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V.E.T Yangshuo (Volunteering)
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lazy



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: V.E.T Yangshuo (Volunteering) Reply with quote

I have come across a organisation near Yangshuo called V.E.T. (volunteer English Teachers) which excepts volunteers on a short term basis.
Has anyone got any info on this program, V.E.T or Buckland Education Group.
I am 40 and am doing a TEFL course at the moment and plan to go travelling next year but without teaching experience I thought volunteering might be a good start.
You can volunteer from days to weeks so I was planning 3 months. I think they pay for your accomodation and meals while you teach.
The guy in charge is Laurie MacKenzie


Last edited by lazy on Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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vikuk



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 1842

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure the scheme is co-hosted by a reliable NGO - and contact past participants to hear if they felt their volunteering was worthwhile - and not a holiday prank while their Chinese employers made a bit of cash out of their labors Idea
As harsh as it may sound - some Chinese never seem to miss a chance of trying to make an extra buck out of folk who are prepared to work for free!!!! One always has to be very careful not to be scammed.
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of volunteering is nice, but not for teaching english. Example, a group of five came to my current school to teach for free ... volunteers. My school is one of the most expensive schools in Zhengzhou. So some young college students thinking they are helping poor Chinese children when really all they are doing is giving the rich kids even more of an advantage, making it even harder for the poor kids to keep up.

Why are you considering volunteering instead of being paid? Be aware that most of the groups that advertise for you to come help the poor Chinese are just colecting a lot of money off you. Very few exceptions. More often then not they will post some fake pictures of students unwashed, with poor clothes, broken desks, aks you for a donation.

In a minority of cases it is for real ... in the minority.

Owen Buckland (not the real name) is Chinese as I remember and has been running recruitment for a long long long time. From a recruitment standpoint the complaints have not been overwhelming about his recruiting. The question is are you really helping Chinese students who without you would never have had a Foreign teacher? or are you a toll for keeping down an already stagnant wage, and possibly taking a job away from a professional teacher who has been doing this for years .. which is more often the case. Not sure why the Buckland group would need volunteers. How long is the job for?

I worked once on organizing a group of teachers go to a remote poor area in Northern Yunnan. Really poor. Even then the teachers were to paid an income


Last edited by arioch36 on Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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TexasHighway



Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they charging you a program fee for the "privilege" of teaching for them? I admire your noble intentions and hope it works out for you. Just ensure that but by working for free you are not inadvertently undercutting the paid FTs here or that some unscrupulous administrator is not pocketing your unpaid salary.

Last edited by TexasHighway on Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i wouldn't agree that the posts on Buckland have been overwhelmingly negative. FOr the number of years he has been around, or his daughter, or whoever runs it now, the complaints have been remarkably limited. I for one would give this VET the benefit of the doubt. My understanding is that they pay for meals and housing? Buckland's main job to to direct them to new locations and help arrange things with authorites?

I would be interested in you going and then your posting here. Every province is the same. nice school in the main cities, then increrasingly poorer school as you go out into the countryside.

If they have you teach in a city, even a medium sized city, I would think of it as a rip off.
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eddy-cool



Joined: 06 Jul 2008
Posts: 1008

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That V.E.T. programme is, if I am not totally mistaken, managed by a Canadian retiree who enjoys BUckland's sponsorship. BUckland allows him to advertise for free on their website.

I once had a meal in their canteen and was on that occasion introduced to a grey-haired Canadian interested in setting up a volunteers' programme. That was several years ago. Apparently it's matured into the real thing now.

The idea of the man was to help elderly but fit retirees find something useful to do. They are posted to small schools in the countryside around Yangshuo. Yes, they work for free. What's wrong with that? These schools won't hire any laowais for any amount of money because they can't afford to.

There also are other volunteering organisations. One is based in Quebec; it's name is something like 'Action' plus something else. Last year three of their teachers - very young and very enthnusiastic - came to downtown Yangshuo to socialise every day. They too got no pay.
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DistantRelative



Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 367
Location: Shaanxi/Xian

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's Bets's husband (I can't think of the old farts name right now) who runs the program. I can tell you he's a good ole boy and his hearts in the right place. I almost went with him a couple years back when I was there doing summer vaca (and a few paid camps for Owen) but it didn't happen.

Knowing a bit about them, I'm reasonably confident they'll take decent enough care of you, and it'll end up being a worthwhile experience.

Hope this helps,

Zhuhao
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yes, they work for free. What's wrong with that? These schools won't hire any laowais for any amount of money because they can't afford to
.

Think this is great. But many volunteers just go to a school in the city (not talking about VET) I gave the specific example of my current school... high tuition, and a group is still sending volunteers to them Rolling Eyes .

Sounds like VET might be a thumbs up

Again, hope the OP remembers to post his experience if he does this
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Meleefracas



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I emailed the old gent who heads this organization back in August, and was taken aback by a rude and abrubt reply from him. However, it still seems like one of the better 'volunteer' programs out there, because their charges aren't excessive. A lot of the other 'volunteer' teaching programs ask for thousands of dollars in fees.
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stillnosheep



Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Posts: 2068
Location: eslcafe

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Met the guy. You'll end up at one of the village schools around Yangshuo. You could try asking un whether he has more up-to-date nfo on the project.
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Xi_Gua



Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Posts: 25
Location: Tongzi, Guizhou

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work with Buckland now and know Laurie and his wife. They are really great people and they do work very hard to try to set up opportunities for less fortunate people in China who are eager to try to learn some English. While I don't know specifics about the job, I can tell you that you will be taken care of.

Laurie's wife works with Buckland, so you will have plenty of expertise (from other foreign teachers there as well as students willing to help you and give you advice on culture blah blah). Again, I don't know specifics about living quarters and that kind of crap, but you should be able to have dine at Buckland for free. The food is very repetitious but it's ok and free.

Yangshuo is an amazing place to start out, there are plenty of things to do and people to meet, so you shouldn't have a worry about it.

When are you planning on going?
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lazy



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm planning to go April May time for about 3 months, a good start I hope.
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China Tesol



Joined: 02 Jun 2006
Posts: 10
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:20 pm    Post subject: VET (VOLUNTEER ENGLISH TEACHERS) Reply with quote

I know VET a bit too, its founded by a Canadian old retired teacher Laurie, while his wife Betts working for Owen Buckland in Yangshuo as a teacher trainer, he recruits voluteers to teach in the poor village schools for free, and Owen Buckland sponsor the voluteers free food and accommodation in Buckland Group, actually they even have a website www.vet-china.org
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vikuk



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 1842

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there was a recent post - now deleted - that told that an older Canadian female teacher trainer has now left Bucklands - leaving the organisation a little disorganised. I take it that if this is Betts - so if she's left there's a question mark surrounding the presence and involvement of the said Laurie - and whether they still work on the VET project.
They still appear on the website - but as ever check with FT's already working on these kind of projects to find out how smoothly they are running.

If anyone has more info - I'm only going from what I've read on the boards - please put me right
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The Ever-changing Cleric



Joined: 19 Feb 2009
Posts: 1523

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i remember the thread in question. you are indeed correct sir.
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