Vietnam combines trekking Roof of Indochina, service and deep cultural/historical immersion

Climb for Leaders is delighted to announce a new destination: a three week trip to Vietnam for high school students from independent schools in North America.

Says Narmin K. Ismail from Climb for Leaders, “Students will get to experience a challenging six day trek, culminating in hiking to the top of Mt. Fansipan, the highest mountain in Indochina, at 3 143 m. It is located in the Lào Cai province in Northwest Vietnam, 9 km southwest of Sa Pa Township in the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range. Fansipan is dubbed “the Roof of Indochina”; it is approved as one of the very few eco-tourist spots of Vietnam, with about 2,024 floral varieties and 327 faunal species”

She adds, “They will also spend part of their trip making a difference in the lives of school childern aged 11 to 18 in Ho Chi Minh City through hands-on-participation with the Saigon Children’s Charity, which was established in 1992 to help children escape from the cycle of poverty by giving them an education and an opportunity to enhance their life. And they will get to experience the wonderful history of Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon and other destinations, which are replete with UNESCO designated sites.”

Paul Finnis, Director of Saigon Children’ Charity says, “ Children born into poverty face numerous obstacles in getting to school. If they do get to school it is probable they will drop out early.  Many will not be able to remain in school unaided after age 10 or 11. They are most unlikely to make the most of their potential and struggle later in life as a result. They will emerge into the adult world unqualified for anything other than the most menial and lowest paid jobs that no one else will do. In short they and their families will remain trapped in the cycle of poverty into which they were born and that is the setting into which their children will be born.”

He adds: “Saigon Children’s Charity takes simple, practical steps to ensure that the children most in need get an education. We build schools, we give scholarships, we target additional support and help and we provide vocational training in a range of subjects such as IT, hairdressing and office work, as well as exploring their creative side through hobbies such as photography and art. All students also study English. We know that a good education increases their choices in life and their opportunity to find and sustain decent paid employment.”

Schools can undertake the expedition in Spring 2011, December 2011 or Spring 2012.

For further details, please see


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