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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

American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
The AJWS Volunteer Corps Program in Thailand is designed to give Jewish professionals and retirees the opportunity to utilize...
2 reviews
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Thailand

Frontier
Thailand has continued to be one of the most tempting destinations for those who are seeking a combination of enchanting natu...
2 reviews

Thailand

Gap 360
Want to see Thailand from every perspective, from trekking the northern hills to taking care of your own elephant at a privat...
1 review

Thailand

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, vo...
0 reviews

Thailand

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...
1 review

Vietnam

Frontier
Combine exciting adventure travel with a project placement and experience the best of South East Asia on an unforgettable adv...
1 review
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Thailand

HELP International
HELP International is looking for volunteers to join them in the Chang Rai region of Thailand. HELP International operated in...
1 review
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Thailand

Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities (DEPDC)
For more information and to apply for FREE volunteer opportunities, please visit our blog at depdcblog.wordpress.com and clic...
1 review
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Thailand

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...
1 review

Thailand

Global Vision International (GVI)
Volunteer with GVI in Thailand and discover the land of smiles; a land surrounded by stunning golden beaches, intricate templ...
15 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 ov...
16 reviews
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Thailand

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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 le...
1 review

Thailand

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Travel-to-Teach
If you have ever considered volunteering abroad, Thailand is a wonderful country to volunteer in. The hospitality of the Thai...
6 reviews
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Thailand

International Humanity Foundation
The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) is seeking forward-thinking, dynamic individuals of all ages/backgrounds to contr...
1 review

Thailand

VESL
Looking for a great opportunity to develop your C.V whilst having the experience of a lifetime? Why not volunteer overseas! W...
11 reviews
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