Volunteer work around Chiang Mai

Old Nov 28th, 2009, 07:14 PM
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Volunteer work around Chiang Mai

Hello,
During a couple months of travel I will have a week which I intend to spend in or around Chiang Mai, Thailand and would be interested in finding an opportunity to spend that week working on a volunteer project.
Any ideas??
Thanks!
rockland is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2009, 12:43 AM
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I just read a newspaper article about President Carter's project around Chiang Mai, as well as in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and it sounds interesting. Perhaps you can volunteer you time for them.

http://www.habitat.org/ap/
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 12:44 AM
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Ahh.. I think the project is over but perhaps you can still do something with the organization.

http://www.habitat.org/jcwp/2009/thailand/
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 09:00 AM
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The only Habitat for Humanity project that currently is scheduled for the Chiang Mai area is in Lampang in May 2010:

http://www.habitat.org/cd/gv/trip_de...1&code=gv10343
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 12:25 AM
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Some suggestions to try would be below, I would also recco Habitat for Humanity if they have a “Global Village” or other program during your stay.

United Nations Volunteer Program at http://www.unv.org/
Red Cross at http://www.ifrc.org/
Oxfam International at http://www.oxfam.org/
Earthwatch Institute at http://www.earthwatch.org/

Lonely Planet has written an entire book about volunteering (some of which can actually be paid work or result in paid work at a later date), you might want to get it, it is called Volunteer: A Traveller's Guide. You might also try the Lonelyplanet.com website and their chat board called “Thorn Tree Posts”.

Note that you can’t do volunteer work, even if unpaid, in Thailand on a tourist visa. In Thailand the visa you need is called “non-immigrant visa”. You generally have to obtain this visa outside Thailand and have to be sponsored for it by your organization. If you find an charity organization which will allow you to do volunteer work without the proper visa, I personally would question their bona fides, esp organizations to which you pay a fee or make a “contribution” to do the volunteer work. You might take a look at http://www.thaiembdc.org/consular/visa/Non-Img.aspx for further information. Habitat, for example, would not let you do work on a tourist visa (at least that has been my experience with them).
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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Hi, Funny to get so many suggestions for Habitat. I actually did a week with them last year outside of Bangkok. It was a great experience and I would be glad to do it again. Ive already emailed them but have received no reply...a week ago.....but I will try again. BTW.. it was very lax re:any visa requirements etc....they didn't even ask me for the online application forms I had filled out and printed out before I left home (USA).
Maybe they will get back to me but I also was looking for other ideas so thanks for the links Cicerone.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 11:28 PM
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Hmm, that is interesting because Habitat would not let me work on their project in India two years ago using the Indian business visa I already had for my regular work there, but insisted that I get an employment visa. It may be that different directors of the programs in different countries have different policies. I am surprised that the Thai entity would take such a relaxed attitude, as Thailand has pretty strict rules; and it is the organization, as well as the individual, who can get into trouble for allowing people to work without the correct visa.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 02:44 PM
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Im not sure about chiang mai but what about this one -

The Association for Akha Education and Culture in Thailand is the oldest charity in S.E. Asia assisting ethnic indigenous minorities. Our humanitarian work focuses on Burmese refugees entering Thailand from Burma's Shan state and we support 'hill tribe' groups throughout 264 rural villages in northern Thailand. We offer quality non profit volunteering in conservation, teaching and humanitarian work.

We are currently building a new school on the Burmese Thai Border for 95 at risk burmese refugees who are currently working as factory workers in Mai Sai. These children and their 60 families require assistance and security because without citizenship they are vulnerable to being exploited as sex workers etc

more details here on our NGO site

http://www.akhathai.org
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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I just signed up for a week of volunteering at Elephant Nature Park.
http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/
Basically, you live in the park for a week feeding, bathing and taking care of rescued elephants. .
I will be going in June 21, 2010, so I don't have first hand experience. But from all my tons of research and reading reviews, it sounds and looks like a great experience. And here's
a nice perk....every one raves about the food
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