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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

Thailand
Plan My Gap Year
PMGY offers 2-week to 12-week volunteering opportunities in buzzing Bangkok in Thailand. Volunteers can teach English to school children as well as pr...
3 reviews
Thailand
Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers
Oceans 2 Earth is an Australian not for profit organisation specialising in volunteering projects for animal lovers and offers a wide range of animal...
0 reviews
Chiang Rai
International Humanity Foundation
Volunteer Work-Study Opportunity in Thailand The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) is seeking forward-thinking, dynamic individuals of all ages/...
1 reviews
Chiang Rai
International Humanity Foundation
The International Humanity Foundation is looking for hard-­working, dedicated volunteers to commit their time and talents for one year at our children...
0 reviews
Jaipur
Explore Incredible Culture
It Includes these activities: 1. Introduction to Asian elephant 2. Traditional way to get on elephant and get down. 3. Painting on the elephant. 4. Ba...
0 reviews
Thailand
Thailand Teach
We aim to help local temple schools in rural communities by improving their English language skills. We initiate “cultural exchange” situations with p...
11 reviews
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Chiang Mai
Loop Abroad
In this two-week program, you’ll work and learn alongside veterinarians at an elephant sanctuary and a dog rescue. Students live among the elephants a...
20 reviews
Alumni Interview Badge
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Surin
Aii
India, the land of culture, colors, traditions, festivals, people, diversity & with a vast scope to learn and live India through our magnificent youth...
1 reviews
Thailand
Volunteer in Rural Village Thailand
Volunteering with us in a rural village of Thailand will teach you two things: 1) how an NGO operates and 2) how to be an educator in a primary school...
0 reviews
Iganga Town
American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
Around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are often denied the basic right in many countries; some even face discriminati...
2 reviews
Thailand
Conserve Natural Forests
CNF is looking for volunteer to help cultivate our organic farm and work with the endangered species we have for reproduction at our land in Pai. Duti...
0 reviews
Thailand
Conserve Natural Forests
CNF is looking for volunteers to actively engage in the community of Pai. Volunteers may choose between educating local communities on sustainable far...
0 reviews
Thailand
Cooperating Volunteers
Volunteers in Thailand may participate in any of our projects. Together with our alliance we cooperate with local projects to improve the growth of th...
0 reviews
Thailand
ESL Starter
Spend 1 to 4 months teaching young monks conversational English in the beautiful province of Ayutthaya. Just a short journey from Bangkok, your placem...
0 reviews
Thailand
ESL Starter
Spend 1-4 months relaxing on pristine tropical beaches and teaching English in a local primary school. Live and teach in the Chumphon region of Southe...
0 reviews