This project is available in Chiang Mai.
From sustainable gardening to bamboo construction, life at the single mothers’ home is about more than just babysitting. As a gardening and construction volunteer, you’ll play a role in steering disadvantaged single mothers onto the path to self-sufficiency.
Volunteering in Thailand – A day in the Life
For volunteers, the day starts at around 9:00 am, but you’ll probably find the work in progress when you arrive on the site. The first thing you’ll hear is the two-wheeled “steel buffalo” rattling through the on-site rice paddy. Here on the gateway to the rural north, against a backdrop of jungle-clad mountains, it’s easy to forget that you’re only minutes from Chiang Mai city proper.
Single Mother’s Home Volunteer Video
Volunteer Tasks & Skills
Your daily tasks vary according your skills, the compound’s needs and the season of your assignment. The most pressing need is for hands-on construction. This single mother’s home is growing fast, and homes are needed not only for the mother’s and their children, staff, administration and volunteers, but also for the live-in construction team.
During your tenure on this assignment, you’ll learn the tricks of building with one of nature’s most sustainable building materials: bamboo. Every jointed pole has to be treated and sealed before it’s tied off into frames or slatted into walls. Depending on current phases, the crew may also need help laying cement foundations or painting.
Gardening is another major component of this project. Some of the rice and produce eaten on the compound is sustainably and organically grown here. The single mothers, staff and volunteers do it all: planting, watering, fertilizing, pruning and harvesting. This is the kind of hands-in-the-earth solidarity that travel agencies wish they could offer.
But don’t sweat the heat. If the wide-brimmed hat isn’t doing its job anymore, there’s plenty you can do in the shade. You’ll also have a midday break where you can study Thai, get to know the employees or catch a quick nap.
Making a Difference – Volunteer
Assisting single mothers in their efforts to gain skills needed to survive and prosper will be your number-one objective. Many of these women hail from the mountains of Northern Thailand. They represent marginalized ethnic groups that are too-often overlooked, and they’re unaccustomed to strangers taking an interest in their welfare. You’re an ambassador, of sorts – a vote of confidence that simple kindness exists outside the village.
Part of the foundation’s goal is to equip disadvantaged mothers for successful careers. There’s a good chance you’ve got a skill worth sharing, and you’ll be encouraged to do just that. Most of the single mothers and their children have little-to-no English background. They take regular classes, and fluent volunteers are an invaluable resource. Computer skills training, how-to handicraft demonstrations and just about any form of cultural sharing are also in high demand.
Simply being on-site to help out with the chores is a great help. Many of these disadvantaged women hope to return to their villages one day, and the gardening and construction skills they learn here will be of direct benefit in that setting. Just having an extra set of hands around frees them up to focus on picking up a new skill or refining an old one. And who knows, you may pick up a skill worth taking home with you as well.
The minimum age requirement for volunteers in this project is 20. Due to having to work outside and spend a lot of time in the heat, the home requests for volunteers to be in good physical condition. Volunteers should have a basic knowledge of building and tools, be between the ages of 20-40 and able to work in the heat. Volunteers should be able-bodied, flexible and enjoy working outside.
Overall it is a meaningful experience that offers something for everyone, and I would recommend it to anyone considering a volunteer project in Chiang Mai.” – Jared Halperin, New York, USA
The people there became my teachers, and caused me to break through my own theories of how life should be lived, and how to define success at the end of the day. – Kelsey Gagnon, Maine, USA
Click Here to view all the Volunteer Stories from the Building and Gardening Project at a Home for Single Mothers in Crisis.
Participation in the Building Volunteer Project at the Single Mother’s Home starts at $999 for four weeks. Each additional week is $119.
Volunteer Project Fee Includes
- Comprehensive Pre-Departure Information
- Visa paperwork (for projects over 8 weeks)
- FFA Volunteer Insurance
- Airport pick up
- Accommodation during orientation and entire project time
- Breakfast every morning
- Lunch every work day
- 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)
- Cost of transportation to and from Project site and and accommodation (roughly $2 per day)
- Lunches on weekends.
Apply Now to Volunteer for this Project – Free to Apply
Building and Gardening at Single Mothers’ Home Start Dates for 2014-2015
- August 04, 2014
- August 18, 2014
- September 01, 2014
- September 15, 2014
- October 06, 2014
- October 20, 2014
- November 03, 2014
- November 17, 2014
- December 01, 2014
- December 15, 2014
- January 05, 2015
- January 19, 2015
- February 02, 2015
- February 16, 2015
- March 02, 2015
- March 16, 2015
- No Project Start Dates in April, 2015
- May 04, 2015
- May 18, 2015
- June 01, 2015
- June 15, 2015
- July 06, 2015
- July 20, 2015
- August 03, 2015
- August 17, 2015
- September 07, 2015
- September 21, 2015
- October 05, 2015
- October 19, 2015
- November 02, 2015
- November 16, 2015
- December 07, 2015
- December 21, 2015