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Volunteer in Thailand

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Thailand is a beacon for volunteers; whether you're interested in working at a refugee camp or volunteering with stray dogs, the opportunities for volunteers in Thailand are widely varied.

Not to mention, volunteering in Thailand lets you step outside the normal tourist bubble. Working with an NGO lets you settle into a daily rhythm that shares the Thai daily rhythm of work and celebration. Thais work hard yet smilingly acknowledge you as you walk through ancient and modern entrepreneurial activities.

Because Thailand shares borders with Myanmar (Burma), Laos, and Cambodia, all of which have a history of human rights abuses, scores of human right agencies have been long established in this area -- and it's easy for you to make these neighboring countries (which are also historical, beautiful and fascinating) part of your volunteer plans.

Bangkok and Chiang Mai in particular have multiple volunteering opportunities and NGOs:

Human Right Advocacy

There are many NGOs in Chiang Mai, with branches in Mae Sot, that do grassroots work with migrant workers and their families. There is great need for educators, grant writers, and handicraft artists. Some NGOs specialize and work with regional migrants, like Katchen women and Shan youth.

Thailand is the chosen destination for many migrants from Myanmar (Burma) and Laos – at great personal risk and effort people cross the border to Thailand from their countries that share a long history with Thailand. Wide ranging aid programs are provided by many small NGOs up to the United Nations whose ILO (International Labour Office) includes Local Strategies for Decent Work Specialists.

Learn more about human rights in Thailand from the Human Rights Watch.

Education

Both paid and volunteer jobs alike for ESL teachers are common in Thailand. However, if you still don't have a TEFL certificate or teaching experience, becoming a volunteer ESL teacher in Thailand is your best (and most responsible) option.

Wildlife and Conservation

Besides teaching, volunteering with Thailand's wildlife -- particularly elephants -- is another popular area for international volunteers. Spend your days helping to conserve wildlife habitats, rescuing stray dogs, or tracking elephants.

NGO Work, Training and Monitoring

Many NGOs need people who can ‘train the trainer’ and expand the work staff available. Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB) participates and coordinates events to raise awareness of human rights in Burma, an region whose recent elections is being closely watched by the world as it allows more visas for the first time in many decades.

Other popular fields to volunteer in include: economic justice, youth advocacy, education, teaching English, and women's rights

Questions to Ask Before Volunteering
  • Do I need to learn Thai?
  • Will there be other volunteers where I'm working?
  • What will my accommodations be like?
  • Will I be in a rural or urban area?
  • What requirements are there for my volunteer project?
  • What can I do to prepare myself for living and volunteering in Thailand?
Best Places to Volunteer in Thailand

For volunteers looking to contribute to all kinds of social issues in a big city, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are perfect destinations. Both of these cities offer a number of volunteer programs to choose from while being surrounded by Thai temples, people, and culture.

Chang Mai is also a much more calm and spiritual city in comparison to Bangkok. If you're looking to volunteer on the coast, head south. Phuket and Krabi are overrun with tourists, but many undiscovered islands and villages outside those two major cities remain.

Ko Samui is an island off the east coast of Thailand that offers great opportunities to see wildlife and nature, especially interesting for those who want to work in conservation.

Contributed by Charlotte Bennett Schoen

Showing 127 Programs

Thailand
International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Join IVHQ and volunteer abroad in Thailand! Highly affordable programs are available for anywhere from 1 week to 12 weeks. Ba...
14 reviews
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Chiang Mai
Volunteering Solutions
Join one of Volunteering Solutions' many volunteer programs in Thailand! Thailand is a great travel destination full of beaut...
30 reviews
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Chiang Rai
Love Volunteers
Join Love Volunteers in Thailand to experience Chiang Rai as a local! Love Volunteers offers unique opportunities to immerse...
4 reviews
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Thailand
ISV (International Student Volunteers)
Sun-swept beaches, spiritual temples, smiling faces, lush tropical rainforests and tasty cooking are just a few of the wonder...
93 reviews
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Thailand
GoEco
Come join this great opportunity to experience Thai culture and volunteer in a meaningful placement. Over the years, our asso...
3 reviews
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Africa & Asia Venture (AV)
Cultural immersion is more than just being a tourist and seeing the sights, it's a unique opportunity to engage meaningfully...
3 reviews
Krabi
Projects Abroad
Thailand is a great introduction to South East Asia, and a wonderful destination to volunteer or intern abroad. Its a beautif...
10 reviews
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Thailand
Bamboo
Bamboo has opportunities for you to be a part of community-based, Thai-led projects in education, childcare, health, construc...
8 reviews
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Thailand
uVolunteer - Making your Dream to Volunteer Abroad a Reality
Join uVolunteer in Thailand to experience the amazing culture and give back! Volunteers are needed to teach English in elemen...
8 reviews
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Thailand
Tru Experience Travel
Volunteering in beautiful Thailand,Besides teaching English on a non-formal basis, volunteers may have the chance to help the...
3 reviews
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Chiang Mai
GapGuru
A gap year in Thailand with GapGuru will give you an opportunity to experience authentic Thai culture, learn some Thai langua...
13 reviews
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Surin
Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad
IKPVA offers affordable, safe, meaningful and rewarding volunteer projects in Thailand. Our variety of programs includes Teac...
0 reviews
Bangkok
Cross-Cultural Solutions
From pristine beaches and remote mountain communities, to floating markets and bustling cities, Thailand will take your breat...
8 reviews
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Thailand
GapXperience
Over 15 Volunteer & Gap Programs with GapXperience in different locations in Thailand. We are a Gap & Volunteer Specialist wi...
3 reviews
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Bangkok
Operation Groundswell
Thailand is a country that seamlessly blends modernity with its deeply rooted cultural traditions while Cambodians are slowly...
7 reviews
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