Want to do something really useful and see the results?
Join this project you will really be helping the local community. Flex your muscles on a much needed project to build an educational centre, that will provide a resource to give young people the best possible future. The land is there - all we need is the help to make it happen!
- Get involved in some practical and satisfying work and help one of Thailand's poorest of communities.
- Leave knowing that your hard work and effort will help hundreds of children for many years to come.
- Exploring the local town of Sangkhlaburi – with its mix of hill tribe, Thai and Burmese people – such a diverse range of dress food and customs!
What's not included
Day 1 (Friday) – Arrive into Bangkok International Airport, Thailand (airport code BKK)
Welcome to Thailand! If your flight arrives between 6am and 10pm you will be met by a member of the friendly Thailand team who will transfer you to the Bangkok hotel where you'll spend your first 2 nights. Your first night is your free time, offering you the opportunity to explore the local Khao San Road are or rest in your room, ready for tomorrow.
If you aren’t able to arrange a flight to get you into Bangkok on the specified arrival date we’d recommend you fly in a day early. Please note that you will need to pay for your transfer and any additional nights accommodation if you do so please remember to budget for this.
Day 2 (Saturday) – Orientation and tour of Bangkok
After breakfast there will be a brief orientation by one of the Thailand team. At the end of this you will begin your tour of Bangkok, get to know more about this amazing city and be in awe of its wonderful beauty and splendour.
After having your fill of Bangkok and its stunning sights, you will have a chance to relax and recharge before heading out in the evening for a welcome meal with your coordinator and fellow volunteers. This is a great time to ask questions and get to know everybody a little bit more.
Breakfast is included on this day.
Day 3 (Sunday) – Transfer to Sangkhlaburi
Today you will be making your way to Sangkhlaburi. Depending on the time of the coach from Bangkok you will leave the hotel either early in the morning or around mid-morning. You will be given more details of the exact time by your coordinator on arrival in Bangkok.
On arrival you will be transferred to your new accommodation and given time to settle in before your orientation meeting which will tell you all about your stay.
The meeting will cover important information such as what's currently happening at your project, do`s and don’ts, fun things to do in Thailand, information about Thailand’s history and culture, and how to stay safe on your trip.
Day 4 (Monday) – Meeting your new friends
Today you will be able to experience Thai Culture as you visit one of the nearby temples where you will have the opportunity of giving alms to monks, followed by a welcome ceremony at the temple where a blessing, bracelet and holy water will be given. A unique and very interesting way to begin your volunteering.
Later on in the day you will start you will be introduced to the staff at the project and get some idea of the activities that you will be involved in. The individual activities will depend on the number of volunteers in country at that time and the needs of the project, but one thing is for sure – the list is endless and you will definitely be kept busy!
Day 5 to 8 (Tuesday to Friday) – Time to get your hands dirty!
Today is the first day that you can really get stuck in and get your hands dirty! The team will be on hand to help and direct you, but don`t be afraid if you haven`t done any of these activities before, the main thing that is that your help is needed along with your energy, determination and enthusiasm!
You will work from 9am until mid afternoon - by this time you will be looking forward to a relaxing evening to recover. You will be picked up in the morning and taken to your project and then picked up again at the end of the day and returned to your accommodation.
Day 9 to 10 (Saturday and Sunday) - The weekend is here!
So the weekend has arrived; it's time for fun, games, parties and more. There are many activities that can be joined locally from playing football with the locals to fun and games at the nearby Nature Club. Whatever you decide the team in Sangkhlaburi will be on hand to help.
Over the following weeks you will be working Monday to Friday at your project. You will become fully immersed in the volunteer work and begin to see the massive impact and improvements that you have made not to mention to your muscles and physique. Just think of the children that will benefit from your hard work!
You will continue with a similar pattern of working at the project during the week and relaxing and exploring during your free evenings and weekends. Visit a local market and gather up the courage to sample even the most obscure of local delicacies - fried crickets anyone? Time will fly by so make the most of every minute in this amazing country!
Your last day
Having said goodbye to all your new friends, taken your final photos and packed your bag full of souvenirs you’ll travel back to the airport, or off for further adventures elsewhere. The return transfer from Sangkhlaburi to Bangkok is not covered within your project fee, but the team will be able to make recommendations and help you arrange a transfer if you need them to. There are several coaches that return to Bangkok, leaving Sangkhlaburi throughout the day. Our team can also arrange for you to stay in Sangkhlaburi until the Saturday if you wish so please ensure you have chat with them.
What does the project do?
This project works on a number of different building and renovation initiatives throughout the year. One of the core projects is the development of an educational centre for a very poor community outside of the main town aiming to provide a resource to give young (and old) people the best possible future. However, other initiatives also include the renovation of child care centres, the development of facilities in local communities and even the decorating of local schools. Which initiative is underway varies depending on the number of volunteers and the needs of the communities at the time.
What’s the project like?
You'll be working hard and making a noticable difference whichever initiative is underway when you are in country. Whilst it can be hard work digging, building and even painting in the heat, the feeling of satisfaction is unbeatable at the end of each day and week! This project is so rewarding and as a volunteer you will hugely contribute to the needs of the local communities. This is what volunteers have achieved so far:
- The structure of the main buiding at the project which will be used for eating, washing, and working areas, is complete
- Sceptic tank installed
- Drainage system put in
- Road from the 'road' to the site completed
- Orchard planted (to give fruit)
- Storage huts built
- Water tower built
Sangkhlaburi is a melting pot of different ethnic minorities such as hill tribes and Burmese refugees that do not have a Thai status and thus do not have any Thai rights. They are susceptible to the human traffickers of the area and this is where the home helps to provide a safe haven.
Why does the project need volunteers?
Our building project worked on a number of initiatives over the years and the more volunteers we have on the project, the more lives we can change for the better.
Whilst so much at the project has already been achieved thanks to the help from our amazing volunteers, there is still so much to be done. This is what our volunteers are working on at the moment:
- Building accommodation huts
- Completing the main building
- Adding more toilet facilities
Activities and schedule
During your time at the project you will be getting involved in various activities of building, Depending on the time that you arrive you will getting your hands dirty by either digging the foundations, clearing land, putting up walls, painting, hygiene maintenance such as running water, toilets and washing facilities to creating gardens and play areas.
Please note that individual activities may be affected each month depending on factors such as numbers of volunteers, time of year, weather so please be flexible - just be ready to get your hands dirty and get involved in whatever needs doing!
By the end of your volunteer experience we hope that you will feel a real sense of achievement knowing that you have helped contribute to the needs of the local community!
You will be working full days from 9am (or earlier) in the morning until mid afternoon. You will be picked up from your accommodation in the morning and taken to the site and then picked up at the end of the day to be taken back to your accommodation – you will be thankful for this as your muscles will be aching from your hard days work. The sites are usually located on the outskirts of Sangkhlaburi.
Our project coordinators will work alongside you throughout the day to answer any questions, direct you and help with translations.
Where the project is based
The project is based 500km from Bangkok in the north west of Thailand near the Burmese border. The project site is situated approximately 25 minutes from the rural town of Sangkhlaburi.
Sangkhlaburi has a mixture of different cultures and traditions due to having not only Thai people but also hill tribe and Burmese people in and around the village, making it a cultural hot pot. Sangkhlaburi also has numerous facilities including internet cafes, banks, shops, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, hospital, pubs, laundrette, fresh food markets and a post office.
On your weekends you will have the chance to explore the beautiful surrounding area where you can go trekking, kayaking and other similar activities are easily accessible.
Project resources and advice
We suggest that if you would like to fund the project that you bring cash resource, wait to see what is required and purchase it locally. This way you will also be helping out the local community as well as the project. Please however do not feel that you have to fund the project – your help is the main thing required!
What type of accommodation will I be in?
In Sangkhlaburi volunteers live in one of several houses rented from the local community. The houses are all basic but very clean and feature 2-5 bedrooms and 1-3 bathrooms in each. Bedrooms are at least twin share although triple can be arranged. Bedrooms include bedding and are also equipped with fans and either mosquito nets or window covers. Each house also has a basic living area so you can relax and get to know your fellow volunteers and also has a kitchen featuring cooking stove, toaster, fridge, running water and all cutlery and bowls etc. The bathrooms have a mix of both Asian and western toilets as well as hot water showers.
As there is such a variety of meals available and they are so cheap, no meals are included in the project cost. This gives you a great opportunity to try as many of the sumptuous dishes that you will find both from street vendors whose food will cost around 20 to 30 baht or try one of the numerous restaurants in the town where meals start at 100 baht upwards. Alternatively you can buy your food from one of the local markets and create your own delicious meals in the kitchen at your house. We recommend that you budget approximately US$50 per week for food.
Things to bring from home
- Work gloves
- Sturdy work shoes - toes enclosed
- Warm clothes for the evenings during the winter (November to February)
- There isn’t a TV so don’t forget to bring books, music, cards and games
Important note: As Sangkhlaburi is a traditional town with little tourism, traditional rules and lifestyles apply. All visitors should respect the communities clothing requirements and dress appropriately. Examples are that females must have their shoulders covered during daylight hours and when volunteering with children, skirts and shorts should be at a length below the knee. Following this simple guideline will save any embarrassment for you or the community you are supporting.
Where is the accommodation?
The houses are based in the town of Sangkhlaburi 500kms north west of Bangkok with numerous facilities including internet cafes, banks, shops, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, pubs, laundrette, fresh food markets and a post office within walking distance.
Sangkhlaburi is also famous for its 400m, hand-built wooden bridge - you will need to make sure of your footing when crossing the bridge and don`t forget to make a donation at the end towards its upkeep!
Sangkhlaburi is located on the banks of one of the largest man-made lakes in Thailand. The lake was created approximately 40 years ago by flooding a valley that once housed a small farming community. Proof of this can be seen in the winter months when the water level is low and the church steeple breaks the surface of the lake.
You can talk to your coordinator about the many activities that take place in and around Sangkhlaburi. They can give you the latest information, costs and help arrange tickets and transfers.
How far is it from my project?
Each morning you will walk to a meeting point where you will be collected and transferred to your project location. At the end of the day you will be picked up and transferred back to your accommodation. The evening is then yours to do what you like.
What you get
What exactly do i to i Volunteering provide?
It may seem like a strange concept to pay for your volunteer experience. You'd be right if you think you shouldn't and the truth is you actually don't! Your placement is free; it's the benefits around it that you pay for. It's important to note that i to i Volunteering is a travel company and not a charity. We provide a professional travel service. We are responsible for finding and assessing worthwhile projects across the world, preparing you for the volunteering experience and supporting you whilst you're there.
Project sourcing and assessment
We work with hundreds of locally run partner projects around the world and are constantly sourcing new opportunities. We visit all projects to check that they are worthwhile and legitimate and we also conduct a thorough safety assessment before we'll send volunteers there.
Almost everyone who works for i to i Volunteering has traveled extensively or worked overseas. This means we're a goldmine of information; we're always available to offer support and guidance before, during and after your trip.
Thorough project briefing materials
Once you book on to a project you'll receive an online account that contains loads of general information about volunteering, about your chosen country and how to have fun and stay safe. We'll also give you advice on visas and inoculations.
It can be pretty daunting arriving in a different country for the first time - especially after a long flight! If you arrive on your project start date, there'll be a welcoming face at the airport to pick you up and take you to your accommodation.
Soon after you arrive you will attend a thorough orientation with our in-country team. This is to cover important safety and security information. You'll also get some tips about sight-seeing options for your time off and maybe even learn some of the local lingo!
Accommodation and meals
Accommodation is included with all projects and meals are even included with some. We only use locally-owned and operated accommodation so that part of your placement fee is filtering back into the local economy. Most projects offer homestay, guesthouse or shared volunteer houses as standard accommodation, but some offer the chance to upgrade to a more comfortable living standard.
Local in-country coordinators
Your in-country team will arrange a pick-up for you at the airport and will conduct your orientation upon arrival. All coordination teams are English speaking and are locals of your destination country. They won't be at your project every day, but will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need them.
24/7 emergency support
Aside from the local support from your in-country team you'll be given access to a 24/7 emergency phone line manned by our response team in case any problem should arise while you're overseas. We also hire crisis management professionals to be on hand in case of a situation that requires additional expert support.
The safety and security of our volunteers is paramount. For this reason we provide ongoing crisis management and emergency response training to our local teams around the world. We also fly in our in-country coordinators to the UK regularly for thorough training to help them offer the best safety to the thousands of volunteers they support each year.
Supporting our projects
We don't fund our projects directly from the project fee that you pay us. Instead we choose to support a number of projects through our Helping Hands Foundation to provide resources to those projects that really need it.
Recruiting people like you
We make no secrets of the fact that part of your placement fee is reinvested in to recruiting volunteers just like you! The volunteers recruited in one week will typically deliver over 2000 man-days of service. The difference this makes to projects overseas is immeasurable. Many of our overseas projects rely on assistance from international volunteers, so it's necessary for us to put together brochures and websites to find the people who can support them. This recruitment process is vital to ensure programs have a constant stream of reliable volunteers.
Please note: You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us.
What we will do after you've booked:
- Once booked on you will instantly receive a welcome email confirming your booking with access to your online account
- Community Development and Teaching customers will be requested to complete a police check (where relevant)
- We will contact you if we require anything else e.g. CV/resume for some projects, doctors note for medical conditions etc.
- We will prepare for your trip and you will receive all information required to prepare yourself in your online account
- We will ask you to complete personal information and pay your final balance if they are still due when required
- We are available for any questions you may have on email@example.com
What you need to do after booking your place with us:
- Book your flights
- Arrange suitable travel insurance
- Fill out your personal details through your online account
- Complete your police check if requested
- Make final payment at least 90 days before you go
- Make sure you have a visa for your trip if it's needed
- Visit a nurse or travel clinic for advice on inoculations and malaria prevention
- Read all details and prepare as much as you can for your trip
- Take contact details of the in country team and where you're going in your hand luggage - just in case!
- Get on the plane!
Flights & insurance
It's important that you get adequate travel insurance for your i to i Volunteering experience and as many of you will be working this often means standard policies won’t work. The good news is that no matter where you're coming from we have already found a policy to suit you.
The best time to get your insurance is when you book your project as this means you can get a fully tailored policy exclusive to i to i Volunteering, just ask your consultant for further details at the time of booking.
For prices, policies and key facts click here
As with insurance we advise you get these booked as early as possible to avoid high prices and to make sure you arrive on the right day. The i to i Volunteering team is right up to date with the best deals no matter where you’re flying from; their insider knowledge could save you some time and money.