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
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)
- 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.
- 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.