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GROUP VOLUNTEERING PROJECTS
Organising Voluntary Projects Overseas for GROUPS since 1994.

THAILAND

CARE FOR ELEPHANTS, PLUS CULTURAL IMMERSION ACTIVITIES

Grab this fantastic opportunity to work with rescued elephants in the stunning location of Kanchanaburi. The elephants are mainly injured, sick and elderly elephants which have been relocated to the Sanctuary where they are cared for and given a better quality of life, you’ll work hands-on with them, including swimming and taking mud baths with them, mucking out their enclosures and, most satisfying of all, ensuring they live in a happy, comfortable environment!

If you would like to do this project for one week, you'll start your programme immediately at the Elephant Centre, working with these magnificent animals. If, however, you're lucky enough to be there for 2 weeks or longer, you'll start with a Cultural Activities Week that will immerse you into the fascinating culture of Thailand. This week includes a number of exciting activities, such as Thai language and cooking lessons, visits to temples, and generally exploring and experiencing the region. This week will help to make you feel completely at home during the rest of your stay. Your Elephant Programme will start in Week Two.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

  • Price:
    Elephant Project without Cultural Activities as Week 1:
    £945 for 1 week, and £500 for each additional week.
    OR
    Elephant Project WITH Cultural Activities as Week 1:
    £1,195 for 2 weeks, and £500 for each additional week.
    Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & Other Currencies
  • Duration: From 1 week to 8 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
  • Start Dates: Projects start every weekend and end on a Saturday, all year round - you choose your start and finish dates.
  • Requirements: Minimum age 13 upwards if accompanied by a teacher, parent or guardian. Minimum age 17 without accompanying parent or guardian.
  • What's included:
    Arranging your Programme
    Full pre-departure support and assistance
    Payment Protection insurance
    Meeting you at the nearest Airport
    Accommodation
    Food
    Daily transport to and from your project
    Local in-country team support and backup
    24-hr emergency support
    Return transfer to the airport
    Certificate of Completion
  • What's Not Included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Return transfer to airport but we can arrange this for you.
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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

If you're doing this project for one week only, you'll start your programme immediately at the Elephant Centre. If you're there for 2 weeks or longer, you'll start with a Cultural Activities Week and your Elephant Programme will start in Week Two.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES WEEK:
This amazing Siam Culture week will give you a taste of why Thai cooking is world renowned and why Thailand is so fascinating, while giving you a glance into the Thai culture and language, often described as addictive. This is a fun introduction to life in Thailand and this deeper understanding that you'll gain of the country will add enormously to your elephant volunteering experience. It is certainly the perfect way to prepare for your volunteering project!

THE ELEPHANT PROJECT - WORK CONTENT:

After the culture immersion week you will have a weekend to relax in Singburi or sightseeing, you will then be transferred to Kanchanaburi early on Monday morning. The project is located on a beautiful lake and offers the unforgettable experience of being able to spend time and bond with the elephants whilst they’re in their natural habitat.

The aim of the sanctuary is to relocate elephants that are injured, ill, previously abused or illegally owned to a place where they are well looked after in an replica of their natural environment. You'll learn about the elephants of Thailand and truly experience Thai culture, while working closely with the mahouts who dedicate their lives to gaining an understanding of the elephants and how best to care for them.

You will help by planting food for them, spending a lot of hands on work with the elephants like joining them for their regular mud baths – what fun! The programme also allows for some exciting local activities.

CARE FOR ELEPHANTS PROGRAMME: SAMPLE WEEKLY ITINERARY

  • Monday:
    Introduction, feeding the elephants and taking them to the river, bathe with them (mud bath!), prepare their food, feed the elephants and then bring them back into the forest. In the evening there is a Thai welcome ceremony, followed by dinner and a Thai culture class & Thai elephant documentary.
  • Tuesday:
    You'll go to see the elephants then its time for mucking out and general cleaning. Afterwards you will prepare food for the elephants, help with bana grass or tree cutting, plant banana grass and then spend some time relaxing floating on the river Kwai. After dinner a Thai elephant documentary will be arranged.
  • Wednesday:
    A lovely hike to the top of a nearby mountain and a visit to the elephants will start your day before breakfast! Today you will be preparing fruit and cleaning the fruit shop and mud bath. An afternoon is planned at the stunning Erawan waterfall.
  • Thursday:
    Before breakfast a bike ride around the village is arranged and then its time to plant food for the elephants. After lunch you’ll help clean the bathing area, and take a bamboo raft and nature trail to a setting in the forest where you will set up camp for a wonderful evening with your fellow volunteers.
  • Friday:
    You start the day making salt lick for the wild animals, feed the elephants at the river and wash them! After lunch you will cut sugarcane or grass cutting for the elephants. In the evening there will be a farewell party followed by karaoke!
  • Weekends
    Free time for you to relax if staying longer than a week. Relax at the guesthouse accommodation, take a local taxi into town, expand your sightseeing and visit the many more sites in the central provinces. Our friendly staff are always there to make your choice easier with advice.
  • *Note: Thailand is a tropical country with occasional storms and heavy rains. This means that the above schedule may be subject to change.

CULTURAL IMMERSION WEEK: SAMPLE ITINERARY

  • Monday: Discover the village of Tha Kham and Wat Phikun Thong. In the afternoon you will visit Singburi Town to buy anything you require, and then off to a local handicraft shop. In the evening there's a welcome party where the local school children will perform a traditional Thai dance for you, but be warned, they will expect you to join in with the dancing!
  • Tuesday: A day in the Historic City of Ayutthaya (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya), with its many ancient ruins and works of art, then onto a special visit of the "Elephant village" followed by a wonderful riverside dinner.
  • Wednesday: Your day begins with Thai lessons and follows on to a cooking lesson where you'll learn to make your own lunch and understand why Thai cooking is famous. In the afternoon a trip to town, where you can relax in the swimming pool, check your emails at an internet cafe or explore the market stalls.
    Tonight you experience a Thai Style BBQ restaurant, a unique experience.
  • Thursday: Visit one of the local schools where you will meet the children and even try your hand at teaching or playing a few games. *During school holidays (from mid-March till mid-May and the month of October), when the schools are closed we may visit an English camp or the Queens Project located in the many nearby rice fields.
    You’ll then journey to some of the beautiful monuments and famous Buddhist temples, like Wat Phra Non Jaksi Woravihan (A huge reclining Buddha image) and the Khai Bang Rachan, a hero monument.
  • Friday: Today is an exciting and action packed day of visiting several sightseeing locations within the Saraburi and Lopburi provinces. Some of the highlights are: The famous Phra Narai Ratchaniwet Phra Ram (Monkey temple) and Wat Phra Phutthabat Temple (Buddha's footprint).
  • Weekends are always free after the Siam Culture program to use as a time of relaxation or to expand your sightseeing within the central province or even a trip to Bangkok city.

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation during the Cultural Activities Week will be at an Eco House near Singburi. There are 3 houses in total and all are located by the riverside in the village of Tha Kham. All the rooms in these houses have 2 bunk beds and are shared on a single gender with a maximum of 4 people per room. All the rooms have a private western style toilet and cold showers (refreshing in the heat of Singburi).

The doors and windows are fitted with mosquito screens and there are 2 fans in every room. Although not directly on site, there are laundry facilities offered by locals or otherwise you can easily wash your clothes by hand. The houses have a communal area where you can eat, relax, meet fellow participants or use the free Wi-Fi.

Accommodation at the Elephant Sanctuary is provided in a spacious, idyllic, bamboo bungalow which will be shared with up to 7 other volunteers of the same sex. Showers (cold), bathroom, mosquito nets, fan and a comfortable decking are all provided.

The centre is situated 32 kilometres north of the city of Kanchanaburi. The nearest town is Lad-Ya, which is approximately 15 kilometres from the centre and here you can find internet, ATMs, a post office, supermarkets, local markets and a hospital. Closer to your accommodation there are a couple of small shops where you can buy some food and drinks and also credit for your mobile phone.

At both sets of accommodation bed linen is provided but you will need to bring towels.

FOOD:
Food is included during your stay. The meals will be of typical Thai origin, including plenty of rice dishes. Three healthy and delicious meals will be provided each day, carefully balancing Thai food for the Western tongue.

Vegetarians can also be catered for.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten overseas volunteering holiday into Asia and the wonderful Thai culture!
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping the local community in many ways and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

OBJECTIVES FOR YOU

  • This page is still Under Construction!

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

  • This page is still under construction

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!