This project offers the chance to learn to dive as your family contributes to sustainable development for the sea and local communities on this specially designed project, Family Volunteering: Marine Conservation on the Thai Island of Koh Tao. An unprecedented boom in tourism to Thailand in recent years, the waters around Koh Tao have become a diving hotspot, and have suffered damage at the hands of tourism and global warming. The local community of Koh Tao, in association with the best dive schools, developed a project to help and protect the coral reefs within the Koh Tao national park.
As volunteers, your family will be directly involved in building artificial reefs, culturing a giant clam nursery, seahorse population studies and undertaking regular monitoring activities in the waters surrounding the island. Additionally, the project works in local schools, training children aged 10-18 years old how to dive in order to create awareness of marine conservation issues and teach skills that they can use for future employment on Koh Tao.
The data you gather will go towards information the project provides to government environmental agencies, which is used to make policy decisions about the area; this is an opportunity to make a real difference to sustainable change in Thailand. This project includes diver SSI (Scuba Schools International) training from beginner advanced level, with options for children.
Why choose this project?
The once pristine reefs around the small island of Koh Tao are now suffering from the destruction caused by global warming and tourism. Volunteers are needed to help slow down this process and build structures underwater that will aid the natural growth of native fish species and coral. Not only will you be involved in underwater work, but you can also help by visiting local schools and speaking to students about proper diving practices and marine conservation. You will see your children interacting with local children of all ages and produce an interesting dynamic.
The research you do will also be used to identify areas of concern, which will then be fed back to governmental agencies who can decide on an appropriate course of action to ensure a long-lasting impact.
Role of the volunteer
Volunteers will begin each day with an informative lecture from the team, as they inform you of the action plan for the day and how it ties in with their long-term objectives. After the lecture, diving fun will begin! Whilst diving, you will be responsible for identifying species, monitoring the reefs, underwater clean-ups, and reef restoration. While on the project, you will receive diving instruction to help you to progress with your diving certification. Adults have the opportunity to attend conservation certifications, while younger children (starting at 8) can participate in the bubble maker course.
Due to the main focus of this project involving diving activities, volunteers, including children must be able to swim a minimum of 2 lengths of a 25-metre swimming pool. Volunteers must also have a moderate level of fitness as divers will be required to carry tanks and equipment during their placement (adjustments will be made for children). Naturally, a love of water and marine life goes a long way, as success on this project involves volunteers developing knowledge of marine conservation.
Also, parents should note that they are responsible for looking after their children while on the project, including on the boat if they come out to snorkel.
The project includes an internationally recognised SSI certification. Families will develop a lifelong skill as you receive courses and learn the skills necessary for the achievement of this qualification during your time on the project.
NB: The price of this project depends on your diving ability, size of the family and accommodation preferences, so please ask an advisor to get a quote for your family.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To contribute to marine conservation work which will have a long lasting impact
To learn to dive in a beautiful location
To make a real difference to sustainable change in Thailand
Life on the island is relaxed yet full of excitement. The southern bay of Chao Lok on the island of Koh Tao is a heaven for divers, but the village where you will stay is away from the main tourist area, with all amenities such as internet cafes, restaurants and bookshops but without the crowds. You have the choice of staying in a delightful guesthouse, on the seafront, which has a restaurant, internet cafe and Thai massage area, as well as a laundry facility and travel shop if you need help booking excursions to nearby islands or opting to stay in a nearby resort, for a small extra cost.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 weeks
- Cost: Prices available on request as accommodation and diving options vary according to family size and dive experience
- Requirements: Minimum age 8 yrs.
- Location: Koh Tao, Thailand
- Project activities: Identifying species, reef monitoring, underwater cleanup and data collection
- Working hours: Monday – Friday, 09:00-17:00
- Project availability: Project is closed from 15 October to 1 January, due to the Monsoons.
- Arrival day: Sunday
What is included
- Accommodation: Room at a volunteer guest house or rooms in a nearby resort, price will increase for AC and beachfront locations
- Pick up from ferry point and transfer to project location
- SSI or junior equivalent diving qualifications
- Training: Pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24-hour support from on-site coordinator in each location
- 24/7 emergency number for volunteers and families
What is not included
- Flights into Bangkok
- Food: Meals are not provided
- Ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao (return)
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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