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Volunteer Care work with children overseas in Thailand

Care in Thailand - Children and Volunteer

Whatever your age, abilities or level of experience you are welcome to join a volunteer Care project in Thailand; whether you are on a gap year - or even a gap month - from further education, or are coming to us during a career break, or even during your retirement. All we ask is that you have energy and enthusiasm and a commitment to seeing the work through. Our local staff will provide you with the very highest level of support throughout your time with us.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Thailand Care Management Plan.

Voluntary Childcare and Special Needs work with Projects Abroad

Care in Thailand - Volunteer Brushing Hair

Many volunteers find that a Care project is one of the most rewarding types of overseas voluntary work they can get involved in. The majority of volunteer care projects in Thailand are in kindergartens with children aged from about 3 to 6 years old. This phase of a child's life and the support they receive at this time is incredibly important, and the positive influence a volunteer can have on a child in their pre-school years will hopefully last them for the rest of their lives.

The kindergartens are located in Krabi Province with most placements in and around the towns of Ao Nang and Krabi, where Projects Abroad Thailand is based. Krabi is a one hour flight south of Bangkok and is located on the beautiful Andaman Sea coast of Thailand, which is a particularly popular destination for diving and rock-climbing.

As well as projects in kindergartens, up to two volunteers can work at a special education centre for children with disabilities in Krabi. The age of the children in this placement varies, but may range from babies to children well into their teens or even adulthood. Whilst ultimately rewarding, this project demands a lot from volunteers and can be tough. This placement prefers to accept volunteers who already have some experience of child care or who have previously worked with handicapped children.

We also have some care placements located in Chumphon, three hours drive from Krabi on the east coast of Thailand. Here volunteers work within kindergartens and a school which also have some children with special needs.

The Care Projects in Chumphon are also available for two weeks if you don't have time to join us for a month or more. These projects have been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.

Volunteering abroad on a Care Project in Thailand

Care in Thailand - Children Playing

Please do not imagine Thailand to be your typical poverty stricken third world country. The Thai people are hard working, very intelligent and incredibly friendly, the kindergartens are well organized and the children are disciplined, although sometimes the institutions may be understaffed.

The main way in which the volunteers can assist in Thai kindergartens is through providing creative and educational activities that will expose the children to and give them a familiarity with the English language. In a country that receives so much income from tourism and where knowledge of English can double your salary, surprisingly few people speak it. Sometimes not even 'English teachers' or their equivalents in kindergartens have any knowledge of the language. From this point of view, your knowledge of English is invaluable. Any activity that you do with the children, whether it is drawing, singing, puppet playing, painting or colouring, will prepare the children better for today's widespread globalisation.

Care volunteers at a kindergarten will find themselves playing games and singing songs with the children, as well as talking to them naturally in English. While some children won't understand much of what's being said, they definitely pick up from their environment enough to know what you mean! In fact we notice a huge difference in the children's language ability between the kindergartens where we have had volunteers for a year or two, and those with whom we have just started working with more recently. Through having this daily interaction at an early age, you will be building strong foundations for a child's future relationships.

Volunteers take part in a wide variety of activities within the kindergartens and your own ideas for games, songs or new activities will be greatly appreciated. If you require extra resources to help you then we are happy to help; just ask the local Projects Abroad staff.

The Care placement in the special school also involves a range of work; from helping to feed the very young children, to helping children with disabilities to learn basic life skills and supporting them as they undertake everyday activities. Games and songs are also popular and helping the children socialise and have fun is very important.

All of the volunteer Care projects in Thailand are keen to have volunteers with fresh ideas and energy to help the permanent staff. We try to take advantage of any particular skills or talents our volunteers have and match them to the placement where they can have the greatest impact. However, it is important to let the local staff know about your ideas and any extra activities you would like to try out, the Thai staff can sometimes be reluctant to ask you to do too much work, so please show them your enthusiasm and a willingness to get involved. Finally, set yourself achievable goals for your time in Thailand and remember that you are contributing to an ongoing process.

The kindergartens in Thailand have their main holidays from mid-March to mid-May, as well as a break from the start of September to the start of November. During these times care and teaching volunteers will often work together and we organise a variety of holiday programmes including an adventure camp in Chumphon, basic English lessons and fun educational activities in Ao Nang and teaching some English classes to adults in the local community.

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