Additional Info about the Orphanage Volunteer Project
About the Project
The orphanage has roughly 70 children ranging in age from 6-18. Roughly 1/4th of the children are living with HIV. The children arrive at the home for a variety of different reasons. Some of the children’s parents have died, others have parents that are in prison, addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.
The orphanage is operated under the values and beliefs of Christianity. Volunteers are not required to be Christian to participate in the project. Volunteers must, however, have a respect for Christianity, all religions and cultures to participate in this project.
The Children’s Home Daily Schedule
Throughout the mornings and afternoons volunteers will help in a variety of different ways, such as preparing for the evening’s activities, cooking, cleaning, gardening, painting, etc. Considering things change depending upon the season, the number of volunteers and the needs of the children, it’s not possible to say exactly what you’ll be doing from day to day. Therefore, flexibility and patience will be required in large amounts from volunteers during their stay.
In the afternoons, around 4pm, the children start coming back from school. It is at this time that volunteers are able to have their time with the kids. Playing games, cooking, playing music or just watching TV with some of the older kids will be a big help to the staff while you are there.
Below is a video of one of our volunteers in another project, but working with children. The video is not actually of the Orphanage for this project. This video we are still working on. It does, however, give a good example of what Thai orphanages look like and some of the types of work that volunteers in this project may be doing.
On Mondays, volunteer coordinators escort volunteers to their volunteer project location by Friends for Asia transportation and introduce them to the staff at the project site.
Monday – Friday – Volunteers stay in accommodation provided at the orphanage. Here volunteers stay in shared rooms. Most bedrooms have an attached bathroom. All rooms have air conditioning. All the bathrooms have western style toilets and hot water showers.
Friday – Volunteers are escorted back to Chiang Mai by Friends for Asia staff. During the weekends, volunteers stay at Friends for Asia’s volunteer accommodation in the city. During the weekends, volunteers are free to relax, engage in activities, such as cooking courses, go temple gazing, etc.
Airport pick up, the city tour and the transportation to and from the cultural show and dinner are covered in the project fee. Friends for Asia staff also sends volunteers and interns to seek medical assistance in non-emergency situations. Obviously, in the case of an emergency a proper ambulance would be called and used. A volunteer will have to cover the cost of their own transportation if they make multiple appointments to see a doctor or dentist.
Friends for Asia also provides transportation for volunteer to and from Chiang Mai city and the orphanage (and back) weekly.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided at the orphanage from Monday to Friday afternoon. Western style breakfast foods are provided at Friends for Asia accommodation during the weekends. Lunch and dinner on weekends will be at the volunteer’s own expense.
The children do not normally receive opportunities to visit fun and interesting places around Chiang Mai. Therefore it is looked upon highly to take some (not all) of the children to a trip outside of the orphanage, if possible. Friends for Asia can assist with the logistics of the trip, along with advice as to what may and may not be suitable.
Volunteers can also arrange for special, fun activities to be conducted there at the Children’s Home for all of the children. Different things that may work well are cultural activities or celebrating holidays and customs from abroad.
Please understand, however, that there is no budget for these special activities, so if a volunteer, or a group, would like to conduct a special activity, the costs of the activity or event, will be on that volunteer.
It is important that volunteers follow common sense health rules when working with children at the orphanage. There are so many of these rules that I’m not going to write them all here. For volunteers with little experience in working with children, it is advised to speak with professional day care workers, or individuals who have spent a lot of time around small children for different tips and advice regarding health and safety.
Not only is it important that the volunteers keep in mind the importance of staying healthy, it is also important to keep in mind the health and safety of the children. For this reason, we ask that volunteers do not participate in the project if/when they are sick with communicable colds or other diseases.