Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Volunteering in Thailand with Children

“I will never forget the kids’ faces, and their smiles. It is one of the best things I ever did.” – Milou Huitink, 2010 – HIV Orphanage volunteer

Playing, painting, coloring, cooking, singing or just giving a hand to hold or a shoulder to hug… The variety of ways volunteers are able to contribute to the well being of children in our projects is limitless. Not only are our volunteers able to contribute in countless ways, but we also have a variety of projects that cater to those who are interested in volunteering with children.

Anyone who has worked with children will know that you’ll have to be patient and expect the unexpected. We have found that the volunteers that bring the most to these projects are flexible, energetic and able to think on their feet.

“The children were always so happy and excited to do basically anything with the volunteers. Walking into the daycare and having a bunch of children run up to you because they are so excited to see you is definitely a great feeling!” – Katia Grant, 2009 – Care giving at Single Mother’s Home volunteer

Working in Projects with Children – Thailand

In our Chiang Mai Children’s Home and Bangkok Orphanage Projects volunteers focus on spending time and improving the well-being of children. However, these projects also allow volunteers to contribute in various other ways, whether it is gardening, teaching English, cleaning or cooking. volunteer projects all focus on direct childcare. However, all these projects also allow volunteers to contribute in varoius other ways, whether it is gardening, teaching English, cleaning or cooking.

It can be a bit difficult to know how close to get with the children, as that teary last day in the project is always around the corner, so we don’t want to let the children (and ourselves) get too attached. Whereas at the same time, we also want to put forth our best effort, work, energy and love to these kids that need it most.

“Hearing the laughs and seeing the smiles of the mothers and children was the most rewarding part of the whole experience.” – Shannon Ng, 2009 – Care giving at Single Mother’s Home volunteer

Teaching Children Projects

Another aspect of working with children is through education and teaching. Our volunteers are able to contribute in two teaching projects where they often learn as much as they teach. Our Teaching Monks Volunteer Project was our first and one of our most popular to date.

“My favorite experience was my time spent with the novices. They are quite remarkable. Many are quite funny, as well. The energy and enthusiasm that most of them exude is delightful.” – Dia Cooley, 2008 (our first volunteer)

With schools ranging in size from a few hundred students to a few thousand students our English Education Project has a wide variety of schools where volunteers are able to give, teach and learn.

Men Volunteering With Children

The stereotype is that mostly women participate in projects that involve childcare. Yet, it’s important to remember that all children need attention and playtime with a caring adult male, whether it is a big brother figure, or just a big playmate. The attention and liveliness men bring to playtime with kids is a very important part in the social development of children – especially young boys. For this reason, we equally encourage men to volunteer in projects with kids as much as we do women.

“The students smile at you every time they see you and appreciate your time and help.” Michael Ambroselli, 2008 – Teaching Monks

Safeguards for Volunteering With Children

There are steps and policies that need to be followed when working with children, especially those who have been through traumatic events. We do cover basic “do’s” and “don’ts” about how to be successful in these childcare projects, but reading up and gaining experience in these areas prior to one’s departure from home is always an incredibly helpful leap in the right direction.

Understandably, there are a lot of steps involved with making an international volunteer trip a reality. Another bureaucratic step in this process is certainly not a welcome one. However, for the safety and well being of the children in our projects, we do require all volunteers that participate in projects, where they will be working with children, to submit a clear criminal police background check.