This project is available in Chiang Mai.
Friends for Asia (FFA) sends volunteers to a variety of project sites across Thailand. One of the most rewarding projects that we have partnered with is the Chiang Mai orphanage volunteer program, which is based in a rural setting in Chiang Mai province.
Given the orphanage’s relatively remote location, FFA volunteers spend Monday through Friday at the project site, returning to the centrally located volunteer accommodation in Chiang Mai city for the weekend. This ensures that they have plenty of time to devote to caring for the children, assisting with household chores and helping the older kids with homework during the school year.
The chance to stay in rural Chiang Mai is an added bonus. This is Northern Thailand at its best, complete with mountain vistas, rice paddies and the laid-back pace of life that has helped make Thailand so famous.
Tasks for an Orphanage Volunteer in Chiang Mai
Those that volunteer at an orphanage through Friends for Asia are rightly concerned about whether or not their contribution will really make a difference. There has been plenty published recently about the risks of donating your time and money to an orphanage or children’s charity that doesn’t have the children’s best interests in mind. (This article in The Guardian sums these concerns up nicely.) We share our volunteers’ concerns and carefully vet each potential orphanage before sending in volunteers to help.
The orphanage that we partner with in Chiang Mai is a legitimate organization, run by a team that cares for the children and would never place them in harm’s way. With that in mind, they are concerned as much about the character of the volunteers we send them as we are about the quality of their programs. All of this works to the best interest of the children.
There are three overarching ways in which an orphanage volunteer in Chiang Mai can do:
- Helping children with homework after school
- Assisting with household chores such as cleaning and cooking
- Organizing activities and playing with the kids during free time
Furthermore, one out of four children at this particular orphanage is HIV positive. They were born to a mother who had already contracted the virus. There are dedicated staff members to help tend to these children’s special needs. However, extra love and attention is often required, and Chiang Mai orphanage volunteers may be asked to help in this capacity as well if they are able.
Flexibility is a prerequisite for volunteering at the orphanage, as needs and circumstances vary from day to day. Those who volunteer during the long summer break (usually mid-March through May) will most likely be asked to assist with childcare, supervision and activities planning. Meanwhile, anyone visiting when school is in session may find that they can contribute more helping with routine tasks around the compound. In either event, Chiang Mai orphanage volunteers spend plenty of time working directly with the children.
Volunteers Working in Thai Orphanages
The single greatest resource that Chiang Mai orphanage volunteers can provide at this project is their time and attention. These children have lost their parents – whether through death, abandonment or another tragedy. This loss easily leads to a sense of abandonment. By spending time with the children, helping them with daily tasks and assisting with homework, you’ll be demonstrating to them in plain and simple terms that others care for them. In short, you’ll be reinforcing their self-worth.
The chance to interact with caring adults from another country and culture also has value. It exposes children to the broader context of the world and reinforces the idea that there is much more out there to see, experience, and achieve than they realize. On a related note, the orphanage staff may also ask volunteers to plan English-language games or lessons. Every little bit counts, and the chance to learn English from a native speaker is invaluable for underprivileged children in Thailand.
“At the Orphanage I have seen children they were happy with little simple things.”
– Linda Kraan – Mijdrecht, the Netherlands
“The only regret I have about my experience is that I waited so long to do it.”
– Sharon Woellert – Preston, Minnesota, USA
Read more stories from previous volunteers
Make a Difference at a Thai Orphanage
One of the reasons that we have chosen to work with this orphanage has to do with its location. As it is located out of town, tourists and visitors are less likely to stumble across it. Given our commitment to screening Chiang Mai orphanage volunteer candidates, performing background checks and working with volunteers to find the best fit, we’re able to supply this orphanage with a consistent supply of hardworking and conscientious volunteers.
Our past orphanage volunteers in Chiang Mai have expressed ways in which working at the orphanage affected their own lives as well. This is an experience that’s likely to stay with you for the long run. If you would like to learn more about our orphanage volunteer project in Chiang Mai, please feel free to contact us via the website. Likewise, if you are ready to set the process in motion, submit an application to Friends for Asia today.
Volunteer Project Fees
Participation in the Orphanage Volunteer Project starts at a minimum of $999. Each additional week is $230/week.
Volunteer Project Fee Includes
- Comprehensive Pre-Departure Information
- Visa paperwork (for projects over 8 weeks)
- FFA Volunteer Insurance
- Airport pick up
- Transportation to/from Chiang Mai and project site
- Accommodation during orientation and entire project time
- Breakfast every morning
- All Meals from Monday morning to Friday afternon
- 2 day Orientation (including half day city tour, cultural dinner and show)
- Onsite Coordinator
- 24 hour emergency assistance
- Written record of service completion (for volunteers that successfully complete their project).
Volunteer Fee Does Not Include
- Travel to/from Home and Chiang Mai (airfare, train tickets, etc.)
- Thailand visa costs (if applicable)
- International Medical Insurance
- Cost of criminal police background check (required for this project)
- Lunches and dinners on weekends.
Apply Now to Volunteer for this Project – Free to Apply
Orphanage Volunteer Start Dates for 2014-2015
- August 04, 2014
- September 01, 2014
- October 06, 2014
- November 03, 2014
- December 01, 2014
- January 05, 2015
- February 02, 2015
- March 02, 2015
- No Project Start Dates in April, 2015
- May 04, 2015
- June 01, 2015
- July 06, 2015
- August 03, 2015
- September 07, 2015
- October 05, 2015
- November 02, 2015
- December 07, 2015
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Volunteer StoriesAlex Jacobson, California, USA - Teaching Monks and Caregiving at Single Mother's Home, March, 2009
“The Land of Smiles” is the perfect phrase coined for Thailand. Love radiates from this country through the smiles and warm greetings from the local people. Whether it was during my trip in Pai, the Friends for Asia home, or at either of my volunteer projects, I feel that I made many unexpected friendships!
James Kneafsey, Dublin, Ireland - Elephant Camp March, 2009
"It was a joy working at the Elephant Camp: waking up to elephants passing by my balcony in the morning, swimming with the elephants, eating like a king, pitching in with the work, building relationships with the staff and having a well earned beer at the roadside bar in the evening."
Anke Anemaet – Lelystad, The Netherlands – Teaching Monks July, 2010
“ENJOY YOUR STAY HERE! You will be sad to leave, as I am now. It’s hard to explain to the boys that you won’t be coming back next week and you have to go home. They have all been such lovely students. Each one of them has their own personality and you’ll love them all. Take pictures so that you can remember them forever. They have become so important to me, which is unexplainable. I will truly miss them a lot. ”
Read more Volunteer Stories