CHIANG MAI – BANGKOK
Throughout your volunteering, you will receive many smiles and much affection from these children. All volunteers collaborate in homes for children in the Chiang Mai and Bangkok areas. These homes are managed by families that seek to help children with difficulties. The number of children in a home can be between 15 and 50. It is important that, as a volunteer, you keep in mind that what these children need the most is love and attention.
Flexibility is a prerequisite to volunteering at a social orphanage, as needs vary from day to day. Most likely, you will be asked for support in child care, supervision and planning activities, as well as to help with the tasks and activities of the center. In any case, as a volunteer you will spend most time with the children and supporting the activities that take place in the social orphanage.
YOUR ROLE AS A VOLUNTEER
As a volunteer you will work with children from 4 to 18 years of age. Some of the children are orphans. Most of the children live near the city, but due to poverty and the physical location of their family, they stay in the center. The majority of them come from ethnic minority villages at risk, that do not have access to education or basic sanitation; others are refugees from the turmoil in Myanmar.
Your main responsibility as a volunteer is to spend time with the children, teach them English and play games. But you can also dedicate some time to the organisation of activities such as: painting, helping with the maintenance of the center or fixing appliances.
All the work done by a volunteer translates into a better quality of life for the children, even after you have returned home. The accompaniment and support in the tasks of the caregivers helps them to spend more quality time with the children. Even the time of a 2-week volunteering stay paves the way for healthier relationships between the children and those who care for them.
The games and activities that you plan can be equally formative. Volunteers are encouraged to organize games and activities that contribute to the growth and improvement of the children’s skills and knowledge.
There are three general ways in which a volunteer can help and spend time with the children:
- After school, help children with homework.
- Help with cleaning and cooking in the center.
- Organize activities and play with children during free time.
The dress code in social orphanages in Thailand is casual. However, it is not considered appropriate to wear clothes that are too tight or show too much.
Volunteers are required to wear:
- Long pants or long shorts that reach the knee.
- Shirts that cover your shoulders and breasts.
- Volunteers will also be asked to remove their piercings and cover exposed tattoos.
Furthermore, smoking and drinking is strictly prohibited in social orphanages and accommodation. During the time that you are in the center, all volunteers are asked to refrain from smoking (even outside the facilities).
As always, it is important to keep in mind that this is Thailand. Please, be flexible and patient. Things can change at the last minute. Unlike other projects, this one has less structure. That is, the structure will be built by the volunteers themselves. If you want to teach English, play a game or help with cooking, do it! Do not wait for the orphanage staff or the children to come to you and ask you to do things.
WHAT IS REQUIRED OF THE VOLUNTEER
- You must be of legal age (18 years and older). In general, the volunteers do not need any specific qualification, but they are expected to get involved with the children and adolescents of the center.
- Be open and respectful of the culture and traditions.
- Volunteers must also have knowledge of written and spoken English.
- Be creative as there tends to be a lack of teaching materials in the center.
It is very important that you present the following documents in the application process for your volunteering:
- Criminal record certificate before your start date
- Copy of your passport
SCHEDULE AND PLACE OF WORK
Support in the center of Chiang Mai starts from 3:00/3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Children usually leave school around 3:30/4 p.m. (depending on the age of the child). When the children return home, the volunteers will spend time with them, help to cook, clean and support the different activities.
Normally, volunteers finish at the project around 7:30 p.m. This is the general schedule from Monday to Friday.
For the months from March to mid-May, which is the holiday period in Thailand, the volunteers who go to the home will only be there until mid-day. During the Thai summer, many of the children will return to their homes (villages) to spend time with their relatives. Therefore, not all children will be at the home during these months.
Volunteers on the project of the social orphanage in Bangkok work from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The flexibility and affection are not negotiable in this center, since some of these children have different abilities and practically all suffer from a feeling of abandonment and poor self-image.
COSTS OF THE PROGRAM
The total cost of the volunteer support program in social orphanage in Thailand starts at €700 for two weeks. Each additional week costs €160. (The price in dollars is indicative).
The prices of the volunteer support program in the social orphanage are in euros, so the currency exchange will be affected. You can check the currency exchange rate in the period of your trip.
WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR?
- Airport pick-up
- Accommodation during your volunteering
- Breakfast every morning
- Lunch on the project every workday (dinner isn’t included)
- 2-day orientation (includes a half-day tour of the city, cultural dinner and show)
- Local coordinator
- 24/7 assistance