Help young villagers from the poor Northeast to a better life. These children of rice farmers are left behind in isolated villages and schools. They leave school with little education and few opportunities. Some go to work in factories in Bangkok or abroad; others work in tourist bars or on the beach in the South. You don’t find many young in the villages. Most go for low-paid jobs elsewhere.
Volunteer in Northeast Thailand and enjoy the hospitality and gratitude of Isaan people. Welcome to start at our Training Center in NongKhai by the Mekong River, the border town to Laos. We introduce you to volunteer and NGO work, teaching, culture and language!
Read about our Free Volunteer Training Days
Watch the video, volunteer Adele from France shows Life and Work in the Northeast
Work and Life on a Volunteer Trip to Northeast Thailand
Teach English. Most of our volunteers teach English at a school, at our Training Center, a temple or juvenile detention center. Our trainees, the English teachers and young monks are happy to have have help from someone who speaks fluent English.
Teach IT using DED. Demonstrate how to use a computer. Let the students try and explore for themselves, and they will discover what they can do! Let curiosity and inspiration drive learning: this is our motto! Train students to search online to learn, and combine this with English and creating presentations about what they have learned.
We practice Learning by Doing at our Center, listening and speaking. Avoid struggling with difficult grammar. Instead help the school children and our trainees to enjoy and gain the confidence to speak English.
Doctors, nurses, farmers and doers. We’d love you to volunteer with us! Hands-on, practical minded volunteers are welcome and we can discuss together how you can help. We are always open to discussing how volunteers can help, depending on interests, experience and skills. Tell us!
Prepare to Volunteer. Try to come for a few extra days at our Center before you start! Extra days at no cost. Learn about volunteering, work, teaching, culture and some Thai language too!
Stay and Eat. Volunteers either stay at a our Center, a guesthouse or with a host family, mostly a teacher. You have lunch with our trainees or teachers and students at the school, dinner at our Center or with your host family, or you are welcome to try a local place!
Work. You normally volunteer work 4 – 6 hours per day and spend some time preparing lessons. And of course spend time with our trainees or the kids in the village.
Your Free Time. Enjoy NongKhai town and also the nature of the Northeast, the mighty Mekong River, mountains and national parks. Enjoy its rural culture, with more temples and villages than elsewhere in Thailand, Enjoy the happy Isaan music and the incredibly spicy papaya salad, ‘som tam’! Use your weekends to explore the sights of NongKhai: the famous sculpture park, the Saturday night market by the river, try the grilled bugs! Don’t miss the rest of the unknown Isaan, the Mekong River, the mountains. Go wild elephant trekking in the mountains where Openmind Projects helped create an eco-tourist destination recommended by Lonely Planet. There is also one of the scariest cliff walks according to the National Geographic! Maybe go with one of our Laos trainees to his/her village! They will be happy to show you and its a great way for them to practice English too! Go exploring with your local friends!
Eat. Try the food, the tasty som tam, papaya salad and the sticky rice typical of the North and Laos. Maybe something even more exotic like a cricket or scorpion!
Read also about The Heart of Indochina
Isaan is the least-visited region in Thailand and the poorest! But with the most spectacular sunset in Thailand, over the Mekong River! In one third of the country, in space and population, the friendly Isaan rice farmers speak Lao, not Thai!
In October, every full moon night, strange fireballs rise out of the Mekong, the Naga fireballs!
The unique Sala Kaew Khu Temple and Sculpture Park in NongKhai, features gigantic statues of the Lord Buddha.
Nong Khai is the gateway to Laos and a truly Indochinese town, where Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, Isaan and Lao mix, work and live together.
You find many ancient Khmer temples in Isaan and many national parks, some where you can go wild elephant trekking.
Farming is the main livelihood but millions of young Isaan economic refugees head for Bangkok or abroad to find a job.