“Volunteering is like a job!”

Mr. Le Khac Huy, a Marketing expert, has been volunteering at Thien An Shelter (MATA) to consult the Shelter’s staff on a marketing strategy for its sticks for the blind. In an interview with LIN via email, Huy said: “Volunteering is like a job, it needs the same rigor and professionalism in everything the volunteer does.”

Skilled volunteer Le Khac Huy (far right) at a meeting with MATA's staff

Skilled volunteer Le Khac Huy (far right) at a meeting with MATA’s staff

LIN: Please introduce yourself.

Huy: My name is Huy Le Khac. I’m 40 years old, French Viet kieu, arrived in Vietnam in 2005. Previous job is lecturer at RMIT (Marketing). I love the country and the people. I have family (aunts and cousins) in HCMC, Hanoi and Hue.

LIN: Please describe your volunteer experience.

Huy: I volunteered for
– Poussieres de vie + several orphanages : took portrait photos of orphans and offered to them, in kontum and in hcmc
– Friends For Street Children : took pictures of handcraft produced by the association , to update the catalog on their website

LIN: How did you learn of the volunteer position at MATA? Why did you decide to apply for it?

Huy: I submit my application to LIN. I did not know specifically about the position at MATA. [*LIN contacted Huy when  they received a volunteer request from MATA]

LIN: Please describe your volunteer work at MATA. What do you like most about volunteering here? What is the challenge?

Huy: I drafted the marketing plan for MATA (commercial aspects, database, website, fundraising). I keep it simple and make it happen. What i like most is that Mr. Phong , the director, is very supportive and pro-active. He understands very well what I am trying to do and he knows very well the needs of the blind people. He just needs someone to do the marketing not because he does know anything about it but because he does not have the time so it is easy to work with him.

LIN: What differences/changes can you envision/do you hope this project will bring to MATA?

Huy: I hope it will give MATA the knowledge and autonomy to sell the sticks to the associations in Vietnam and overseas, thus creating a stable source of revenue for MATA.

LIN: What are the most important qualities from a volunteer?

Huy:

– Listening skills in order to propose the solutions that fit the needs and the resources of the association.
– Sharing-oriented rather than results oriented : rather than work on his won and reach his objectives, the volunteer may enjoy much more the experience if he shares or teaches his knowledge and views with the staff of the association.
– Commitment : volunteering is like a job, it needs the same rigor and professionalism in everything the volunteer does.

LIN: How do you think people with skills and experience like yourself could engage in helping disadvantaged people?

Huy: They could teach English, help for fundraising, help about the management of the association, how to look for sponsors, etc.

LIN: Is there anything else you want to share about your experience at MATA?

Huy: I hope to be able to supply or sponsor a lot of sticks for blind people for the blind people in Vietnam!

LIN: Thank you!

I am very satisfied with Huy’s support. Being a volunteer, he possesses professionalism in what he does. He details the work, sets the milestones, and keeps in touch with us.

With his support, I hope Thien An Shelter will have a clear Marketing strategy to approach potential customers and promote the sticks made by us.

Mr. Do Quoc Phong, MATA’s Director

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Posted in LIN Stories

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