Thailand

Main Features

  • Orientation on arrival in Chiang Mai
  • Accommodation in a Volunteer house (shared bedroom)
  • Projects: Art, Education, Working with children with disabilities, HIV/AIDS awareness raising, Animal welfare, Enviornmental

Thailand Vol House

Whether it is the excitement and energy of Bangkok or the beautiful beaches and islands dotted around the coast, Thailand has long held a draw for travellers to South East Asia. Thailand is the only country in the region never to have been ruled by a European power, it is renowned for its Buddhist traditions, friendly people and delicious national cuisine.

Volunteers can go and contribute their time and energy to a wide range of projects in the region of Chang Mai. There you will gain a real understanding of the country, its culture and the challenges faced by local people. Placements are available in the following areas: animal welfare, art, teaching and education, health and HIV/AIDS prevention, women's empowerment, refugee education and assistance. 

Volunteering abroad in Thailand

You can volunteer in several local projects around Chiang Mai, the second largest city of Thailand which is situated in the north of the country. The projects where volunteer are placed target disadvantaged population of the area. The projects given here are an example of the projects in each category. Our goal is to match the skills and expectations of the participants with the needs of the local projects. Our volunteer coordinator in the field will suggest a project for you once they have your application. They are well placed to match your skills and interests to the right placements.

Art Project

If you have a special interest in the arts, you can participate in our art programme in partnership with organisations working with Burmese refugees, indigenous hill tribe groups, underprivileged groups, male and female sex workers, street kids, etc. Volunteers participate in the creation of hands-on artistic outreach workshops. Art is employed as a fun escape from the harsh realities faced by the focus groups participating in the programmes. Occasionally, art exhibitions to showcase these works and raise awareness are organised. Volunteers are expected to help with workshop ideas and implementation, research, outreach, event coordination, sponsorships, and much more. A qualification in art is not neccessary for this programme.

Teaching

There are many opportunities for volunteers in schools and educational organisations working with refugees and minority groups. Volunteers can teach basic English, facilitate educational activities and assist local staff in their daily tasks. A TEFL qualification is preferred and volunteers looking towards a career in teaching will find it particularly worthwhile.

The Migrant School is working with migrant workers who are learning English, Thai and Computer Skills. This is a teaching position that may also involve curriculum planning and office work in the school office.

The Freedom School provides education and support to Burmese refugees and indigenous hill tribe people. The school provides a diverse and exciting educational program to children and adults who reside on construction camps in Chiang Mai. Volunteer responsibilities include curriculum planning, facilitating educational activities, taking care of the school and organizing the daily snack for students.

Women's Rights, Education and Empowerment

Female volunteers interested in women empowerment and education issues have the opportunity to be placed in projects which provide assistance to girls and single mothers from disadvantaged background.

Wildflower Home is a center for single mothers and their children located about 30-40 minutes outside of Chiang Mai. This center sends representatives out to villages around Thailand in search of single mothers in trouble (i.e. abused, abandoned by parents and family, unable to afford raising their children).  Wildflower Home offers free education and life skill training to the mothers until they are ready to leave. Wildflower Home provides food and accommodation (clothing, medicine, shelter) for the single mothers during their stay. They also try to plot the steps needed to help each woman, and consider the availability of opportunities in the future for her children. Welfare officers assist women to achieve goals throughout their stay at Wildflower Home. Eventually, the women and children are individually evaluated. In this program, volunteers will be working at a temporary home for unemployed tribal single mothers with very young children and women who are single and pregnant. Volunteers will participate in teaching, gardening, childcare and various other activities around the foundation. Wildflower Home is a sustainable project.   Volunteers will teach English, take care of the kids at the nursery, and teach computer tech skills, and health education classes.  Most classes are in the afternoon, so in the morning, volunteers do general work in the vegetable garden, and help with necessary construction. 

HIV Outreach & Education

Volunteers can be placed in different organisations working with the issue of HIV and AIDS. These placements involve different activities, from teaching English, to assisting the local staff in their educational and assistance activities.

Mplus work primarily with sexual health for men who have sex with men, (MSM) and offer a wide span of activities such as workshops, English education for male sex workers, and handing out condoms and information at places where men meet to have sex. Volunteers are needed to assist with activities such as these. They have also had activities with local schools informing about safe sex, stigma against sexual minorities and activities that promote familiarity with condoms, such as making condom pins and condom flowers. Mplus also offers face-to-face counselling, phone counselling and plans to set up online counselling in Chiang Mai. Mplus currently consists of about 1000 members, spanning all three focus groups

Environmental Project

Our staff in Thailand is delighted to offer an environmental project conducting research, workshops and various initiatives to restore degraded forests in northern Thailand. The project consists of an office and research tree nursery at the park headquarters, a community nursery and field plots, as well as an education unit connected to Chiang Mai University’s Biology Department.  Volunteers can join the project as an environmental education officer, and work towards increasing environmental protection awareness among local communities and schools. Volunteers have the opportunity to guide nature walks and work on training volunteers and community groups involved in environmental education. 

Volunteers also have the option of the forest ecologist placement, where they will study animal and plant species specific to the environments. Responsibilities include conducting research, completing surveys, and analyzing data.

Arrival & Orientation

You will be met by a staff member upon arrival at Chiang Mai airport and brought to the volunteer house where you will have an orientation. Pick-up at the bus or train station can be also arranged if necessary.

The one day orientation includes a city tour, a welcoming dinner, discussions on Thai culture, life in the volunteer house and safety issues. It will prepare you further for your chosen project and will give you a chance to meet our staff and other volunteers. You will also participate in Thai lessons for the first four days of your programme.

Accommodation

All volunteers stay at the Volunteer Home for the duration of their program. The Volunteer Home is a modest Thai home that can accommodate up to ten people in shared occupancy rooms. Here, all of your needs are taken care of; meals, hot water, comfortable beds and lounge areas, T.V. Wifi internet and DVD player, etc. It is located in the safe neighborhood of Charoen Mueang, situated right next to the Ping River and several cafes and galleries. The housekeeper/cook is one of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet.

Workplace conditions

Workplace conditions vary depending on the project. Volunteers work a maximum of 40 hours per week, with 2 days off. You might be required to work in the evenings and during the week ends. Generally there will be other international volunteers working on the project.

Language Classes

Thai language lessons are offered during the first week of volunteering, Monday and Thursday at 6 pm-7.30 pm. 

Visas

Visas must be arranged prior to departure. Contact us for more information.

Start Dates

Please contact us for start dates for 2014.

Eligibility

It's challenging to live and work in an Asian country. It demands courage and the ability to adapt. It can be difficult, particularly in the beginning, to adjust to new conditions, climate, food, language, and culture. During your volunteer service you might be faced daily with a harsh social reality and experience things differently than a tourist would. To take part in a volunteer programme in Thailand, you must be over 18, mature, open minded, highly flexible, independent, and have a genuine desire to help others.

The EIL Development Education Network

Our volunteers work and live alongside local people in local communities in some of the most deprived areas in the world. It is in response to their experiences that the EIL development education programme was set up. On their return to Ireland we ask our volunteers to be the voice for the stories of the people they worked with and to highlight their experience of poverty and inequality. Then together we campaign to make a difference by promoting global justice, human rights, fair trade, debt relief and greater equality and respect among the peoples of the world. Our goal is to see global justice and equality reach the top of the Irish agenda.

The Application Process

Applying for the Volunteer Abroad programme is a straight forward process: after receiving your application and CV we will contact you to find out more about your interests and motivation for wanting to be a volunteer. We then send your information to our colleagues in the country of your choice and they make your placement. As soon as they confirm a suitable placement for you, we will send you all the information necessary to finalise your preparations. Although some countries can accept late applications, you should send your completed application 12 weeks in advance. The earlier you apply, the more time we have to find the most suitable project for you.

What you need to do:

  • Complete the application form and send it to us together with 2 recent passport photos, €350 deposit, and recent CV.
  • Do a telephone interview (or in person if you live in Cork and/or want to call in).
  • A confirmation letter of enrolment will then be sent within 10 working days.

If you prefer we can send you the application form by post.

For more information about applying to volunteer with EIL please see How do I apply? or contact Cliona.

We guarantee no hidden costs.

We encourage you to compare our costs with other organisations and a careful comparison of what is included and what is not included is always advisable.

What Is Included

  • Pre-departure information and support
  • Transportation from Chiang Mai airport on arrival
  • In-country orientation programme
  • Ongoing support from local staff
  • Transport to and from project
  • All meals and accommodation for the duration of the programme
  • Transfer to airport on departure
  • Project donation (100 USD)
  • Debrief workshop on return to Ireland
  • Invitation to join the EIL Development Education Network

What Is Not Included

  • Cost of flights
  • Visa Fees
  • Medical, liability and travel insurance (available for €10 per week)
  • Personal expenses
  • Vaccinations

Costs

  • 3 weeks: €1,569
  • 4 weeks: €1,709
  • 6 weeks: €2,019
  • 8 weeks: €2,299
  • 10 weeks: €2,549
  • 12 weeks: €2,799

Medical, liability and travel insurance available for €10 per week.

Prices are subject to change.

Visit our WHY PAY? and FUNDRAISING pages.

 

Hallie Morisson is an American artist-scholar that earned a Master of Arts in Creative Process from a new Irish institution called Uversity. Hallie has volunteered in Thailand for 7 weeks. Following this experience, Hallie has recently become the new Art Director of the host organisation in Thailand. I first went to Thailand via a scholarship from CIT and a desire to volunteer abroad in an art therapy or alternative art related education setting. When I was applying for the scholarship I was inspired by my own ability to adapt and learn in a new country on my Uversity experience in Ireland,...
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