If you are interested in volunteering with the East Meets West Dental Program, you can download a document which outlines all the details you will need to know before joining one of our outreach teams. This ten-page document includes the application to apply. Download the Dental Program Volunteer Packet (PDF).
The EMW Dental Program has received over 650 volunteers from various countries around the world. These individuals include dentists, hygienists, dental nurses, dental assistants, dental therapists, dental students and non-medical volunteers. We have letters of agreement with several dental universities to send senior students to EMW to receive advanced training from our staff. These volunteers have come from colleges all over the world.
Learn more about the history of the dental volunteer program!
We have recently partnered with other international NGOs to provide more patient care by pooling our joint resources. These NGO’s include: the Himalayan Dental Relief Project, Global Humanitarian Expeditions, Aloha Medical Mission, US Navy Pacific Partnership Mission, Bridge to A Better Future, Team Alaska USA, US Navy Mercy Hospital Ship and the Canadian Dentistry with Heart Mission. In addition, many dentists are returning military Veterans who served in Vietnam during the war years.
How the Dental Volunteer Program Works
Each year EMW has approximately ten to fifteen groups of volunteers come to Da Nang. These are usually evenly split between students and dentists. Volunteers typically stay for two weeks, spending a few days in our clinic and proceeding on to an Outreach trip.
Our volunteer schedule is set well in advance, often 6 –12 months. Therefore, we encourage interested people to contact us as soon as possible as it may not be feasible to accommodate every request. Volunteers are expected to pay their own travel and living expenses. It is recommended that you consider purchasing some emergency travel insurance.
Starting in July 2009, there will be a fee of $290 to be paid to the EMW office in Oakland (see letter from Dental Program Director Dr. Charles Craft for more information). This fee will help cost share with the EMW Dental Program for the administrative procedures that involved with foreign volunteers. In addition, volunteers may be requested to help obtain certain emergency dental items or supplies that are extremely difficult to find in Vietnam. They may also be asked to help train our staff in certain dental subjects or update our program in the latest international techniques and materials.
The languages used in our clinic are English and Vietnamese. Expect to use your translation skills. Past volunteers have been duly impressed with our program and overwhelmed by the cooperation of our trusting child patients. The culture, food and beauty of Vietnam will leave you with an unforgettable lifetime experience. We only ask that each volunteer remember that they are guests of EMW and the government of Vietnam and that they conduct themselves properly. Both the volunteers and our Vietnamese staff will learn and benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience. After the volunteer trip at the EMW Dental Program, each volunteer will be requested to provide us with a brief post-trip report which describes their activities and suggestions for improving our program in the future. It would also be kind if you can take a team photo and sign our ever growing guest book.
Upon the conclusion of your trip, the EMW Oakland Office will mail you an official EMW letter which states the amount of time you volunteered and any items you may have donated in-kind or in-cash. EMW is a US registered 501 (c) (3) charity organization and this form can be used as a receipt for your tax accountant.
Dentists, hygienists and dental students interested in volunteering with EMW should contact our Program Director, Dr. Craft, to check on your eligibility. Our Coordinator, Ms. Minh Huong, will then attempt to schedule your visit and assist you with your trip plans. She will send you an information form and request copies of your Passport, CV, Diploma, License or Student IDs (we will also need a letter of agreement from their university). EMW will then request permission from the Vietnamese Foreign Affairs and Health Departments to obtain a “Work Visa” for your visit. This process may take several months. Once approved, a special code of the work visa will be sent to you and to the Vietnam Embassy/Consulate in your country. You will need to fill out a work visa application form (with photos) and pay a fee (around $50USD) to obtain your work visa.
- Most visitors will arrive in Vietnam at the airports in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. From there they can take a domestic flight on Vietnam Airlines to Da Nang. There are also limited international flights directly to Da Nang.
- EMW staff will meet our guests at the airport and help volunteers arrange local lodging and transportation within the Da Nang area. Rooms run about $15-30 USD with hot water, air cond, TV and most have internet access now. Motorcycles may be rented for around $ 5-7 USD per day with car rental about $ 25-40 USD per day.
- Tourist day trips are available to Hoi An, Hue or the countryside near Da Nang Beach. There are lots of excellent restaurants that serve delicious seafood and inexpensive western and Vietnamese food.
- The currency used in Vietnam is the Dong, although US Dollars are also accepted. The current rate is between 19,000 -21,000 Viet Nam Dong/ $1USD. Money exchanges and credit card advances can be made at the local banks. ATM cash machines are also available on many streets in Da Nang.
- The local weather ranges from hot (January through May), rainy and humid (June through September) and cool (October through December). Our staff can provide you with telephone numbers for emergency police, fire and hospital services in Da Nang upon your request.
If you have additional questions please contact these past EMW Dental Volunteers:
1. Dr. Ron Berquist at email@example.com
2. Dr. Gary Godley at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Mel Potter at email@example.com
Contact the Dental Program
EMW Dental Program
269 Nui Thanh St
Hoa Cuong Bac Ward
Hai Chau District
Da Nang City, Vietnam
Minh Huong, Dental Program Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Charles F.Craft: email@example.com
U.S. Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org