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Volunteers in this project help to create a safe and nurturing environment for disadvantaged children in rural Laotian villages. You have the opportunity to connect with these loving children, develop your skills in childcare and give back to a community in need!

Program Highlights:
  • Care for the children of disadvantaged families in a nurturing environment
  • Immerse yourself in the local culture by living in an authentic village
  • Gain experience teaching and caring for children
  • Teach English, basic hygiene and more to the kindergartners
  • Help ease the burden of the local kindergarten staff
  • Explore Vietnam and visit various sites during free time on weekends

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum One-Week Commitment):

Day 1, Sunday: Arrive at Wattay International Airport (VTE). You will be picked up from the airport and taken to settle in to your accommodations in a local village just outside of Vientiane and meet fellow volunteers.

Day 2, Monday: Volunteers will receive an introduction to Vientiane and receive a project orientation the kindergarten.
 
Days 3-6, Tuesday- Friday: Rewarding volunteer work at the kindergarten.

Days 7-8, Saturday and Sunday: Volunteers staying only one week will depart on this Saturday. The weekend is free for volunteers to spend how they wish.

Weeks 2-8: Remaining weeks will follow the pattern of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on a Saturday.

 
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Location of the Project:  Ban Houakhoua Village, Laos
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Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 8 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Wattay International Airport (VTE)
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Volunteer Work:  Teaching and child care
Age:  18 - 60. Exceptions: This project accepts volunteers who are 16-17 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 20 international volunteers

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Double or quad rooms at guesthouse
Food:  Three meals a day (excluding lunch on the weekends)
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Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
Orientation:  Volunteers will receive an introduction to Vientiane and receive a project orientation at the kindergarten.
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses, lunch on the weekends
Ban Houakhoua Village is located in the Naxaythong District, about 25 kilometers from Vientiane, the country’s capital. This location allows for the best of both worlds, as its rural nature will give you a taste of the traditional Laos while still being close to a big city! In Nanyang Village (Ban Na Yang) you will get a taste of ‘real’ rural Laos, where it feels as though time stands still. This beautiful, peaceful location will allow you to meet warm, welcoming locals, giving you a uniquely authentic Laos experience.

Only 25 kilometers away from the village you’ll find the country’s largest city and capital, Vientiane. A laid-back, French-inspired city, Vientiane is located on the banks of the Mekong River near the border of Thailand. With its manicured gardens and French colonial architecture, this city of about 400,000 people, known as the “City of Sandalwood” is also a nice respite from your typical Southeast Asian city.
As a volunteer on this project you will be playing a key role by helping to reduce the heavy work burden of the local staff. You will also be able to develop your own skills working with small children and in so doing  provide them with a safe and nurturing environment. 
 
During your time at the various kindergartens, you will primarily help teach English, life skills and basic hygiene to the children. You may also be in charge of supervising the children and caring for them through feeding, washing and dressing them. Additionally, you may also help keep the kindergarten space clean and organized, as well as lead games and activities for the children to make their time at the kindergarten more enjoyable. Should you wish, you may also bring additional materials for your classes with you, including magazines, comics, musical instruments, etc.

A typical day: You can expect to volunteer five days a week, Monday to Friday. After breakfast in the morning, you will teach English and manage feeding with the kindergarten children. You will break for lunch while the children take naps, and afterwards you will help bathe and feed the children, continue teaching English and lead games and activities. You will end the volunteer day with dinner back at the guesthouse.

Holidays: Volunteer work does not take place during national holidays, but you are always welcome to join in the local celebration.
Please note these consecutive holidays, which may impact short-term placements, before registering:
  • Apr 14 - 16, 2018
  • Oct 24-25, 2018
  • Dec 2-3, 2018
  • Dec 25-31, 2018
  • April 14-16, 2019
Internet
Internet:  WiFi at the accommodations is limited. Volunteers can purchase a local SIM card and data plan that work best for them, if more coverage is needed.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry services are not provided.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in single-gender dorms with up to 6 people. All rooms have a Western style toilet and shower. There is no hot water.
Food:  From Monday-Friday, three meals a day are provided and served at the guesthouse. Breakfast will be American-style and lunch and dinner will include typical Laotian dishes, consisting of rice, noodles, meat and/or fish with plenty of fresh fruit. On the weekends, only breakfast and dinner are provided. Most meals will include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options; however, we ask that you please inform us ahead of time if you have dietary restrictions to ensure that we can plan accordingly.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Good level of English
  • Police clearance
  • Motivation to work with children 
  • Happy to work in hot and humid climate
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • CV/Resume to be submitted upon registration
Culture Week (Highly Recommended):
For an additional fee you can begin your stay with a week-long program  that includes Laotian cooking lessons, language classes and tours to learn more about the Laotian people, culture and customs. Visit some of Laos' highlights, such as the Golden Pagoda, Victory Monument and lush hiking trails through caves and mountains. This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in this truly remarkable country while also getting to know the other volunteers on your project.

Near the accommodation you will find temples and authentic rural Laotian scenery. Many volunteers head to the country’s largest city and capital, Vientiane, in the afternoons.

Some sights you will find there include:
  • Patuxai: Vientiane’s take on the Arc de Triomphe and their own victory monument. You can climb it to enjoy the panoramic views!
  • Wat Si Muang: A Buddhist temple for those who want to absorb some religious culture.
  • Night Market: Every evening at the Mekong river, this is the place to be for locals as well as tourists.
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