Thailand is a place that truly warms the heart. There is a range of different subcultures that spice the population of this tropical country. On the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, the laid-back locals will cheerfully tell you a tale as they flick their fishing lines in the water. Deeper into the landscape, the lingering looks from the Hill Tribe children North of Chiang Mai tell a different story, one of curiosity and hopeful excitement.
It is not long before smiles abound, and friendships and big hugs quickly transpire. To spend some time within the embracive culture in Thailand is a highly rewarding experience and soon you start to realise how contagious this positive attitude is.
The impressive and varied landscape of Thailand consistently reminds you that you are no longer sitting at home dreaming of an EDventure somewhere. You are actually living it. From stark and shear limestone pillars that rise straight up out of the ocean to the ragged northern mountains, it is a location where you can step back, sit yourself for a moment, take a deep breath and soak in the beauty that surrounds you.
17th May 2013 to 7th June 2013 – Full
31st May 2013 to 21st June 2013 – Full
14th June 2013 to 5th July 2013 – Full
28th June 2013 to 19th July 2013- Full
12th July 2013 to 2nd August 2013 – Full
26th July 2013 to 16th August 2013- Full
9th August 2013 to 30th August 2013 – Full
22nd November 2013 to 13th December 2013
3 January 2014 – 24th January 2014
31 January 2014 – 21 February 2014
One of the stark differences in the way local children access education in Thailand is the distance the hill tribe children will travel in order to attend school. Many walk a distance of two or three kilometres each day over the mountainside to reach their classroom. When the rainy season makes their villages inaccessible, they are forced to miss school.
Other reasons that hill tribe children miss out on an education is because often the teachings don’t relate to their rural lifestyle, the school buildings are run down, and resources are lacking. We are focusing on a huge push to improve the learning environment at these schools. You can help by making learning easier, more fun and engaging for the students in a way that encourages them to come to school. The young students who do attend your school are optimistic, loving, cheerful and hardworking children, making this an unforgettably rewarding experience.
Part of what you could be doing each day is supporting community projects “hands-on.” These projects assist villages and families in developing a sustainable standard of living in one of Thailand’s poorest regions. The work you do in the community is based around helping people to help themselves, such as income generating projects like vegetable (cash crop) gardens and mini fish farms.Many villages currently have minimal access to quality drinking water and limited infrastructure, which restricts their quality of life. You will be able to improve this quality of life by helping with the development of village infrastructure, such as running water systems, waste disposal systems, village access roads and signage.
Some of the work you do will involve painting classrooms to improve the educational environment, or helping construct new facilities at schools. In addition, many of the elderly live in makeshift iron shacks, and there is an opportunity for you to help in building homes for those in need that will genuinely make a difference in their lives.
In this way, your efforts will make a visible and measureable difference to individuals, families, schools and communities as a whole. Regardless as to whether you have painting or construction experience, there is no doubt that you will enjoy working alongside like-minded volunteers and local tradespeople to make a positive and enduring contribution to the lives of others.
The strong connection between Thai people and their elephants has for many years been a very important part of Thai culture. Elephants are endangered animals throughout this region due to poaching (illegal hunting) and habitat loss. In the mountains and forests of northern Thailand, you will volunteer with these amazing animals in a number of ways, from bathing elephants to basic health care.You also spend your time planting food for elephants, building elephant shelters and other facilities. Traveling around the country in a 4-wheel drive or even a bamboo raft, you will be able to experience local and tribal lifestyles, culture and hospitality from the Karen people. The volunteer projects help to protect these elephants in their natural habitat whilst educating locals on how to care for their elephants.
This provides a highly valued service to the village that will benefit the entire community.Of course, working with elephants is an unforgettable experience that will be sure to leave you feeling enriched to have had a hand in these programs with the local communities.
The experience provides you with the opportunity to not only develop a deep connection with these animals, but also is a strong component of the Global Leadership development course. Here, you can connect with a species both revered and hunted, feared and protected. Through this you will begin to understand the purpose and mission of wildlife organisations, and experience how they bring humans and animals together in a way that is peaceful, harmonious, and encourages the protection and care of our planet’s species.
During your experience in Thailand you will truly appreciate being able to develop a deep teaching and learning connection with others, which is essentially what it’s all about.Teaching or assisting in the building, painting, or other helpful activities here would not only provide the students and staff with a more solid base for education, it would also deepen an understanding of what life is like in a real Thai community away from the tourist track.Your own leadership skills will be shaped and strengthened whilst creating a lasting, positive change. An invaluable life experience will be gained along with a sense of achievement in an environment where your global volunteer efforts and leadership abilities truly matter.
The wild animal sanctuaries are set up to educate those who want to find out more about local wildlife, such as elephants and tigers, and protect these species and their habitat. As a global leader, your visits and assistance at these sanctuaries will enable you to recognize the efforts of these organisations, as well as develop similar leadership skills in yourself as you make a powerfully positive impact.
Sometimes being in an unfamiliar place allows you to look at yourself differently, and redefine your identity. You may think more deeply from new perspectives, and push your boundaries further than ever. You meet people you never imagined you would, and do things you never dreamed you could do. If you truly want to test yourself, and experience excitement on a whole new level, there are plenty of opportunities to do so on your Thailand EDventure.
In Thailand you can push your boundary of choice, whether it be abseiling over a rocky jungle cliff above the sea; scuba diving in warm, turquoise waters; white-water rafting through the jungle surrounded with noisy tropical birds and beautiful greenery; gripping zip-lines that whisk you through jungle tree-tops; or even zorbing down a Thai river.
However, if a chill out is more your preference and you wish to push your boundaries vicariously through the stories of your fellow thrill-seeking volunteers, there are certainly opportunities for you. If the warm sun on a sandy beach and dip into the blue sea are enough of a thrill for you, submerse yourself in a new kind of EDventure: Thai island hopping. You don’t have to hop far. Just relax, enjoy an iced coconut beverage and soak up the warm Thai sun.
Philosophy: For most, sitting in the cool green grass under a shade of a Palm tree against the backdrop of a temple and chatting with a monk is an unusual experience. But unusual experiences are sometimes the best kind. Monk Chat is basically a structure where you can sit and chat with the monks and better understand Buddhism, and the way of life followed by Thai monks. In return, the Monks get the opportunity to chat with a foreigner and improve their English.
Cuisine: Thai dishes of local fresh vegetables prepared with rice or noodles can be a spicy, exotic food for many EDventurers, but you can learn to prepare Thai dishes yourself in a local cooking class. Challenge yourself to create a dish that tempts the taste buds of the locals who are ready to teach you the secrets of traditional Thai cooking.
Nature: Have you ever imagined you would freely pet a full-grown tiger? Or hold a young tiger kitten? As a volunteer, you will have an opportunity to do just that. While your adrenaline might kick in at the thought of being so close to these majestic, but wild creatures, the tigers are tame and calm, and quite used to quivering visitors. The youngest tigers are about a month old, and clumsily pad about the enclosure like any kitten would. The older kitten tigers are more playful, and the big cats seem to just chill out. At 400 kgs, these tigers are a little intimidating, but during the day they take an opportunity to nap, caring very little about their human company. Your visit will assist in maintaining the care over these tigers to keep them healthy, as well as maintain the upkeep of the enclosures.
Let the EDventure begin . .