Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×

West Coast Burmese Learning Centre

Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand
from £725 (2 weeks)

Ref: AV081

Take this chance to make a real difference to the lives and futures of migrant Burmese children who come to Thailand with the hope of finding a better way of life. This Learning Centre provides their only chance of an education and desperately needs volunteers to teach them conversational English, to improve their confidence and break that family cycle of poverty. Live and work in rural Kuraburi, surrounded by lush mountainous jungle, waterfalls and deserted beaches, and return home knowing that your input has had a real impact on this wonderful small community.

Volunteers will be expected to conduct lessons in English, and help the teachers learn new methods of teaching a foreign language, to keep the students active, engaged and confident in interacting with foreigners.  A knowledge of English is a vital asset for venturing out into the working world.

Who can join: 16 years and above
Accommodation: Volunteer housing
Transfer time: approx 2.5 hours
Pick up Point: Phuket Airport
Meals: Lunch on school days
Volunteer numbers: Approx. 3 volunteers

Duration & Fees

2 weeks£725
3 weeks£925
4 weeks£1,065
5 weeks£1,265
6 weeks£1,445
7 weeks£1,645
8 weeks£1,845

Click on the relevant flag for currency conversion:

USD CurrencyEUR CurrencyGBP CurrencyAUD CurrencyZAR CurrencyCAD Currency

Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)

Start Dates

This project is available all year round except for holidays: March - mid May; and mid September - late October.

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Accommodation
  • Lunch at the Learning Centre on school days
  • Transfers from Phuket Airport on arrival
  • Orientation and support from bilingual Project Staff and teachers
  • Visitor’s handbook and Thai phrasebook
  • Donation to the school for ongoing work

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Return Transfer to Phuket Airport
  • Breakfast and Dinner and lunch on the weekends
  • Travel Insurance including cover for repatriation
  • Visas
  • Vaccinations
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Optional activities and excursions

Highlights

  • Teach English to vulnerable Burmese children in Thailand, build their confidence and make a real difference to their lives
  • Live and work in rural Kuraburi and experience real Thai life away from tourist hotspots
  • Develop professional skills and learn some basic Thai language
  • Meet other like minded volunteers
  • Explore this beautiful area during your free time on cycle bikes provided to all volunteers

Burmese Learning Centre

The Burmese Learning Centre is a vital lifeline for Burmese migrant children living in Thailand. It provides an education to primary school children, for whom this would not otherwise be possible. Before the Centre opened in 2007, there were more than one hundred young children who stayed at home or worked as child labourers at the fisheries, to bring much needed income into the family home. The aim of the Centre is thus to facilitate their integration into the secondary Burmese and Thai school systems, providing better job opportunities in the future. 

Many Burmese families left Myanmar (Burma) to come to Thailand, seeking a better way of life. However they often lack citizenship, and therefore find themselves discriminated against, living as second class citizens, and barred from enrolling in Thai government schools. They do not have the money to afford the basic fees for education - the enrolment, uniforms and transportation to school - so could not attend without the help and support of volunteers and donations, to break the cycle of poverty - even just the promise of a healthy lunch can be an incentive for some families to send thier children to school.

The role of volunteers

The primary objective for volunteers is to teach basic conversational English and pronunciation, and to increase confidence in the children in communicating with foreign English speakers. For volunteers the subjects covered are likely to be English, geography, basic arithmetic and music (depending on the skills of the volunteer).  We encourage volunteers with any specific skills that they might like to bring to the children to let us know as there is lots of scope for different subjects to be taken  - eg art, craft, drama, sports

Volunteers who have a strong command of the English language and with teaching experience are highly valuable to children in rural areas of Thailand. Being near Phuket many children will go on to work in the vast tourism industry that surrounds this area, but to achieve this a conversational level of English is essential.  Lessons are given in Thai, Burmese and English and a wide range of subjects are offered, including maths, geography, arts, music and sport.  Volunteers - whatever their skill may be - are always welcome and their contribution to this Learning Centre is highly valued. 

Teaching materials will be supplied by the Learning Centre. The project co-ordinator will join volunteers at the school on the first day and will work with you and the teachers to make a plan about your schedule, what you will be teaching and the projects that you can do and be involved in.  Volunteers will also will also be provided them teacher notes from previous volunteers that is a written documentation of what has been taught, what has worked well in the classroom, plus lots of other useful information to help you ensure that the volunteer and children are getting the most out of their placement. 

Volunteers are welcome to take their own teaching supplies and lesson plans with them, and the teachers are always keen to learn about teaching methods and practices from other countries. 

Volunteers with no teaching experience are also very welome - they just need to be enthusiastic and willing to engage with the children.  Sometimes there are not enough teachers for all the classes and children are left to manage as best they can.  The contribution of volunteers on these occasions is absolutely vital and the children benefit greatly from the input of the volunteers. 

Is there much time off?

Volunteers work between 25 -30 hours a week, Monday to Friday, and teach children between 6 to 13 years old. The classes have about 25 pupils, with a total of 50 to 60 students in the whole school.  Volunteers are picked up by the school bus from their accommmodation in Kuriburi each morning, and the school day starts at 9.00 am and finishes at around 3.30 pm when the school bus will take volunteers back to their accommodation. Additional time may be required to plan lessons and there may be opportunities to tutor and teach an additional class for teachers after school.  The school has also recenlty opened a nursery for children ranging in age from 3 - 5 years of age and volunteers are welcome to get involved with these eager young children also. 

Weekends will be free time for volunteers to explore the local area and beyond. Volunteers can venture into fascinating Ranong, Khao Lak, Koh Sirin National Park (seasonal), Khao Sok National Park - all offering a variety of activities, including ecotours, snorkelling and scuba diving.

Key skills for all volunteers

All volunteers will need to be open-minded, patient, be able to work independently, clearly enjoy working with children and have the necessary proactive skills to help these children make a better life for themselves.

It is worth noting that at times there may only be a single foreign volunteer working at the centre, although there will always be help and support from teachers and project co-ordinators on hand. It would also be useful to learn some Thai words and phrases - a Thai phrasebook will be provided to all volunteers to help!

Extra Information

This Centre is located 2.5 hours drive North of Phuket in a town called Kuraburi and this project offers volunteers a real Thai experience, away from the tourists and the resorts. The school is off the beaten track and has plenty of exciting opportunities and excursions in which to take part, taking trips out to the coast, relaxing in the hot springs, refreshing in the waterfalls and experiencing Thailand as it used to be. 

The North Andaman coast is an ecological and cultural attraction which is still largely undeveloped, and many communities still live according to local traditions. 

National Parks

Koh Surin Marine National Park and Khao Sok National Park are both within close proximity to the Learning Centre.   Here there are mangrove swamps, coral reefs, limestone karsts, beaches and evergreen tropical forests, all of which provide habitats for a huge array of flora, fauna and wildlife –  excellent places for exploration and learning.

The Koh Surin Marine National Park is 60 km from the coast of Phang Nga Province and accessible via boats which leave in the mornings, taking around 45 minutes. Here there are fine white sandy beaches and clear waters laden with coral reefs, in sharp contrast with the jungle.  Head here for snorkelling; there is no need to dive here as the reefs are shallow and plentiful. This is also home to the Moken Sea nomads; an ancient nomadic sea people.

Activities

Volunteers can also spend their free time visiting homestays in other nearby villages, plan eco-tours and see more of the local area.  Snorkelling and scuba diving are a great activity here as some of the best dive sites are here in the south of Thailand.

Weather

Temperatures remain around 30°C throughout the year, reaching up to 35°C in the months of March and April, Thailand’s hottest months. 

The North Andaman region has two seasons; the dry season (November to April) and the green season (May to October).  However, it’s always a good time to visit, 

In the 'green' season from May to October, frequent rain can be expected (usually downpours of short duration, but some consider the warm showers refreshing!). Vegetation is also at its peak of lushness at this time producing an array of tropical fruit.  Monsoon showers are usually followed by blue skies and brilliant sunsets - so don’t let the odd rain shower put you off. 

Getting There

Volunteers should fly into Phuket Airport which is located in the south of Thailand.  Here volunteers will be met and transferred to the project, which will take approximately two and a half hours.  Full details will be in the pre-departure pack sent upon booking.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and can make any flight arrangements required.  Please contact Amanzi Travel for information.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Burmese Learning CentreKuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Burmese Learning CentreKuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Burmese Learning CentreThe furnished accommodation provided for volunteers is simple, yet clean and comfortable, in the small, safe town of Kuraburi. This may be shared with other volunteers during busy periods. Everything is within walking distance from the apartment and there are good restaurants and shops.  Volunteers can also hire bicycles and motorbikes in town if they would like to. 

Volunteers will be provided with lunch while at the learning centre. Nearby is a local market where breakfast can be eaten, including waffles and coffee.  For dinner local restaurants are very cheap and offer many mouth-watering dishes. Volunteers should allow around 200 Bhat ($6/ £3) per day for food. 

Click here to view the full interactive mapThailand

Thailand overview

At the centre of Indochina, is the Kingdom of Thailand – as it officially known. Thailand nestles between Burma, Laos and Cambodia above and Malaysia below, with the Gulf of Thailand to the south and the Andaman Sea to the west.

Thailand’s second largest city of Chiang Mai is known as the Rose of the North and visitors can experience homestays in local villages, rural jungle treks and 13th century Buddhist temples. The islands on Thailand’s east coast consist of Koh Phangan, Koh Toa and Koh Samui, which are famous for Full Moon parties, diving and tourism respectively and of course white sandy beaches and coral reefs. While Koh Phi Phi was hit by the 2004 Tsunami, it is also the home of ‘The Beach’ and iconic limestone cliffs. Other synonymous activities with Thailand are Muay Thai boxing, Thai cooking courses, mountain climbing, elephant riding, river rafting, canopy walking, learning to dive and holistic retreats.

The capital city Bangkok is the country’s political, commercial and cultural hub, as well as being the gateway to Thailand for most travellers arriving by air. The city is a mixture of old and new, with high rise skyscrapers, old temples, the Royal palace, wide dominating motorways and little shops on street corners. The city is used as a hub to travel around the rest of the country and its many islands, as well as the surrounding countries. Thai people are, as throughout Asia, extremely warm and welcoming and cannot help but wear that huge Asian smile.

Highlights of country

  • Includes jungles, mountains, islands and beaches
  • Warm and friendly Thai people
  • Learn to dive in Koh Tao
  • Legendry Full Moon parties on Koh Phangan
  • Easy access to other Asian countries for further travel

Climate

SeasonsMaxMin
Summer 38 °C 230 °C
Winter 28 °C 22 °C

Thailand has a tropical climate almost all year round. Southern Thailand has two seasons; the wet season and the dry season, which are the different on the east and west coasts. The east coast has rain between September and December, while the west has heavy storms from April through until October. The south of Thailand receives the most rain, with around 2,400 mm falling each year, which is 1,000 mm more than central and northern Thailand.

Northern Thailand’s seasons are more defined. Between November and May the weather is mostly dry, except for expected rain between February and March. From November to March, there are cooling breezes in northern Thailand while the temperatures rise between March and May.

Key Facts

Population – 66.80 million
Capital - Bangkok
Currency – Thai Baht (THB)
Official languages – Thai
Time difference – GMT + 6
Telephone - +66

West Coast Burmese Learning Centre

The project is awesome! Everything and everytime I was at the school, I really enjoyed it. The children are cute and it feels so rewarding to teach here. The other teachers help you and support you. I hope that there will be more volunteers at the Burmese Learning Center because this school really needs it.

Kimberly, Dutch (West Coast Burmese Learning Centre)

West Coast Burmese Learning Centre

What an amazing month!  Teaching was one of the most challenging but rewarding things …the kids are some of the happiest, loving, brightest.

Katie, USA (West Coast Burmese Learning Centre)

West Coast Burmese Learning Centre

Thank you so much for offering me a month of a lifetime.  I learned so much about team work appreciations and happiness and I am so grateful I got to do this at 16 years of age.

Radu, Romania (West Coast Burmese Learning Centre)


Interactive maps
AFRICA Choose from over 100 projects
and adventures across Africa
ASIA Choose from our selection of projects
and adventures across Asia
AMANZI PRIDE MONTHLY
AMANZI PRIDE LOYALTY
We believe in rewarding great travellers straightaway, so our seriously rewarding, straight-forward, cash discounts start immediately!
Amanzi Travel Special Offers! FIND OUT MORE