VFCD - A Fraudulent Organisation PDF Print E-mail

After being contacted by Lorraine Elletson, a former VFCD volunteer, a couple of months ago, we decided to suspend VFCD's VolunteeringInfo organisation listing. This was due to concerns raised by Lorraine which lead us to believe that VFCD may be fraudulent. Upon contacting VFCD (which, to the best of our knowledge, is an organisation consisting of only one man, Mr. Son) and detailing our concerns, it took several weeks before we received a reply. When we finally did, the answer did address many of our concerns; indeed, VFCD included a copy of their e-mail communications with Lorraine and these appeared to show that VFCD were not at fault - the problem was that we had been given a copy of the same string of e-mails by Lorraine, and the two did not match up.

After raising our concerns on VolunteeringInfo, we were contacted by another disgruntled ex-VFCD volunteer who, like Lorraine, had paid for more than they received. Finally, we were contacted a couple of weeks ago by a third volunteer, Alex, whose experience with VFCD had been similar to the other two. Indeed, the below excerpt from his e-mail summarises the experience of all volunteers we have been in touch with quite well:

"Upon our arrival in Sapa, it transpired we would be teaching at a school in the town, not in a rural area, and staying in a hotel in the town as well. This was not what we had signed up for, and further to this our contact in Sapa told us that Mr Son wanted another $400 from us to cover accommodation costs. At this point we knew we had been scammed, and refused to give them another penny. We thought hard long and hard about the school's involvement with such untrustworthy characters as Mr Son, but decided to do our two weeks of teaching regardless. The time we spent at the school was great, but proved to be the only times when we weren't pursuing Mr Son for our money back or just being generally annoyed by the whole thing.

We have now returned to Hanoi, where we have just been to the address that was at the foot of some of his initial emails he sent to us back in February/ March of this year. Upon arriving at this address we have found that he has moved on elsewhere. We called him at this point (strangely he still answers his phone to us, despite probably 30 calls/text messages/emails from us asking him to refund our money). He then told us he would send us his new office address over a text as the reception was bad. We hesitantly agreed. No text arrived and his phone was then turned off. "

Based on the above, we have decided to suspend the VFCD organisation entry permanently. We would also strongly urge anyone considering to volunteer with VFCD to think twice before sending over any payment.



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0 #2 CDS 2013-01-01 18:04
http://www.v4d.asia/p/feedback.html

Charlotte Pester–England
I sponsored three people who study here at the center, meeting them has been very moving for me, and the hard work they do is incredible. I have also brought many books and pens for the children at the street school. I hope that sponsoring the three people will help them to achieve their goals, and make life a little easier from the day to day struggle. Working here has been a life changing experience for me, and I hope to come back in the near future to help as much as I can, the people are so hard working and kind, although life is difficult they still make the most of everything. I am grateful for the support and kindness I have been given.

Jason Thai - USA
Dear,
Thanks for everything; I had such a great experience. It cannot be stated in words how much I appreciated the generosity that was shown to me. I cannot thank enough the entire staff and all the volunteers for making my volunteer efforts remarkable easy, from providing me transport to and from the orphanage, taking me on excursions throughout Hanoi and most importantly, showing me unparalleled kindness and teaching me more about the culture. I truly wish the organization the best of luck going forward and hope everyone is extremely successful in what they do and that they’ll have a chance to travel and see the sites beyond Hanoi!!!!
Thanks again, I’ll never forget the volunteers, staff and everyone that made this experience truly memorable!!

Jason
PS – Please do let me know if you are ever in the US, so I can repay the generosity that you have show me.
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0 #1 CDS 2013-01-01 18:02
They are doing great voluntary work, don't worry ! Please see feedback from fomas participants


Mr. Duy Khang Tong
01Nationality: Vietnamese - Swiss
Date: 2012, August


"I had a very good time on this camp. I learned a lot about the local people and the culture. This trip was kind of adventure for me on the same time you meeting volunteer people to share the experience. The choice of the place where we spend was very nice and interesting. I think as a group we worked pretty well together. In short, the trip is over my expectation, although the schedule changed a few times"


Mr. MaximeThrvolle
02Nationality: French
Date: 2012, August

The camp was really interesting and I learnt a lot about life in the countryside and how farmers lived and see the world. The scenery was beautiful and the landscapes were to be preserved.




Mr. Guy Nicholson
05Nationality: British
Date: 2012, August

I thought the program theme was very positive and focused on helping the local people in rural Vietnam live better life and to use our knowledge to help them progress their business and increase our awareness of how they live. The atmosphere was relaxed, I felt very welcome in the group and I felt like the organization was grateful for my attendance. I felt that I got a chance to really interact with rural people to a depth that I could not access through a travel agent's tour.



(Excellent) by Ashley from Newzealand [24/10/2012]

This is a wonderful program to be a part of. VFCD is doing extremely good work for people who need it, and will look after you perfectly throughout your time here.

Ha Noi and Viet Nam are great places that allow endless opportunity to meet amazing people, see super sights, and feel the life in the world.

I hope very much to be back one day more

(Excellent) by Benjamin - USA [01/11/2012]

We had a great time working for VFCD program. The schools we worked at ranged from young kids, to people with disabilities, and high school aged students. All of the schools were a lot of fun to work at and I feel as though we learned as much from them as they did from us.
VFCD was a great host and took great care of us during our stay. Vietnamese coordinators arranged for tours around the area as well as provided us with excellent food. They is a awesome cook. I would definitely recommend this workaway to anyone who is interested.



Eduardo Duarte - England

Once again thank you very much for making my experience in Vietnam so incredible. I will never forget you all and the children.

In regards to feedback, first of all I think that Mr. Son was extremely supportive with me and always tried to answer my needs.
I found the whole community very welcome and with good hospitality. By having dinner and lunch with them all the time, it gave me the opportunity to learn more about your culture which is another plus for my experience in Vietnam.

The planning/timetable was very clear, I am very happy and pleased to be the first volunteer coming to Vietnam, and once again thank you very much for accepting me. It was a wonderful experience :)

Send my regards to everyone please!!!!!

Best Regards,
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