The disabled care volunteering program in China is an opportunity for gap year travelers to make a difference in the lives of children and adults suffering from mental disabilities. The program placement is set up in a charity for Mentally challenged in Beijing. They mainly provide services and help for mentally disabled children and adults in the community. The mission of the charity is to spread the model of community based services and improve the quality of the lives of people with mental disabilities. The volunteer for disabled care program is located at two separate centers in the city. These are;
A) Rainbow team (12 - 15 students)
At this center, the students are in the age group of 8-16 years. Some students are orphans while some come from a poor family. But all of the students suffer from different mental disabilities. They have outside activities in the morning and inside team work in the afternoon. It’s located in a residential building in Tiantongyuan community. The volunteers can take subway to the charity easily from the accommodations.
B) Three-color workshop (17-20 students)
At this placement, students are adults from different age groups. The students learn how to make handicrafts and paintings. The training helped them in providing with an employment opportunity. There are also some other activities such as hutong tour, painting exhibition and dance or song performance for visitors from all over the world. The volunteers can take subway to the charity easily from the accommodations.
Joining the disabled care volunteer program is a different experience for gap year travelers, which is challenging on one side and provides a lot of learning and mental satisfaction on the other side.
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Being an international volunteer placement organization we receive applications throughout the year. Volunteers usually book in advance to avoid losing the seats. Advance booking is recommended for all volunteers. Also, we abide by the first come first serve policy.
Usually, it takes around 10-12 working days for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. After the application is accepted, your placement document shall be updated in your account online and you can view the information in your account. The application acceptance depends on the availability of seats in the project as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the program
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
Participant must be in good health.
In Beijing, our programs start every Monday of the month (except during holidays) and volunteers need to arrive on the program start date itself. Volunteers are picked up from the Beijing International Airport by the local coordinator or representative assigned by the coordinator. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in China will be picked up at a meeting point decided beforehand. Please note that pick up from Beijing Airport is only provided from 8 am – 8 pm.
Participants need to apply for the Chinese Visa on their own. Any necessary supporting documents shall be provided by VS and enrolled participants are provided with more details as well.
As in any large city around the world, general precautions need to be exercised by travelers. However, Beijing is a safe city and tourists do not face any problems.
Carry general medicines with you, other than that consult your doctor before flying. We recommend these basic vaccinations for your safety:
Hepatitis A and B
Yes, for all participants it is mandatory to have a travel medical insurance. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider.
Your country coordinator will take you to your placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc. You will be told about the transportation from the accommodation to the placement and the best places to eat and shop as well during the briefing.
We provide you with accommodation from your start date to the end of the program. Volunteers are provided accommodation in a Youth hostel in Beijing. The hostel is centrally located in the heart of Beijing. Volunteers use subway trains to commute to the project placements generally. The subway station is not very far from the hostel. The hostel has a dining room and internet facility as well. Meals are not provided to the volunteers in the program. However, your coordinator will guide you on the best and reasonable restaurants to eat. Beijing, being an international city with rapid development has also lots of restaurants around the city. Chinese cuisine is one the most popular cuisines around the world and you would love to explore the different dishes and foods available in Beijing.
Typically volunteers are required to put 5-6 volunteer hours every day, 5 times a week. They get free evenings and weekends. You can utilize this time to explore the different parts of Beijing and visit locations such as Forbidden city, National Museum of China or travel to the Great Wall of China as well. It is around 1 – 1.5 hr trip from Beijing.
Your program fee covers you for accommodation, airport pick up, Orientation, Pre-departure information, and in-country coordinator support. You will need to cover yourself for your food, local traveling, telephone, the internet, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $60 - $70 per week for your basic personal expenses.
Volunteers usually work for 5 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. You will have the weekend off so you can go to travel on weekends. However, some organizations will need you to work on some Saturdays as well.
You can exchange your foreign currency to Chinese Yuan at the foreign exchange counters at the airport in Beijing. There are many ATMs as well throughout the city and it is not a problem to withdraw the local currency using the ATM.
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.