To begin with, although this page is underneath the ‘Activities and Adventures’ section, this doesn’t mean that you should view ‘volunteering’ as just another thing to do in South East Asia. Before you decide that you want to be a volunteer you must think carefully about what you can offer, how long you are willing to commit and also do your research thoroughly on the kind of organization that you want to get involved with.
Before you start, we advise that you read this:
To begin with, you will need to think about the type of volunteering you would like to take part in. Are you particularly good with children? Do you want to get your hands dirty with some conservation work? or do you see yourself as an English teacher?
The following charities and NGO’s have been recommended to S.E.A Backpacker:
Volunteering with children and education-based
- Volunteering with Orphan Impact in Vietnam (Read the interview with Tad Kincaid, founder of Orphan Impact in Issue #14 – page 48)
- ConCERT Cambodia – “Connecting Communities, Environment & Responsible Tourism” – is a not for profit social organisation based in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
- WLS International – (World Language Studies – Volunteering Abroad in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, China, India, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.
- PURE! Volunteer – PURE! focuses on increasing opportunities for children, adolescents and mothers in Cambodia, Bali and Indoneisa by providing free education and training. PURE! also advises on responsible travel and volunteering.
- Interweave Cambodia – International Work Exchange And Volunteer Experiences, is a non-profit organisation which promotes cross-cultural understanding and awareness through volunteer programmes in Cambodia.
- Globalteer – A UK based Charity providing overseas volunteer placements in orphanages, schools and community projects in Asia and South America.
- In Search of Sanuk – Using the Thai word for fun or “sanuk”, American Dwight Turner, challenges you to create your lifestyle of giving, working with street children in Bangkok. (Read Dwight’s Article in Issue #8 – page 16) or follow Dwight on Twitter @InSearchOfSanuk
- CHA – The Cambodian Handicraft Association (View on Trade Aid) – CHA seeks to assist landmine and polio disabled reintegrate into society. Read Article by Rebecca Gennard about her experience with CHA in Issue #15 (page 50)
- OBT – a non-governmental organization that operates in Chiro village, 5km from Kampong Cham that is run only by Cambodian staff. OBT enables underprivileged young Cambodians from the countryside to achieve free English and Hospitality courses, in order to facilitate their future employment and to give them the chance to go on to higher education. They offer home-stays and volunteering – www.obtcambodia.wordpress.com
- Sambhali Trust is a non-profit, grass-roots, charitable organisation whose focus is the development and empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan. The goals of the Sambhali Women Empowerment Policy are to bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of women. The objectives include: creating a suitable environment for the development of women through the implementation of positive economic and social policies; helping asset-less and marginalized women become economically self-reliant; offering access to health care, quality education, employment, equal compensation and social security.
Organized Group Volunteering & Travel
You may wish to book a group trip which incorporates both travel and volunteering. We work with the organization, The Bamboo Project, who have several well-run and worthy projects that you can get involved in from teaching English, building classrooms, helping cats and dogs and more! Check out the projects here.
Beach and Build, Koh Samui
- Koh Samui – Beach and Build – Help to brighten up the classroom environment for an underfunded government school in Koh Samui, Thailand.
- Koh Samui – Teach and Beach – Volunteer as an English Teacher on Koh Samui for 1-12 weeks at a local government school.
- Volunteer Cat & Dog Rescue – Help to look after the stray cat and dog population of Koh Samui, Thailand.
Volunteering with animals
- Lanta Animal Welfare – Volunteering with stray animals in Koh Lanta, Thailand (Read volunteer’s experience here: Volunteering – it’s a dogs life! Volunteering at Koh Lanta Animal Welfare By Jessica Simmonds)
- Dutch organization, Bring the Elephant Home Charity and Thai based The Surin Project – Elephant conservation in Thailand, recommended by Suzanne van Gils and Manouk Maas in #Issue 20 (Read their letter of the month in Issue #20)
- Volunteer Cat & Dog Rescue – Organised project with ‘Teh Bamboo Project’ – Help to look after the stray cat and dog population of Koh Samui, Thailand.
- Mr T’s Organic Farm, Vang Vieng, Laos – Read Penny Atkinson’s blog about her time working on the farm
- Mindful Farm, Chiang Mai, Thailand – Read Article by Jessica Williams about her experience of Mindful Farm in Issue #15 (page 52)
- Rak Tamachat Natural Living Farm, Sikhiu, Thailand- Live with nature, not against it, help us to develop natural sustainable ways of life, and share with others.
- Koh Samui – Beach and Build – Help to brighten up the classroom environment for an underfunded government school in Koh Samui, Thailand. Organised project with ‘The Bamboo Project’.
- The AIPNO is an Indian based volunteering company looking for those interested in helping with a rural medical mission. To contact the AIPNO President Dr. Jaya Shah directly, email [email protected]
- Help Exchange – HelpX is an online listing of farmstays, hotels and even sailing boats who invite volunteers to stay in exchange for food and accommodation.
- Nerdy Nomad – A.K.A. Kirsty Henderson is a traveller turned volunteer who has worked in disaster zones all over the world. You can purchase her e-book ‘The Underground Guide to International Volunteering’ on her blog and read about her experiences.
- Volunteer Global – Offering internships volunteering abroad.
- Workaway – A site set up to promote fair exchange between budget travellers, language learners or culture seekers and families, individuals or organizations who are looking for help with a range of activities.