Volunteering in Thailand

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Thailand wins the hearts of holidaymakers every year because of its vibrant culture, stunning beaches and delicious food. However, many people don’t realise that it is a great place to do some volunteering. Thailand is known for having a varied choice of scenery from cities such as Bangkok to jungles, beaches and magical islands.

Thailand has so much to offer when it comes to volunteering opportunities, you can do anything from building restoration to working with elephants and even having lunch with local monks, all in a beautiful cultural destination. Instead of being a tourist in Thailand, go one step further and immerse yourself in another culture by volunteering. You will get so much more out of the experience than just lying on a beach or going sightseeing. There are things you can do as a volunteer that you simply won’t be able to do as a tourist.

Thailand is quite unique in what it has to offer those wanting to volunteer, and it has a range of different programmes you can sign up for. Help to change lives and do something amazing on your next trip to Thailand. Here are the main types of volunteering you will find in Thailand.

Building

Although building doesn’t sound the most exciting project, it really does make a huge difference and it’s perfect for people who enjoy physical work. There are a range of different building projects to get involved with. You could find yourself restoring a damaged school, repairing an orphanage or improving the quality of local community buildings. Once you have finished a building project you can see your work in action and feel that you have truly given something back to the community. You don’t necessarily need any building or construction experience to work on these projects, just the motivation to work hard and get stuck in.

wheelbarrow crew

Credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/91252594%40N00/145992601

Working with Children

There are lots of opportunities to work with children in Thailand on a wide range of different projects. You can work with children who have learning disabilities and who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping them to develop their potential. There are also orphanages and children’s homes in desperate need for volunteers.

Volunteering at Baan Yuu Suk in July

Credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/75124455%40N07/7885538652

Hospitals

One of the areas where developing countries need the most help is in healthcare. Some communities are too far from the nearest hospital, so the government and charities set up local medical centres where volunteers are crucial. You do have to have medical qualifications if you want to work in medicine in order to be able to give people the right treatment. Part of the role of a medical volunteer is to try and diagnose illness, administer immunisations, manage supplies and treat the sick. You might even be required to do home checks and visit people in their own homes to give treatment. Working in a hospital and doing medical volunteering gives a real insight into these people’s lives.

Elephant Camps

Elephants are a national symbol in Thailand and they have a long history with Thai culture and traditions. They are seen as a sacred animal and you can see them in sculptures and symbols around the country. If you want to help to protect the Thai elephant and get up close and personal with these majestic animals then sign up for an elephant camp. You will get to water, feed and help wash the animals in their natural environment. Many of the elephants have been rescued from working in tourism and earning money on the streets of Thailand.

There are quite a few schemes in place to protect these animals and the government is also doing quite a lot to help them thrive. If you choose to work with these elephants you could find yourself trekking through lush forests, learning about their behaviour and getting to know the local people who look after them. They have a vast knowledge of these fascinating creatures that are a central part of their lives.

Teaching English

You don’t need to be a teacher to go and teach English abroad. You just need to be able to work well with people and be enthusiastic about your work. If you opt to volunteer teaching English in Thailand you will be contributing to a child’s future. English is a really important second language for many Thai children, being able to speak good English can open a lot of doors for them. You will also get to live with a local Thai family, making your trip even more of an interesting experience. There are also opportunities to work to teach English to Buddhist monks and get a real insight into the way they live and how they communicate.

Where Can You Volunteer In Thailand?

You can volunteer in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand if you want to meet the hill tribes, walk through the jungle and enter some fascinating temples. If you want to be close to the stunning beaches then there are some volunteer camps in Surat Thani in the South of Thailand. Or if you are keen to work on an elephant village project head to Surin, a place known for its deep connection with elephants. It really does depend on what type of volunteering you want to do so the best thing to do is decide what you want to do and then plan your trip.


View Thailand Volunteer Map in a larger map

About Milda Ratkelyte

Milda is the Community Manager @ AsiaRooms. Born in Lithuania (love it!), studied in the UK, travelled around Asia and USA, taught in Africa and now residing in Singapore where, equipped with a strong cup of coffee and surrounded by an amazing team I’m blogging about travels, cultures, events and hotels in Asia. Milda on Google+
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