Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Building and Gardening Volunteer Stories

Volunteer Stories – Building and Gardening at a Home for Single Mothers in Crisis

Jared Halperin, New York, USA – Building and Gardening at the Single Mother’s Home, January, 2010

“Working at the Single Mother’s Home exceeded my expectations. Listening to the construction workers and single mothers’ stories provided me with remarkable perspective. Additionally, the Single Mother’s Home offered me opportunities to engage in all kinds of projects, including; construction, income generation, teaching, and childcare. 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.”

Kelsey Gagnon, Maine, USA – Gardening at Single Mother’s Home, July, 2009

“My father once told me a quote he had heard, and of course I can’t remember it in its actuality when it counts. To paraphrase, it said something to the effect of, “when leading people, it is better to push from behind, than to pull from in front.” In that, you can inspire people to breach their own intellectual and physical boundaries. At the Single Mother’s Home that was my goal, to offer up any of the few useful skills I have to the women so that they may use them for their own betterment. And in attempting to do that, 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. They don’t need leaders. They are strong, hopeful, determined, and some of them carry more burdens around with them than I was even able to fully understand in the seven weeks I worked there. That was the greater undercurrent of my time spent at the Single Mother’s Home, while on the surface I worked along side the women digging, lugging, hoeing, weeding, and planting; that part was no less satisfactory. The experience is completely what you make of it. You neither be just the student nor teacher. But if you put yourself in different situations where you can be both learning and teaching, you will certainly leave with more than you came with.”