Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Chiang Mai Womens Empowerment Project

This project is available in Chiang Mai.

Sometimes, it can be difficult for volunteers to evaluate their own impact, but at the single mothers’ home, the equations are simple. Success is measured in diapers changed, infants comforted and toddlers coaxed into naptime, smiles put on faces of children and women going through hardship and words learned to expand a new mother’s vocabulary. The stakes are high for these mothers, and your support to their needs, and watchful eye over their children frees them up to invest in education and skills that will better their family’s future.

Chiang Mai Womens Empowerment Project Video

Volunteering in Thailand – A Day in the Life

Everyone knows that when you’re raising children, days start early and don’t stop. At the single mother’s home, the older children go to school offsite, so they’re gone from about 7:30 am to 4:30 pm every day. As a volunteer, your workday starts at around 9:00 am, when you report for duty in the office to help with grant-writing and proposals, the kitchen to help with the mid-day meal, the garden to help with the crops, to work directly with the women on their studies, or at the daycare center.

The single mothers’ home couldn’t be in a better location. This is the quintessential Southeast Asia setting – mountains in the background, rice paddies in the fore – free of the trappings of tourism. The daycare center itself is rustic, and built by a construction team and former volunteers. Here, cradling a newborn baby, the sentimental urges are irresistible, especially when you realize that you’re part of a continuum of like-minded, caring people. In short, you’re part of the solution.

Making a Difference by Volunteering in Thailand

Single mothers face similar challenges all over the world. For this particular facility, these challenges can be overcome by equipping disadvantaged women in Northern Thailand with the skills and confidence they need to turn their lives around. The help of volunteers is essential in freeing the mothers to focus on this personal development.

Some of these women hail from ethnic minorities villages in the hinterland. Many grew up off the grid without access to education, vocational training or adequate medical facilities. Abuse is an all-too-common reality for these women, and the aftermath is devastating. That’s why this particular assignment is only open to female volunteers.

Volunteer Tasks

One of the most important resources for these mothers is unwavering support, and the single mothers’ home provides this in abundance. The realization that others genuinely care about your welfare and future is life-changing – especially for those who’ve been neglected for so long. The fact that you’ve flown in from overseas to donate your time and energy only increases the impact. But your presence also fills a practical need and the possible tasks for volunteers here is quite varied. Volunteers often find themselves assisting in multiple areas during their project. Ultimately, one’s exact duties and service will highly depend upon their own knowledge, abilities and interests.

The general areas where volunteers are placed to contribute are:


The children you’ll be minding may be as old as seven, but most are infants and toddlers. You’ll be changing diapers, holding babies and organizing simple games. Above all, you’ll be providing the single mothers with peace of mind so they can take part in classes held on the compound. Knowing that their baby is just around the corner in a safe and healthy environment is essential; otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to focus on their studies.

Instructional Programs and English Teaching with the Women

English speaking ability is of huge demand in Chiang Mai and northern Thailand. Empowering these women to better their English skills via both formal and non-formal lessons can greatly increase their hire-ability once they depart the home. Also, volunteers with knowledge in handicrafts, art or other areas that may assist the women with new skills is welcomed.

Gardening and Upkeep

Sustainable agriculture is a big part of this program site. Many of the women who find sanctuary at the home are from the rural areas, and will eventually return to similar locations in the future. Learning how to live off the land, garden and raise livestock is an important piece of how these women can become self-sustainable parents. The garden at the home also provides the women, children and staff with much of the food they consume. Helping in the upkeep of the garden and with the animals is helping keep the mothers and children fed.

Office Work

The Single Mother’s Home is a private foundation and completely supported by donations from private individuals, groups and companies. Grant writing, connecting with current and possible donors and increasing awareness of the home, the work that they do and how people can contribute financially is a huge assistance in keeping the operation running.

Volunteer Qualifications

This project is only available to women. Volunteers need to be over the age of 20, but do not need any specific qualifications, but should have a basic knowledge of child care. Volunteers should be able-bodied, flexible and enjoy working outside and with kids.

Friends for Asia requires all volunteers in this project (and all other projects where volunteers work directly with or near children) to submit a certified police background check before volunteer service begins.

Volunteer Stories

The children were always so happy and excited to do basically anything with the volunteers.” – Katia Grant, New York, USA

“Hearing the laughs and seeing the smiles of the mothers and children was the most rewarding part of the whole experience.” – Shannon Ng, Hawaii, USA


Volunteer Fees

Participation in the Chiang Mai Womens Empowerment Project 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)
  • 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.
  • Dinner

Chiang Mai Womens Empowerment Volunteer Project Start Dates for 2023

  • 9th of January
  • 23rd of January
  • 6th of February
  • 20th of February
  • 6th of March (maximum four week placement before April break)
  • All projects closed for April, 2023
  • 1st of May
  • 15th of May
  • 5th of June
  • 19th of June
  • 3rd of July
  • 17th of July
  • 7th of August
  • 21st of August
  • 4th of September
  • 18th of September
  • 2nd of October
  • 16th of October
  • 6th of November
  • 20th of November
  • 4th of December
  • 18th of December

Chiang Mai Womens Empowerment Volunteer Project Start Dates for 2024

  • the 8th of January – arriving on Friday, the 6th of January
  • the 22nd of January – arriving on Friday, the 19th of January
  • the 5th of February – arriving on Friday, the 2nd of February
  • the 19th of February – arriving on Friday, the 16th of February
  • the 4th of March – arriving on Friday, the 1st of March (four week maximum before April break)
  • Closed for the April Break
  • the 6th of May – arriving on Friday, the 3rd of May
  • the 20th of May – arriving on Friday, the 17th of May
  • the 3rd of June – arriving on Friday, the 31st of May
  • the 17th of June – arriving on Friday, the 14th of June
  • the 1st of July – arriving on Friday, the 28th of June
  • the 15th of July – arriving on Friday, the 12th of July
  • the 5th of August – arriving on Friday, the 3rd of August
  • the 19th of August – arriving on Friday, the 16th of August
  • the 2nd of September – arriving on Friday, the 30th of August
  • the 16th of September – arriving on Friday, the 13th of September
  • the 7th of October – arriving on Friday, the 3rd of October
  • the 21st of October – arriving on Friday, the 18th of October
  • the 4th of November – arriving on Friday, the 1st of November
  • the 18th of November – arriving on Friday, the 15th of November
  • the 2nd of December – arriving on Friday, the 29th of November
  • the 16th of December – arriving on Friday, the 13th of December