Thailand - Learn, volunteer and travel
This is a great opportunity to experience Thai culture and volunteer in a meaningful teaching or orphanage placement. This is a unique program, which you can design in part by yourself and even join an exciting eco-trip after your placement.
|Location of Project||Sing Buri Province|
|Project Length||Min 1 week - Max 8 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Bangkok Airport on Sundays|
|Volunteer Work||Orphanages, teaching, and renovation work|
|Number of Participants||10 - 20 international volunteers|
|Age||17 - 70|
|Accommodation||Eco lodge campus 2 - 4 people per room|
|Food||3 vegetarian meals a day, 2 meals per day during the weekend|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Airport Transfers||Included on arrival day (Sundays)|
|Excursions||Local cultural tours in the area (in the Siam Culture Week)|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Orientation||Introduction and training in Sing Buri|
|Insurance||Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage|
What's Not Included
Sing Buri is an interesting and beautiful town located 142 km north of Bangkok. Sing Buri was founded in prehistoric period during the reign of King Rama V through consolidation of 3 small towns located on the bank of The Chao Phraya River, north of Ang Thong. The town boasts an impressive collection of temples and colorful architecture that create the perfect backdrop for the numerous festivals held during the year.
About the Project
This orphanage program is set up with Thailand's leading volunteer organization. Over the years, this program has successfully placed volunteers from around the world with orphanages in the Sing Buri region. The orphanages involved have integrated their own primary and secondary schools that are also open for impoverished families in the area. Besides teaching English on an informal basis, the volunteers are able to work with the children in their vegetable garden (for their own consumption), create activities for the students, or arrange workshops for cultural exchange, environmental awareness, and other important issues. Renovation and construction tasks are also carried out to improve the living conditions of the orphanage and school.
IMPORTANT: When confirming your dates, please take note of the long holidays (which are from mid-March until mid-May and during all of October). During such times the kids leave the orphanages and go back to their families or their villages, and special classes and English camps are arranged, as well as renovation projects. Additionally, when relevant, volunteers are able to take part in the cultural festivities occuring in the area.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
Volunteers will be assigned various tasks and responsibilities at a local orphanages:
- Informal teaching and assisting with school work
- Organic gardening
- Initiating special environmental awareness campaigns like Clean up the Orphanage
- Maintenance of the orphanage buildings and grounds.
- Renovation and light construction projects
The volunteers can choose to help out with after school activities such as sports, arts workshops, and games.
The coordinator oversees the logistics and daily activities. Every day volunteers usually leave the center after breakfast around 9:00 in the morning for the orphanage and leave late midday back to our base camp again. The orphanages are located 40km from the volunteer campus and local transportation is provided. The local teachers are typically Thai and there is one teacher with fairly good English. Weekends are usually off for traveling or just relaxing at the campus.
Every participant who joins this project for more than 1 week joins a fun cultural orientation week, in which volunteers learn about Thailand and meet their fellow participants. Volunteers enjoy cooking classes (delicious Thai food!), excursions, and have many opportunities to interact with locals. The goal of this orientaion week is to smooth you into your volunteering experience by providing you with an understanding of the culture, manners, norms, and decorum that is inherent in Thai society.
Monday - Start, of course, with some breakfast, and then a tour around the village (Tha Kham). Following that, the group visits Wat Phikun Thong, before having lunch at a local and authentic restaurant. In the afternoon you will head to Sing Buri for a walk around to make yourself familiar with the town, and to give you a chance to buy anything you may require. After dinner you will be the guests of honor at a welcoming ceremony in which the local school children perform a traditional Thai dance. Be prepared to join the dancing!
Tuesday - Enjoy an all-day trip to the historic City of Ayutthaya (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya), where you will see ancient ruins and beautiful works of art. The Ayutthaya historical park is recognized internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The group will then visit the special "Elephant Village" followed by a riverside dinner.
Wednesday - In the morning we start with Thai language lessons, followed by a cooking lesson. In the afternoon you will travel to town, relax in the swimming pool, check your emails at the many internet cafes, and practice your new Thai language skills. In the evening, we will have dinner at a Thai BBQ restaurant.
Thursday - You will start the day with a visit to one of the local schools, where you will meet with the children and play games with them. During school holidays (from mid-March till mid-May and also in October) when the school is closed we may visit an English Camp set up for the children or the Queens Project situated in the nearby rice fields. Later, you will visit some of the beautiful and famous monuments and Buddhist temples nearby.
Friday - On Friday you will have another full day of sightseeing, with visits to the famous Phra Narai Ratchaniwet Phra Ram (monkey temple), and the Wat Phra Phutthabat Temple (Buddha's footprint). Later the group will experience some local cuisine at a nearby restaurant.
Weekend - The weekend is free. You can relax, take a local taxi into town, visit the many sites in the central provinces, or take a bus to Bangkok for the weekend.
* Note: The schedule above can change. Thailand is a tropical country with occasional storms and floods that can impact the activities.
Accommodations: volunteers stay on a beautiful eco campus about 10 km (15 Min) from the town of Sing Buri. Accommodations will be in comfortable rooms for 2 - 4 people (same gender) with fans, linens, and shared toilets/bathrooms. The doors and windows are screened to protect you from mosquitoes. There is a communal area where volunteers can eat, relax, and meet. The accommodations are within walking distance of a local shop and a make shift bar provided by the friendly locals. Lockers for valuables are available.
Volunteers can upgrade to more comfortable, quiet accommodations including a double room with air conditioning and en-suite bathroom for an additional $120/week. This is highly recommended for volunteers age 35 and over.
Family volunteers can upgrade to a comfortable family apartment in a quiet area for an additional $125/week/adult. Children (ages 5-14) will not be charged extra for the accommodations upgrade, and will receive 50% off their total project cost (children under 5 participate for free).
Food: 3 cook meals are provided daily and are typical Thai fare, including plenty of rice dishes.
Laundry: cheap laundry service available close by.
During the program volunteers will receive cultural tours around Sing Buri, Lopburi, and Ayutthaya (in the Orientation Week). On the weekends volunteers are encouraged to travel to places of interest in Thailand. The local coordinator can assist with travel plans.
Other project options available, not included in the cost, are:
- Thai Boxing - Immerse yourself in a local Thai Boxing Champion’s training regime
- School Placement/Sports Coach - Experience a local rural school and do your part
- And more...
- Min age 17 (it is possible to arrange a family package)
- Good level of English
- Motivation to work with children and meet new cultures
- Able to work in hot and humid climate
- Full travel and medical insurance
- Immunizations (please consult your doctor)
Here's an excerpt of Carmen's experience:
Here's an excerpt of Jessica's experience:
Here's an excerpt of Liran's experience:
Check out our volunteer blog at blog.goeco.org
Thailand - Orphange Volunteer Feedback, Yan Kaminsky 2010
The volunteer work was varied; I assisted with teaching English and art in schools, played football with the children and took part in renovating an entire orphanage. I even discovered skills I never knew I had and I feel that my contribution went a long way. This program is an amazing way to discover the rich culture of Thailand, which I am pretty sure most tourists never see. I should mention that the location is lush, beautiful and a great place to meet volunteers from around the world, some of whom I traveled with after my placement. So... If you looking for a unique experience, you should really put this program on your "To Do list".
Thailand GoEco Volunteer - Emilie Boucher 2010
The project in Thailand was amazing! I would definitely recommend this program. I really wish I could have stayed longer and I am hoping to go back some day. Also, I wanted to let you know that after talking to some other people about their organizations, GoEco is well organized and supportive of their volunteers.
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