UBELONGer at the local team's office in Vietnam

“My advice for a future volunteer is: don’t be scared to try.”


UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Melissa Dauby Parra
Age: 21
Hometown: Lyon, France
Nationality: France
Occupation: Waitress at Ninkasi Sans Souci
Languages spoken: French, English (fluent), Spanish (advanced)
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Caring for Children with Disabilities in Hanoi, Vietnam
Duration: 4 weeks
Start month: June 2017
Claim to fame: While Melissa was in high school in France, she participated in collective actions to help charitable associations such as Unicef or Habitat et humanism. Welcome to the UBELONG Family, Melissa!

Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG Volunteer to be able to help as much as I could people that are less fortunate than I am. Because even if by becoming a volunteer you know you can’t change the world completely, you can at least impact it positively and make some people happy.

What was your impact on your volunteer project?
My project was teaching French and taking care of children with disabilities. Where I was teaching French, in the summer class, I think that my impact was simply to help the kids understand French (especially the accent) a little bit better and giving them the bases of the language as well as trying to make them extend their vocabulary. At the center where I was caring for children with disabilities, I think my impact was just making the kids smile and, at the same time, teaching them basic things.

What advice would you tell a future volunteer?
My advice for a future volunteer is: don’t be scared to try. At times, you may feel like what you are doing is not right or not enough, but don’t hesitate to try something new. The local support will appreciate you taking initiatives.

In a sentence or less, best packing advice?
Don’t fold your clothes, fold them and then roll them, it takes less room in your suitcase!

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Related post:
Meet Jessica Lee, a Masters student in Design, who volunteered with UBELONG in the business development project in Hanoi, Vietnam.