Our mission is to work across cultural boundaries to improve the lives of marginalized people in Thailand through targeted education.
To preserve Thailand’s diversity and beauty by providing support to the Poor and forgotten, helping them gain control over there own destines and have a chance at a non exploited or subservient employment.
* To teach English and Computer skills to Thailand’s citizens who can not afford quality Education .
* To promote cultural respect, opportunity and advancement for all citizens .
* To help visiting volunteers gain insight, experience, and new perspectives on living by challenging themselves and helping others.
* To raise awareness, locally and internationally, of the Educational issues facing marginalized people in Thailand.
Make a Difference in the Areas of Education, Health, or Social Services
As a volunteer, you can make a difference by supporting and contributing to a sustainable solution designed by the community and for the community. Volunteer work is in the areas of education, and social services and community development. No prior experience or specific skill is required. You will learn what challenges they face and see how your work furthers their goals. You will also have the chance to create projects of your own. The connection with the people you work with and for each day will generate ideas that you can suggest to the staff. Implementation depends on circumstances on the ground at the time of your arrival as well as your creativity. Your experience and opinion in any given field will be much appreciated by the staff and quite possibly make a difference in the lives of villagers.
Cultural & Learning Activities
We’ve discovered that when you’re given the opportunity to learn about the local culture and customs, and understand community development, your volunteer experience is truly complete. To gain this inside perspective, we provide Cultural & Learning Activities. You’ll enjoy a detailed orientation, language training, field trips, guest speakers, participation in local activities, and feedback sessions. Cultural activities available to you year round are visits to the Palace on Doi Tung Mountain only a short drive up the mountain side. Or Take a 15 minute ride and visit Mai Sai the Boarder town where you can actually cross over in Burma for a day and visit the temples or do some shopping in there open markets. Seasonal activities you’ll enjoy colorful festivals like the water Festival in April lasting almost a week you’ll enjoy activities with the locals because everything closes in Thailand except service oriented business . Lagaton Festival in November is another favorite festival . For nature enthusiasts there’s a botanical garden at Doi Tung Mountain as well as dozens of nature trails. The Akha have there big Festival’s at Christmas and Easter time being there Christians .These activities give you an inside perspective of the community and culture, within and beyond the context of your volunteer experience.
A Chance to Explore the Community On Your Own
We believe that free time is important so you can get to know the community and people in your own way. That’s why you’ll always have some afternoons, most evenings, and every weekend all to yourself. Whether alone or with fellow volunteers, this is your chance to visit local attractions, take the path less traveled, or simply take time to rest and reflect.
Our local staff can give you suggestions for places to visit, or you can create your own agenda. During weekends, you can visit other parts of the country or stay close to get to know the community and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
A typical day’s schedule
Every day starts at home, where you and your fellow volunteers gather in the dining area for a delicious breakfast prepared by staff cooks. Meals are healthy and always reflect the local cuisine. Mornings here are beautiful and refreshing. You can expect to hear the sounds of roosters crowing and feel the cool air before the heat of the day. After breakfast between 8am and 9am you will start your volunteer work in the community. Whatever your volunteer project may be, you will be working side-by-side with the locals and Penny’s staff. You will always have someone to help you with translations and general guidance.
You will enjoy a buffet-style meal with a variety of local dishes. Lunch will be a time for staff and volunteers to share experiences from the morning. This can be a useful time to get opinions and suggestions on your project and possibly start planning for the days ahead. As you listen to other volunteers share their thoughts and impressions of their day, your understanding of the community will deepen.
After lunch, you and your fellow volunteers will check out the posted calendar of activities to see what is scheduled and if there are any local events you would like to enjoy during your free time.
During most afternoons, we will give you insight to the local customs, history, and politics that shape the lives of the people in the community where you are living and volunteering. These activities may include language lessons, guest speakers, dancing or drumming, and field trips to local areas of interest. From these activities, you’ll gain new perspectives on the local culture from the people who know it best.
You will have free time most afternoons. You may choose to join other volunteers heading to the local Internet cafe, shop for crafts at a local market, or run errands and explore the community. You may start preparing for the next days volunteering so you can be more effective. You may prefer to spend time with the neighbors, talking, playing sports, or just relaxing. And there are always children around who can entertain you for hours. However you choose to spend this time, you always have the option to stay home, relax, and spend time with staff.
Between 6pm and 7pm the cooks have another delicious home-cooked meal ready for dinner. After an exciting day of new experiences, this meal is an opportunity to reflect on the day with your fellow volunteers and also focus on the day ahead.
After the meal, you have free time to relax, call friends and family, or solidify plans for the weekend with other volunteers. On some evenings, you may have scheduled cultural activities.
At some point during the evening, you finalize lesson plans and get feedback from your fellow volunteers. These brainstorm sessions, learning from each others experiences and sharing advice, help you feel ready for your next day of volunteering. You will probably head to bed around 10 or 11pm so you can be well-rested for another active day.
Your Home Away from Home
After a day of volunteering or a weekend of travel, it’s important to know that you have a safe and comfortable place to return to. Your home base will be a Western style home within the Akha Village. This will be the place that you’ll have the chance to connect with staff and fellow volunteers, enjoy healthy, authentic meals, reflect on your experiences, or just relax.
The office is located in the Home-Base, giving you unlimited access to our staff and all they have to offer. By providing a Home-Base with a full-time staff, we create a safe and warm environment for all of our volunteers without ever burdening the local community.
Our housing consists of a comfortable safe environment, where you’ll find clean and modern accommodations. The Home base always has basic amenities such as linens and running water (including hot water) and access to a washing machine, telephone as well as Internet and International English TV. Your room can be either private or twin depending on your program choice.
Home-cooked meals and snacks are another great benefit of the Home-Base. Each day, mealtime is an exciting way to enjoy authentic food provided by staff cooks and to share stories with new friends. The food is delicious and healthy and takes full advantage of local cooking traditions. Most meals will include rice, one or two different vegetable dishes, and some sort of egg, fish, or meat dish. We also make sure to provide plenty of bottled water and fruit juices that are safe to drink.
Penny’s licensed drivers will greet you at the airport upon arrival, and provide you with safe transportation to placement. Our staff also coordinates drop-off at the airport for our volunteers.
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