BLV Experience - Li Shan

My volunteer experience with Better Life Vietnam (BLV), an education charity hoping to boost education levels in Vietnam, has been incredible. I found out about the design opportunity through the United Nations Volunteering website and I was selected a few days after submitting my application. The design team lead invited me to a teleconference and walked me through the mission of the organisation and the tasks I was expected to complete. The collaboration process was smooth and the organisers were efficient and responsive.

My main job in the social enterprise was to digitally designing quilling art patterns for the disabled youths in Vietnam, who would then make them into beautiful greeting cards. Every card that is purchased in North America contributes towards the independence of the youths.

It was exciting to think that my design work was helping disabled youths from a different country to live a life with pride and dignity. I delivered a design each week and the input from BLV was really helpful.

I like the volunteer model that BLV is operating on. Instead of simply raising money for a cause and asking for donations, the organisation has built a bridge between the cause and the real market. As a result, the disabled youths are empowered, the model is sustainable, and the social enterprise is creating value in society.

I have recently finished my four-week voluntary period with the social enterprise. Because my experience has been great, I am going to continue volunteering with the charity after a short break. I would encourage everyone to work with BLV to create a better life for children and young people in the Vietnamese education system.

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