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UNV Publications

Story of Phuong - an Online Volunteer

As we celebrate two special events this August, International Youth Day (August 12) and the World Humanitarian Day (August 19), we would like to introduce a young Vietnamese Online Volunteer who has been supporting us with translating and editing for the UNV Viet Nam Field Unit in recent months.

Being one of a few Vietnamese youth who have been pioneers in working as online volunteers, Phuong shares her experiences and interest in online volunteering as well as her tips to have a balanced and interesting life in the article below.

Phuong’s Story

My name is Phuong, a 25-year-old Vietnamese graduate with a Master of Public relations and Advertising from Australia. As I have been based in Bangkok, Thai Lan, for more than a year, I am still in the process of discovering, adapting to new circumstances and learning new things every day.

I have been an online volunteer for almost a year. Through the website which is administered by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, I have obtained opportunities to work with different non-profit organizations including LifeSTEPS USA, Boys and Girls clubs of Huntington Valley and currently Youth Leader Magazine and UNV Viet Nam.

My main task as an online volunteer is to provide language support in English and Vietnamese. It means that I support by translating documents from English into Vietnamese and vice versa, I also proof-read translated documents and edit them when necessary.

To my knowledge, there are many types of work that an online volunteer can do, for example translating, IT, designing, writing major proposals and managing social media channels. However, since language plays a vital role in working online, you need to be proficient in at least one of the six official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).

I really love working as an online volunteer, because each and every time when I take a new assignment, it opens new vistas of knowledge and experience. Every task assigned is not only an opportunity for me to strengthen and improve translation techniques; it also helps to broaden my knowledge.

For example, I learnt knowledge of Child Sexual Abuse Education and Prevention through translating documents for Boys and Girls of the Huntington Valley Club; I have also improved my understanding of Genetically Modified Foods by proof-reading documents related to Genetically Modified Organisms; and thanks to my work with materials on vegan diets for pregnant mothers, I am capable of sharing this helpful information with my vegan close friend who has a baby.

As the whole process (volunteer recruitment, exchange of emails and task assignments) is carried out online, I can independently arrange my time for working online, at the same time accomplishing my own activities such as taking private tuition and cooking for my family. The rest of my time I can use for other hobbies like reading books and practicing the piano.

I have two tips to share with you who would like to become an online volunteer in the future: the first one is to be disciplined and gain personal prestige; the second is to ensure the best accuracy in your work.

Photo 1: UNV Viet Nam Online Volunteer - Tran Do Diem Phuong
Photo 2: Phuong joined a volunteer event in Thailand to make hand-made therapy tools for the elders in hospitals and retirement homes.
Photo 3: One of her hobbies is to practice the piano.

Editor: UNV Viet Nam/Communications Officer Nguyen Ngoc Huyen and Online Volunteer David Scott.
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