Volunteer in northern Thailand on an elephant rescue and reforestation project, based in a rural community just outside Thailand’s second largest city, Chiang Mai. This placement works with three different projects. The first is an eco-tourism elephant camp that supports sick and aging elephants as well as unemployed Mahouts (elephant trainers), providing both with better opportunities, homes and food. Second is a reforestation project that works to restore the local jungle and to educate the community to better maintain their resources. Finally, the project works with local schools to provide the rural children with an opportunity to develop English, environmental, and leadership skills.
Why choose this project?
This is poor region has been lucky to have the support of a dynamic local governor who is working to improve the community’s future. The involvement of international volunteers helps educate the residents about boosting their tourist appeal as well as their language and communication skills. Extra man-power is needed for the labour-intensive jobs of: reforestation, camp maintenance and improving the school facilities.
Role of the volunteer
Within the elephant camp, help is needed with marketing, developing materials and English teaching. In the community jungle, tree planting and water system construction will be completed. Within the schools, there is a need for people to help with building and water sanitation as well as with the school’s education program – teaching English, environmental and leadership skills.
No specific skills are required for this project, but any background or training in forestry, environmental sciences, or tourism is a bonus. Experience in teaching can be an advantage and any experience in marketing would also be valuable.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To work with a local organisation and improve the lives of elephants
To carry out vital community work supporting eco tourism
To be situated near Chiang Mai and explore Thailand’s beautiful north
This ecotourism camp was set up by a local man who was concerned about the way animals were being treated in the area. The camp is located about 45 minutes away from Thailand’s north capital, Chiang Mai. Founded in 1296, Chiang Mai was constructed in the shape of a square surrounded by a moat used to mark its boundaries and safeguard its people. These landmarks are conserved in the city center and are just one example of this city’s unique character. You will spend the first couple of nights, acclimatising and receiving orientation in Chiang Mai, then you will move to the rural community, where you will stay in comfortable eco-tourism lodges as you complete your volunteering.
Fruit, vegetable and rice cultivation are the main elements of the local economy. In the past 10 years, tourism has become an increasingly important economic growth point for the city. Other industries include cottage industry, handicraft production, exporting, small-scale business and manufacturing.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 1 – 12 weeks
- Cost: £1115 / $1952 for 1 week
£440 / $770 for each week thereafter
- Requirements: age 18+
- Location: outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Project activities: help with tree planting and ground maintenance, teaching English to Mahouts and at local schools, tend to elephants – preparing food, bathing and cleaning, help to build elephant shelters
- Working hours: project is open Monday – Sunday, so you can work 7 days if you wish!
- Project Availability: all year-round
- Arrival day: Every 1st Friday of the month in Chiang Mai
What is included
- Accommodation: single or shared room in a Thai Hut, guest house in Chiang Mai on arrival weekend
- Food: 3 meals per day
- Airport, train station or bus pick up in Chiang Mai
- Training: pre-departure information pack and onsite orientation
- Support: 24-hour support
- Excursion planning: staff will help organise activities and excursions
- Certificate of Mahout Training
What is not included
- Return journey from project to Bangkok
- Airport transfer at the end of the project
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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