This project is available in Chiang Mai.
A Day in the Life of a Volunteer
Waking up with a fish pond and rice paddies outside your window, mountains in the distance and more than 50 children waiting for your attention – this is what volunteering in Thailand is all about. Volunteers in this project stay on the project site five days a week, enjoying well-earned rest and relaxation over the weekend in Chiang Mai city. There are also plenty of nearby attractions and events throughout the year.
Orphanage Volunteer Tasks and Skills
It’s not possible to say exactly what you’ll be doing from day to day. Many of the tasks volunteers are asked to do depend on the season, the week’s weather, which maintenance projects or repairs need to be carried out and the number of volunteers currently on hand. Morning and afternoon activities include gardening, painting, cooking, fixing broken toys, teaching an hour or two of English at the local school, shopping at the local market for dinner or just preparing activities for the children to enjoy when they return from school. A strong dose of flexibility will ensure that you’re ready for whatever this orphanage or the kids throw at you.
When the kids start making their way back home after school, volunteers help with homework, cooking and cleaning. They also spend time with the children and engage them in fun games and activities, such as soccer, painting or music. As these children are orphans, our volunteers also invest in their lives simply by spending time with them and by providing the care and love that all children need.
Volunteers at the orphanage project enjoy occasional down time as well. This is a perfect opportunity to get to know your fellow volunteers over a cup of coffee. While you’re at it, you can take in the beauty of northern Thailand’s countryside from a patio overlooking a quiet fish pond and the surrounding rice fields. Life moves slowly in rural Thailand, so you’ll have plenty of time to relax.
“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
Making a Difference by Volunteering in Thailand
Being an orphan in any country is never an ideal upbringing. Roughly one-fourth of the children at this orphanage are HIV positive, which provides yet another huge obstacle for them. The dedicated staff looks after these kids, but as with any orphanage, extra care and love from adults is always needed. Individual attention from adults (such as sharing a storybook or helping with homework) provides vital support to these kids in their development.
It is easy to think, “I’m just a foreigner. What can I do to really make a difference for these kids?” The two co-founders and directors of this orphanage are also foreigners in Thailand. With a lot of work and love, they have taken in hundreds of children over the years – children who otherwise would not have had much of an opportunity. In the process, they’ve given them the chance to go to school, eat good and nutritious meals and receive support and care from hardworking volunteers like you.
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
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Volunteer StoriesHelen Lam - HongKong - Teaching Monks, July, 2010
"Friends For Asia has definitely made my trip marvelous and unforgettable. Living in Chiang Mai for 2 weeks as a volunteer, I had the precious opportunity to experience Thai life almost as a local. People here always wear a big warm smile, and the city would just melt everyone’s heart. I would highly recommend volunteers to come teaching English to Monks. The satisfactory feeling that comes afterwards is truly rewarding!"
Sinead O’Leary, Cork, Ireland – Elephant Camp February, 2010
“My last two days were unforgettable, my mahout brought me through the jungle, which I strongly recommend and also to a deep river and got to act like a cowboy and try and balance on my elephant while he ordered her to throw me off. An amazing experience. Don’t be afraid to get wet, have fun, start water fights, and roll around on your elephant in the water, it’s a once in a life time experience…”
Alana Borsa, Ontario, Canada - HIV Orphanage Project April, 2009
“Working at the HIV Orphanage is a wonderful and inspiring experience. The enthusiasm of the staff and the energy of the children are completely infectious. They will touch your heart each and every day. Coming to spend time at the orphanage has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The orphanage family has certainly become, and will now be forever a part of my life.”
Read more Volunteer Stories