Where to Work as a Volunteer in Bangkok

Courtesy of Paper Ranger
Courtesy of Paper Ranger
Kelly Iverson

Whether visitors are looking to gain experience in a new field, find meaningful ways to travel, or simply want to lend a helping hand, there is a number of organizations in Bangkok doing their best to better the city. Here are our suggestions for places to work as a volunteer in Bangkok.

1. Friends for Asia

School

The Friends for Asia Foundation is an independent organization founded by former Peace Corps volunteer, Todd Cikraji. The organization values the importance of international volunteerism and welcomes participants from around the world to join them in their quest to positively contribute to the communities in which they operate. Two thousand interns and volunteers had participated in a Friends for Asia program, as of 2016.

Volunteers making their way to the City of Angels can look forward to exploring the capital in a way that many of tourists miss out on. Friends for Asia has a number of programs to choose from, including a women’s empowerment project, English education volunteer project, and the kindergarten volunteer project. You can also apply to be an orphanage volunteer, a medical intern, or an English teacher to a novice monk. Participants must be available for a minimum of two weeks, and will receive orientation and training, travel insurance, and 24-hour support from Friends for Asia. Accommodation is also provided, and the housing is located along the BTS Skytrain,making it easy to explore the city during your down time.

Friends for Asia also operates projects in Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Kathmandu, and Ubud, Bali.

2. Paper Ranger

University

Getting an education can be difficult when lacking the necessary tools to thrive in the classroom, and this is often the case for many students across Thailand, especially for indigenous children from Thailand’s northern regions. Paper Ranger tries to solve this problem with their handmade notebooks. Created in 2007 by a group of university students, the organization has created some 200,000 notebooks, which have been distributed to students in need across Thailand. Visitors to Bangkok who want to support this cause can pay ฿300 (US$8.70) per person to meet with the organization and make their very own notebooks. These will later be distributed to children in need. Participants can choose a time convenient for them, and groups are welcome to book together.

Courageous Kitchen

Food lovers flock to Thailand to chow down on its delicious and unique cuisine. Those hoping to simultaneously indulge their inner-foodie while doing a good deed should check out Courageous Kitchen. This organization is not your typical charity. Formally known as ‘In Search of Sanuk’, Courageous Kitchen hosts cooking classes for visitors to Bangkok and uses the raised money to help kids at risk from poverty, malnutrition, and those without access to a good education.

The organization started in 2009, but it was not until 2014 that the idea of learning in the kitchen was realised. The founders started to host cooking classes with students in the hope of boosting their self-esteem and improving their poor nutrition. After seeing such great results, the project officially came to be in 2015.

Courageous Kitchen, Sukhumvit 101/1, Bangkok, Thailand

Courtesy of Courageous Kitchen

Love Volunteers

Love Volunteers is an organization working to better communities around the world. The organization has over 120 programs in 30 countries, five in cities across Thailand including Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Kanchanaburi, Surin, and Bangkok. Volunteers in Bangkok stay in a volunteer house for a minimum of one week and maximum of 24 weeks. The majority teach English. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and be ready to commit to a normal working week. The program fee ranges depending on the number of weeks spent on location, as well as the program volunteers choose to participate in. The fee covers accommodation, orientation, and the support of the Love Volunteers staff throughout the program. Programs start at about $600.

Courtesy of Love Volunteers

3. PAWS

Building

There are seemingly as many soi(street) dogs and cats in the capital as there are Bangkokians. Thousands of homeless strays roam the city, and many suffer from hunger, disease, neglect, and more. Working to improve the lives of these animals is Paws, an organization that rescues and finds homes for displaced animals. They educate pet owners and provide spay and neuter services, rabies vaccinations, and affordable nursing care for the animals at their shelter. They’ve been operating since June 2012. Volunteers can visit the shelter and help care for the rescued cats (which would obviously include some cuddles with the kittens!)

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