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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 122 Programs

Chiang Mai
Rustic Volunteer and Travel
From the green rice field of North Thailand to the verdant limestone islands of the Andaman Sea, to the vibrating culture, volunteering in the Thailan...
0 reviews
Phuket
Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand (WARF)
You will work under the supervision of staff at the project and the management of WARF, learning most things while doing them. If you are only availab...
1 reviews
Danang
Frontier
Combine exciting adventure travel with a project placement and experience the best of South East Asia on an unforgettable adventure trip with Frontier...
1 reviews
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Chiang Rai
HELP International
HELP International is looking for volunteers to join them in the Chang Rai region of Thailand. HELP International operated in this region to help loca...
1 reviews
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Thailand
Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities (DEPDC)
DEPDC is a non-profit community-based NGO working in Thailand to prevent the trafficking of women and children into the sex industry or other exploita...
1 reviews
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Chiang Mai
Care for Dogs Foundation
Care for Dogs welcomes volunteers from all walks of life. There is no fee to volunteer for our nonprofit foundation and your hard work will truly make...
1 reviews
Thailand
Global Vision International (GVI)
Volunteer with GVI in Thailand and discover the land of smiles; a land surrounded by stunning golden beaches, intricate temples and a rich culture. Al...
12 reviews
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Thailand
Open Mind Projects
Be the change. Be a real volunteer in a real and affordable grass roots project, offering relevant and qualifed support to overseas volunteers. Get th...
16 reviews
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Thailand
VolunTeachThailand
What we offer is a unique opportunity to live like a local and experience Thailand the way it’s meant to be seen. You will learn Thai customs become o...
1 reviews
Chiang Mai
Travel-to-Teach
If you have ever considered volunteering abroad, Thailand is a wonderful country to volunteer in. The hospitality of the Thai people and the beauty of...
6 reviews
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Chiang Rai
International Humanity Foundation
The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) is seeking forward-thinking, dynamic individuals of all ages/backgrounds to contribute to our children’s h...
1 reviews
Chiang Rai
VESL
Looking for a great opportunity to develop your C.V whilst having the experience of a lifetime? Why not volunteer overseas! We are looking for volunte...
11 reviews
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Surin
Starfish Volunteers
Starfish Volunteers offers the very best volunteer programs and adventures in Thailand. Projects include caring for and living alongside elephants, bu...
10 reviews
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Chiang Rai
BikeHike Adventures
Spend 14 days biking around Thailand participating in various volunteer activities including outreach to a disabled girls home and teaching english to...
0 reviews
Thailand
API
Volunteering abroad offers a unique opportunity for personal growth while making significant contributions to the local community. Open your heart, le...
0 reviews