Thailand

“I leave Thailand with a smile on my face. Not because I am happy to go, but because I am blessed to have been here. This is a smile I will carry with me forever.”
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Chiang Mai, the creative city of Asia

Known as ‘The Land of Smiles’ Thailand has a diverse and inviting culture, which will enable you to fully assimilate yourself within the local community and exchange invaluable skills. Culture and tradition are the backbone of this thriving South East Asian nation, which is visible as Buddhism and animism are intertwined within the culture as well as all the ethnic groups, which are commonly referred to as ‘hill-tribes’. It is this mix of old culture and tradition blended with a modern and developing society which makes Thailand a fascinating country to visit, and even better to volunteer and work with local communities.

 

Whilst travelling around Thailand you will encounter great juxtapositions between the very modern and the very ancient. Next to a high skyscraper may be an ancient temple, yet the Thai populace embrace this and strive to continue to develop their nation, whilst retaining their ancient traditions.   The Thai people are incredibly proud of their traditions, be it their wonderful and exotic foods, or their traditional dances and dress.

 

In Thailand you will also encounter many other International cultures, there are Indian influences, Chinese Influences, Khmer influences and even British influences seen throughout. This enables visitors to gain a greater understanding of the melting pots of Asian cultures and influences. However, Thailand is very unique in that it was never colonized, so even with all the outside influences, it remains a largely untouched culture.

 

Chiang Mai, where the Inspire hub is based, is a bustling city rich in cultural history and attractions with a local community who are intrigued and receptive to cultural exchange.   Within minutes of departinging the city you will leave the modern buildings and busy roads and enter the peaceful countryside. Here you will see vast horizons of rice paddies, agricultural farms, and village life. This rural paradise is where your community projects and adventure begin!

Thai proverb: ‘There is more happiness in giving than in taking.”

Prices for Volunteering in Thailand start at £1225 for 2 Weeks

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Volunteering Opportunities

Inspire has been working with local communities in Northern Thailand since 2009 and we have developed extremely strong local relationships. Our overall strategy has evolved has we have been able to scale to include more schools and ultimately increase our reach.

 

In Thailand, we work towards improving access and the quality of education in rural villages and districts. Our local partners include government schools, Buddhist temple schools, remote hill-tribes, a local hospital, and we also support an elephant sanctuary foundation. At these locations we focus on the following areas (excluding the elephant foundation):

 

  • Low core test scores
  • English education
  • Infrastructure
  • Health education/training
  • Extra-curricular activities

 

We have always had the intentions and strive toward goal-orientated projects; with very clear desired outcomes and ways we can measure the success. We believe very firmly in working directly with local leadership on projects that are wanted and needed.

 

For all of the above areas of focus, we are putting in place five and ten year benchmarks for what we want to attain. With a very clear vision and direction, we are very excited for the future, and hope that you can join us and be a part of the positive change!

 Education

 

Working with roughly ten to fifteen different schools in Northern Thailand, our aim is to improve the quality and access of education. As mentioned, we work very hard to improve the English of the students with a heavy focus on conversation.

 

We are also starting to work with each school to identify problematic subjects and putting together a plan for how to improve these test scores over time. This includes subjects such as science, math, reading, Thai language, history, etc.

 

As there is a general lack of creativity in the Thai classroom, we work with each school to bring extra-curricular activities on an annual basis. This takes the form of art, cooking, sports, media, and other areas that the students normally do not have the opportunity to try.

 

Below is a list of backgrounds/skill sets that we are seeking to help grow our impact:

  • Primary/Secondary teaching experience
  • Building curriculums with benchmarks to gauge student comprehension
  • Setting up/running short summer camp courses, including developing the materials and schedules
  • Developing short term seminars with a specific focus
  • ESL/EFL teaching experience (curriculums, tracking, testing, developing new materials)
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Health

Within health we have two main areas of focus; 1) Improve health education that students receive & 2) Work with our local hospital partner on various trainings, building capacity, and improving the English of the staff.

We work closely with each school to determine what topics each grade is learning and what areas the school/community feel need more emphasis. This means lots of research and developing new materials and modules that can be taught to the students on an annual basis.

 

At the hospital they have communicated the need for more training in the rural villages for first responders. They have also requested foreign volunteers with medical/hospital experience to assist with various trainings and with day-to-day operations.

 

Below is a list of skill sets that would be ideal to help improve our health initiatives;

  • Nurse/doctor with clinic/hospital experience
  • Paramedics/first responders
  • Public health backgrounds
  • Experience with community research & outreach
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Specialist

Across all of our programs and projects, we have very specific skill sets that are required and needed to help continue our growth and impact.

An example of this would be our new media program. We have launched a program that focuses on media literacy, which falls under our efforts to help boost extra-curricular activities. We want to give the students another platform to express themselves and allow them to showcase what is important to them and in their lives.

 

In addition to the education projects listed above, another avenue we are working towards is business education. This involves the basics of CV writing and interview skills to the basics of a business plan and marketing/advertising.

 

Below is a list of specialized skill sets that we are seeking;

  • Media professionals
  • Background in Business
  • Experience with drama workshops/teaching
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Things to do

There is a vast array of activities to partake in on a trip to Thailand. From sunset boat trips on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, to island hopping in the south, to trekking in the north and experiencing hill-tribe life to witnessing exciting and colourful festivals which will offer a unique insight into local customs and traditions.

 

Visiting the point at which Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet offers visitors with an insight into the differing cultures that you see in Thailand. Here you will see where these three countries meet, known internationally as the Golden Triangle.

 

Chiang Mai also has a plethora of cultural activities, sights, markets, and things to do in and around the city. Exploring Buddhist temples, zip lining, muay Thai, the famous Sunday walking street, Doi Suthep National park, and lots of waterfalls are just a taste of what this wonderful city has to offer!

Local staff

From a base of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, the Inspire local team will be supporting you in projects from Buddhist temples in the city to the far flung hill tribes towards the border with Myanmar.

 

Managing the team is David, who has been living and working in Thailand since 2009. Born and raised in Connecticut, USA, taking part in study abroad programs while at university sparked his desire to work abroad and he has extensive volunteer and community project experience. David is supported in looking after Inspire volunteers by his fiancé Nid. Born in Mae Sariang she left her village at aged 12 to find work to help her family. Inspire now works and supports the village in which Nid grew up and where her family still resides.

 

After many jobs in Chiang Mai she was able to set up her own costume shop and has been working with various NGO’s since 2010. Both are passionate about international development and will ensure you get the most out of both your volunteering and Thailand itself!

Prices for Volunteering in Thailand start at £1225 for 2 Weeks

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