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West Coast Thai Orphanage

North of Phuket, Thailand
from £495 (1 week)

Ref: AV084

An opportunity for volunteers to work in a small, locally run orphanage described as one big, happy family. With help and hard work from staff and volunteers alike, these children, who were affected by the 2004 Tsunami, now have a safe, happy and supportive environment in which to live.  Whatever their talents, volunteers are always welcome and their contribution towards providing a better future for these young children is highly valued. 

Who can join: 16 years and above
Accommodation: Volunteer bungalow
Transfer time: Approx 1.5 hours
Pick up Point: Phuket Airport
Meals: All meals included
Volunteer numbers: approx. 2 volunteers

Duration & Fees

1 week£495
2 weeks£685
3 weeks£845
4 weeks£995

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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

Project is available all year round, except for Songkran Festival (Thai New Year in April)

Payment

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

What's Included

  • All meals and accommodation
  • Transfer from Phuket Airport on arrival
  • Orientation and support from bilingual project staff
  • Visitor’s handbook and Thai phrasebook
  • Financial contribution to the project other social and environmental projects in the area

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Return Transfer to Phuket Airport (which we can pre-arrange for you)
  • Travel Insurance including cover for repatriation
  • Visas as required
  • Vaccinations
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Optional Excursions

Highlights

  • Teach English to eager young Thai children and make a real difference to their lives
  • Use personal skills to the fore - whether that is baking, sewing, teaching, art, handicraft, music, gardening, construction, media, business
  • Experience the ‘real’ Thailand and learn some basic Thai language at the same time
  • Use and develop professional skills and live and spend time with these wonderful children
  • Meet other like minded volunteers and make new friends for life
  • Explore this beautiful area during your free time on cycle bikes provided to all volunteers

Southern Thai Orphanage

Volunteering at the Southern Thai Orphanage is a great chance to work with children from many walks of life.  Not all of the chidlren are orphans - some may still have one or both parents - but need care and a safe place to live, perhaps due to re-marriage, unemployment or neglect at home.  As orphanages in Thailand often receive very little funding and resources are few, the input from volunteers is always very welcome - whether their talents be baking, sewing, teaching, art, handicraft, music, gardening, construction, media, or even business.

Volunteers will assist with the regular day to day activities of the orphanage, taking part in various projects that are currently active. The daily interaction with the children will not only help to build their confidence, but encourage them to practice their English skills on a one-to-one basis. This is extremely important, as most employment in the area is within the tourism and leisure industry where a command of the English language is essential.  

Who can Volunteer? 

The orphanage has recently opened a lovley coffee shop and bakery, where volunteers help teach the children English, hospitality and customer service skills, to help prepare them for the world of work. If any volunteers have these hospitality skills, this can be worked into the daily schedule.

LIkewise, the orphanage is vigorously trying to develop a business strategy for the sale of local handicrafts, and any volunteers with skills in marketing, business administration or handicrafts would be especially welcome at this time. Any volunteers with skills in media and computing would be very welcome to assist with the on-line presence.

However -  the bottom line is, the orphange is eager for all volunteers, whether the talent is teaching arts and crafts, music, baking, art, computers, writing, sewing, gardening or construction - there are many ways to contribute.

Daily life of a volunteer

Daily life whilst volunteering at the orphanage will vary greatly, depending on the time of year, funds available, number of volunteers, current projects and the wet season - which slows down outside work - but volunteers will always be busy and their own ideas and projects are welcomed.

Whilst the children are at school, volunteers help with daily chores in order to keep the orphanage in full working order. This will consist of cooking, cleaning and washing, as well as some light construction if needed.   When the children are home from school volunteers help teach english and assist with their homework as well as play games and just spend time with these wonderful children.

The high season is when the home bakes bread, cookies and delicious banana loaf, in order to sell at the local market to raise funds for the home - another means for them to become self-sufficient.

Volunteers will also be helping with other projects that may be running during their placement, and there may even be the opportunity to create a new project - so it is great if you can go with plenty of ideas!

Essential skills of a volunteer

Volunteers will need to be open-minded, patient, hard working, creative, enjoy working with children and teenagers, and have the necessary proactive skills to help these children make a better life for themselves. It would also be useful to learn some basic Thai words and phrases if time allows, and a Thai phrasebook will be provided to help with this.

Everyone has a valuable contribution to make. An ideal volunteer will be able to commit to a minimum period of at least one week.

Extra Information

Even though the orphanage is located relatively close to the well known town of Phuket (45 minutes oustide of the town), the orphanage offers volunteers a real Thailand experience away from the tourists and the resorts. Located between Phuket and Takua Pa in the Phang Nga province, the orphanage is off the beaten track and has plenty of exciting opportunities and excursions in which to take part, perhaps taking trips to the coast and experiencing Thailand as it used to be.

However, the orphanage is near many captivating places including the Similan Islands, Koh Ra Ecolodge, Koh Surin National Park (seasonal) and Khao Sok National Park, offering a variety of activities.

National Parks

Koh Surin Marine National Park and Khao Sok National Park are both close to the orphanage.  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.  These parks - which have many contrasting exotic areas - are 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, the trip taking around 45 minutes. Enjoy fine white sandy beaches with clear waters laden with coral reefs. 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 at homestays with local families at other nearby villages, planning and taking eco-tours and seeing more of the local area.   Snorkelling and scuba diving are very popular 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, and 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. From here, volunteers will be met here and transferred to the project which will take approximately one hour. Full details will be in the pre-departure pack sent upon booking.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and can arrange any flight requirements upon request.  Please contact Amanzi Travel.

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.

North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Thai OrphanageNorth of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Thai OrphanageThe accommodation provided for volunteers is simple, but clean and comfortable, and is in furnished bungalows located at the orphanage. The accommodation may be shared with other volunteers during busy periods.

Volunteers will be provided with three meals a day at the orphanage. The staple food of rice is the basis of all meals here, along with nutritious vegetables, fruit and meat. Drinking water and coffee are also provided.

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 Thai Orphanage

I had a brilliant time at the Children’s Home, the staff and children are the friendliest, most welcoming people you'll meet. Make the most of every opportunity and jump in at the deep end, the children and staff will love you for it and you'll have a much better experience! And take games, colouring books, toys with you as the children appreciate everything! Most of all enjoy it!

A typical day consisted of having breakfast at 8am most days, we would then do work around the orphanage such as painting, building, washing etc until around 11am, a few hours off for lunch and then the same again in the afternoon. The children got home around 4pm, we generally helped them with chores & homework and did some English lessons in the evening or played games with them. We also had a few days where we went out to other projects such as mangrove replanting centre, a Burmese school and the beach, these were great!  
Helping the kids learn English & forming a close bond with them where they are happy to tell you about their lives was one of the most rewarding things about the project. 

Jocelyn, USA (West Coast Thai Orphanage)

West Coast Thai Orphanage

I volunteered for four weeks this summer at the Children's Home. It was by far the most exciting, eye-opening, enjoyable, and emotional month of my life! While I was there, we didn't have much of a set routine to what we were doing. The Thai people were so laid back, and so lovely, that they didn't mind when we did jobs - as long as they got done! My usual jobs while I was there included laundry, ironing, building walls/structures, cleaning, gardening and playing/teaching the kids. Some of these jobs don't sound too hard, but you've got to remember that in sweltering, humid heat, or even a monsoon - these jobs can be challenging! Once completed though, these jobs are very rewarding.
While I was in Thailand, I absolutely fell in love with the country, people, language and sights. I'm already looking at going back soon! The Thai way of life at the Children's home was incredibly laid back, it was a great atmosphere for the kids to be growing up in. All of the children are so grateful, happy and kind, it will really take your breath away. While I was there I really felt like I was part of the family. They are all so welcoming to everyone and want to make you feel at home. I cannot wait to be back with my Thai family as soon as I possibly can be – I miss them so much!

Rhona, UK (West Coast Thai Orphanage)

West Coast Thai Orphanage

Just go for it! When I did this placement I had never flown by myself, never flown long haul and never been out of Europe. It was a huge experience for me but one I will treasure for the rest of my life. 


Hayley, UK (West Coast Thai Orphanage)

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