Dong Van. I grew up in a tribe in the mountains where life is very different. I started my career as a physics teacher in Quan Ba and Dong Van. Looking to enhance the quality of life for my family, I taught myself English and through a lot of hard work became an entrepreneur. In April 2017, my lovely wife, Diu, and I opened our restaurant, and in August 2018, we opened the hostel here in Dong Van, Vietnam. We are excited to meet travelers, enjoy learning from other cultures, and proud to be one of the first restaurants in Dong Van to offer a large variety of both Western and Vietnamese food. Now we continue our mission through our hostel. We've put a lot of hard work and care into our businesses. We value help from passionate and self motivated volunteers who want to experience the lifestyle of local people here in Northern Vietnam. You will join our mission in welcoming travelers to our town while benefiting both the local Dong Van community and people of the surrounding villages.

    You will help in a variety of ways, offering your own ideas and learning transferable skills. In the hostel, you will welcome guests, socialize and break the ice, assist with check-in/check-out, and help in communication to ensure an enjoyable stay. You may also help in the restaurant if needed. IT, social media, and computer skills are also greatly appreciated.

    During the school year, we provide much needed (and appreciated!) English classes to the local people of Dong Van. We offer basic English classes twice a week, but as the enterprise expands we hope to establish more frequent outreach programs of English teaching in the villages surrounding Dong Van. As tourism increases, many locals hope it will bring a better life for them, as this is the first step to access the growing market. This is especially poignant to me because of my own journey. English opens doors for locals. Through education, we can assist the villagers in developing Homestays or other needed services, allowing the community to engage with the tourism industry in a constructive and positive way. This way we can enhance the experiences of visitors, and create a better life for villagers. Eventually as a social enterprise we hope to have a network throughout the Dong Van area, ensuring that the increasing tourism of Dong Van is beneficial to the ethnic minorities in the area. Your help with education can provide sustainable and long-term benefits to both the people and the environment of Dong Van.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    General Maintenance
    Charity Work
    Language practice
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You have the chance to help a new business progress through your ideas! How cool. There are so many opportunities here, and we believe this is a great exchange for you as well as for us. The skills you can learn here are transferable to your life, no matter if you run your own business or continue to aid another entrepreneur. Our chefs are happy to have help in the kitchen and teach you how to make local dishes. Plus, if you're trying to learn Vietnamese, our staff and children are very welcoming and encouraging. You'll meet plenty of locals who join us at the restaurant. Depending how long you stay, you will become recognized here in Dong Van.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    There are many ways to help, and we are willing to welcome your ideas and assistance where you feel you can best help. Please be proactive and self-motivated to organize yourself in how you can make the most of your time here. Look for ways you see how to help.
    More specifically, your main contributions will be related to teaching English and the hostel/restaurant management.

    *Teaching English*
    Our staff has little to none knowledge of English. We would like you to introduce them to the basic words and sentences they need for their day to day tasks in the hostel and restaurant. Help them to hold a basic conversation and teach the necessary vocabulary for specific situations.
    Our staff is eager to practice their English. Many are shy when it comes to language barriers, so we appreciate you being proactive, patient, and initiating conversations. You'll join us for breakfast, lunch and dinner and be treated like part of the family. We welcome you to share in our life experiences and we hope to help you as much as you help us.

    *Hostel and restaurant management / customer care*
    Next to teaching English, your main tasks will be taking care of customers in our hostel and restaurant. In the hostel you will assist in welcoming clients, checking and checking out, providing tourist information, and generally taking care of the customers. In the restaurant you can help with taking orders, providing information about the local Vietnamese dishes, serving clients and helping in the kitchen.

    *Computer skills / social media*
    Teaching our staff basic computer skills is also needed. Many things are still performed manually and automatisation is needed to improve efficiency and prevent errors.
    We could use some basic help managing our social media, Facebook page, Instagram, etc. Taking and posting pictures, making videos, adding and editing content on our web presence. SEO, etc.

    If you have any ideas for how we can market ourselves better, we'd be happy to hear from you. We also need someone with web development experience to contribute to our website.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Vietnamese: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    -Three meals per day
    -Cold drinks available from our fridge
    -Depending on when you join us, you may have a private room or share with another volunteer
    -You can borrow my motorbike if you don't have your own

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    -Dong Van is accessible by motorbike or by bus - please ask if you need any assistance in getting here.
    -Close to breathtaking landscapes and great hiking spots
    -Walking distance to a large weekly cultural market, The water Shrine, the historic Dong Van French Fortress, shops and town squares
    -Short drive from Lung Cu Flag Tower, Hmong King Palace, stunning Ma Pi Leng Pass
    -Trek and experience homestays in authentic villages
    -Experience this ethnically diverse and historically rich area of Vietnam as it just begins to adapt to more global exposure and travellers

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 869545843478