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.
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.
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
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.