Volunteer in Thailand

Browse Programs

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.


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


Displaying 1 - 14 of 14
Operation Groundswell
You might’ve heard of this region’s 30 cent street pad thai, deep-fried tarantulas, and bucket-fuelled dance parties. Sure...
Love Volunteers
Join Love Volunteers in Thailand to experience Chiang Rai as a local! Love Volunteers offers unique opportunities to immerse...
From only £350, US$455, AU$595 or €375 no extra charges such as registration fees! Teaching, Elephant, Orphanage,...
This tour has been carefully designed for those who wish to embrace Thai culture through adventure, exploration, cultural...
Do you want to volunteer to help an amazing variety of rescued animals or work at a conservation project? Make a real...
Looking for a great opportunity to develop your C.V whilst having the experience of a lifetime? Why not volunteer overseas!...
The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Centre
DEPDC is a non-profit community-based NGO working in Thailand to prevent the trafficking of women and children into the sex...
HELP International
HELP International is looking for volunteers to join them in the Chang Rai region of Thailand. HELP International operated in...
International Humanity Foundation
The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) is seeking forward-thinking, dynamic individuals of all ages/backgrounds to...
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International Humanity Foundation
Volunteer Work-Study Opportunity in Thailand The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) is seeking forward-thinking, dynamic...
BikeHike Adventures
Spend 14 days biking around Thailand participating in various volunteer activities including outreach to a disabled girls...
The Mirror Foundation
The Indoor program includes teaching to school age students; playing educational game and activities with kindergarten...
The Mirror Foundation
The Outdoor program incorporates a variety of work; including bridge construction, building toilet blocks, concreting access...
Treetop Country
Treetop Country is firmly entrenched as a beloved part of Wiang Pa Pao's community. The entire village supports the project...