Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Children’s Home – Volunteer Stories

Volunteer Stories – Children’s Home

Carine Vera – Lyon, France – Children’s Home, January, 2013

I choose the Children’s home project, because I wanted to give my time and attention to children and enjoy a cultural experience. I really love children and I believe they are our future.

Throughout my two weeks on the project, I learnt patience and observed the way children naturally are drawn to you, to play and receive affection. It was such a cultural experience, I learnt a lot from the house mother Yupee. I enjoyed watching and learning how she cooked and took care of the children. I enjoyed seeing how respectful and responsible the kids were throughout meal times. I loved playing with the children and teaching them new games, such as hopscotch.

It was great working alongside volunteers and discussing with volunteers of the children’s home and other projects, how their day was and the experiences they had, had. Listening and sharing stories was inspiring and I made great friendships.

The Friends For Asia staff were so helpful and always there to help and care for us. Thank you very much! You made my experience a smooth and enjoyable one.

In conclusion I discovered a new passion or vocation for my future. I hope to continue to volunteer and possibly work for a volunteer organization. I really loved Thailand, I enjoyed discovering the landscape, people and food. I hope to come back many times.

Judith Vrolijk – Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Children’s Home, January, 2013

Girl at Children's Home

I really loved my time at the Children’s Home! The children are much more affectionate, I believe, than children from Europe. They hug you every day! The girls love to do your hair, and make you ‘beautiful’ with their baby powder. I also helped the children with their English homework and did lots of games and badminton! They love to make pictures or play games with your cell phone, and if you give your camera to the older kids, you’ll get it back a couple of hours later with hundreds of pictures and videos they made! It will be sad to leave the project on Saturday, after spending 6 weeks there. It’s weird to leave, not knowing what they will become in the future. That said, I would love to come back in a couple of years from now and see how they have grown up!

Kelly Kyung Woo Wams – Utrecht, the Netherlands – Children’s Home – December, 2012

In my three weeks at the Children’s Home I really had a magnificent time! When you enter the premises the children are very friendly and open-hearted. Just return their wais, smiles and hugs and both you and the children will have a great time. During my stay (20 November – 8 December 2012) I have also assembled cabinets, manufactured benches for the dining room (house 3) and installed mirrors in the sleeping rooms (house 3 & 4). Furthermore, I will install clocks in all the sleeping rooms (house 3 & 4) and replace the socks which are worned out (house 3). If you also think you can make any kind of contribution, be pro-active and share your ideas with your fellow volunteers and the Friends for Asia staff and make it happen!

Jacqueline McHugh – Glasgow, Scotland, UK – Children’s Home, October, 2012

I found that my Children’s Home project challenged me (in an emotional sense) but it was also hugely gratifying. I learned a lot about the children and about myself, for example, I learned that despite coming from a very different background from the children, I could teach them about my culture, and through that connection we shared fun and laughter every day. I felt a genuine friendship with them (as a group and on an individual basis) for the time that I was volunteering. My time at the Children’s Home gave me a unique experience whereby I could show love, friendship and companionship. In this way, my role in Thailand was markedly different than my previous work experience with children from the USA and UK.

Katy Berninger – NY, New York, USA – Children’s Home, June, 2012

group 97

I spent eight weeks in Chiang Mai, Thailand volunteering with the Children’s Home. My experience was unique because I happened to be there during the children’s holiday from school, therefore our days were less structured and involved a lot more time to have free play and just have fun with the kids.

I was immediately amazed at how happy and full of life the children are. They are genuinely excited to have the volunteers come and spend time with them. We participated in a range of activities with them from just running around and being silly, to arts and crafts, and cooking.

The staff at Friends for Asia were very helpful in being liaisons between the orphanage and other volunteers. If we had questions or concerns I always felt that I could talk to one of the staff members to find a solution.

Overall, I had an amazing experience as a volunteer abroad. Immersing yourself in a different culture and witnessing the way other people live is incredibly eye-opening. Recognizing that there are ways to do things, other than your own, allows for you to learn how to adapt and embrace experience outside of your comfort zone. Before you know it the things that were so different to you in the beginning become things you love. And when that’s the case the possibilities become endless. Volunteer abroad. Do it! You won’t regret it.

Sonja Greiner – Walldorf, Germany – Children’s Home Volunteer Project, October, 2010

“The volunteer work experience in the Orphanage was amazing. You have to learn so much, not only about the children also about yourself. The people in the orphanage are so friendly and thankful so it is much more easier to work there. At the first time I thought that 3 weeks is a long time- but it goes unbelievable fast… I’m happy to have this kind of new experience and when you really in love with children you should do the same great experience that I had I also want to thanks my Organization. I’m very happy because anyone is always reachable. In addition to that I want to say that Run and Aom ensure a very comfortable feeling in the house”

Children’s Home Volunteer Project Video

Anna-Lena Boehm – Muenchen, Germany – Children’s Home Volunteer Project, September, 2010

Last day at children's Home

“Although my time at the orphanage was a short one, I gained a lot of it and it enriched my life in a positive way. My time as a volunteer in Asia with Friends for Asia was great. If you are in love with children I can recommend you to make the experience what it feels like when you receive a cute smile from one of the little babies at the orphanage, they really need a big portion of extra love!”

Maria Dobrovodska – Parn, France – Children’s Home Volunteer Project, August, 2010

“Great experience, people in Friends for Asia are very nice and helpful. The orientation weekend was quite good; I appreciated the Sunday restaurant evening. Getting my taxi every morning and traveling to work with ordinary Thai people was a part of this great experience. You get close to normal people in here and just integrate yourself. After 2 weeks, I feel already as a Thai. The orphanage is a very nice place. Modern, the kids have lot of toys, clothes and sweeties. The volunteer needs to bring a good humor and lots of love. The program in every room is different; it depends on the staff in there. Some rooms are well organized, some of them not because they need maybe more staff. Nansawanne room is really nice and after one day you get into the work. I had also an opportunity to go to the hospital and see some ill babies and just hug them and help to feed them. There are some long term volunteers at the orphanage and they can help the newcomers to understand more the organization and the daily program in each room.”

Jo Alcock – Auckland, New Zealand – Children’s Home Volunteer Project, March, 2010

“I really enjoyed my two weeks volunteer work in Chiang Mai. I worked at the Children’s Home Orphanage which was an unexpected option due to the unavailability of the HIV Orphanage due to a change in the school term dates. Friends for Asia arranged the change for us within a day and we were very glad to have had the opportunity to work in the larger orphanage. I worked with babies and toddlers and was very impressed with the organization and care of the children. The little children are really well looked after but there are never enough hands to meet all the need for cuddles and games so our group felt that we really contributed to their happiness. There was always a baby or toddler who needed some special attention and the cuddles were a delight. The longer you volunteer there the more responsibility you can take in caring for the children.”

“The administration staff were very welcoming to us and made a special meeting at the end of our time there to thank us and discuss the work they do in more detail.”

“It is a very worthwhile project to be involved in. There are opportunities to work with older age groups, do practical work around the orphanage, teach English after school to the older children as well as the work we did with the babies and toddlers. They want foreigners there so that the children get used to our different look and are not scared of us. This ensures that foreign adoptions are that little bit easier if the occasion arises.”