Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Featured on National Peace Corps Association’s Site

This is a posting about Friends for Asia has been featured on the community page for the National Peace Corps Association and other news about volunteering in Thailand.

About Peace Corps

Peace Corps is a US government agency that places Americans in 2 year long volunteer placements in developing countries throughout South and Central America, Africa and Asia. The National Peace Corps Association is an organization that supports volunteers during and after completion of their experience. The director of Friends for Asia, Todd Cikraji, is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer from Thailand and Kyrgyzstan, and is a member of the National Peace Corps Association. Unfortunately the full blog can only be viewed by members of the National Peace Corps Association. For this reason, I have pasted the full blog below.

The Featured Blog Posting about Volunteering in Thailand

Both of my Peace Corps placements in Kyrgyzstan and Thailand were incredible experiences. However, I did get the living-abroad itch, and after COS-ing from my Peace Corps experience in Thailand, I decided to stay on. This gave me the title of “Returned Peace Corps Volunteer,” even though I never actually “returned.”

I now work with an organization named Friends for Asia, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which offers some different and exciting volunteer opportunities. Our most popular placement to date is our teaching monks project, where volunteers are able to teach English to novice Buddhist monks at five different monastery schools throughout the city. We were able to work exotic animals into the mix with our elephant camp project, where volunteers join the ranks at a large elephant camp and experience ethnic minority hill tribe culture and customs. Building, gardening or looking after children at a home for single mothers in crisis is an interesting project, and volunteers get a palpable sense of the difference they’ve made by looking back on the new house or office they built. This project is particularly rewarding for our volunteers, many of whom find it reaffirming to know they took part in the development of an organization that does such good for people that need it most.

I learned many lessons through Peace Corps, and, fortunately, I’ve been able to apply those to the projects that we have developed. For more information about our small, independent volunteer organization, please visit our website at:


Other news about Friends for Asia and Volunteering in Thailand

As we near the end of 2010, we’re punching numbers, wrapping up the year and looking ahead to 2011. I will soon be posting an update with some of the benchmarks, important details and statistics about our year. Mary Modica, one of our previous volunteers, completed and submitted her dissertation on volunteering and tourism. Mary conducted a fair amount of research on her dissertation while volunteering with us a couple of months ago and Friends for Asia is mentioned and discussed throughout her dissertation. I will also be posting an update regarding the dissertation soon. Ironically, considering this update is, in large part about Peace Corps and Friends for Asia’s connection to it… Mary is now planning on becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer, after she received her official invitation to a project in South America. Again, more about all of this will come soon. As for now, we wish everyone a joyful and happy holiday season.