Volunteer in Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar is relatively un-touched by tourism compared to other countries and by spending time volunteering you will get to experience a beautiful country and make a positive impact. There are projects with international and local organisations where you can help people, improving infrastructure and living conditions, work with refugees or help wildlife and conservation efforts.
Volunteer Programs in Myanmar
Search structured, free and low cost volunteering opportunities in Myanmar (Burma)
Volunteer Opportunities in Myanmar
Guide to Volunteering in Myanmar
It’s not easy living in Burma (now officially known as Myanmar) – the country has one of the least developed economies in the world, made worse by economic sanctions imposed by the EU and US governments, and it is widely known for its history of political unrest and human rights violations. Over the years, many Burmese citizens have faced persecution due to Burma’s military regime. As a result there has been a steady migration of Burmese nationals out of Burma and into the surrounding countries. Many journey to Malaysia, China, Bangladesh and India – but scores more head east to Thailand.
Local people have suffered a lot over the past decades, human rights abuses, economic sanctions, and a questionable democratic government but you can apply to help by signing up to volunteer in Burma. You can also help Burmese citizens who are now based in neighbouring countries, search our volunteer programs in Asia for more information. Apply for a life changing experience today.
Location of Projects
Most volunteer placements are found in Yangon (Rangoon) but there are also hill tribe programs on the Thailand border and other projects in more rural areas. On some projects you will be volunteering in Buddhist monasteries which is an amazing experience to see / understand the culture and integrate whilst mixing with local people.
Types of Volunteer Programs in Myanmar
The Burma volunteer projects we have listed on our website help local people and Burmese migrants that have fled their country in search of a better life for themselves and their families. Some projects are based in and around community centres in Kuraburi and focus on providing people shelter, food and a place to learn new skills and receive a basic education. Volunteer programs include working on community projects, helping at orphanages and teaching English - these are an amazing way to really help people.
Education & Teaching Volunteer Programs in Myanmar
Community based placements can be found in schools, community centres whilst there are orphanages which need international assistants all year round. You will be able to help disadvantaged youngsters who have found themselves at orphanages, lead lessons and help with daily tasks where you can help bring a smile to children faces.
Volunteer with Burmees Refugees
There are also placements run by international charities and humanitarian organisations which aim to allievae poverty and help minority religions. 89% of the population in Myanmar are Buddhist and there is a small Muslim population of around 4% which have been persecuted in recent years. You will need to check latest information regarding these placements due to instability in relations between the governent and volunteer orgs. Mainly placements are available for skilled professionals who can work on the ground to improve life for local people.
Wildlife & Conservation Programs
Some charities and international organisations offer environmental and marine based eco-volunteer opportunities. You can join cruises departing from places like Kaw Thaung which take up to eight eco-volunteers on a 40ft. (12.2 meter) motor-sailing catamaran. Tasks can include helping study tribes of Moken (sea gypsies), local boat building techniques, marine mammals, sea turtles, and sea birds provide exciting subject for our research. Each cruise is unique and is dependent upon our research needs. Each cruise will include contacts with the Moken, observations of marine mega fauna and native birds plus at least one jungle trek or mangrove canoe trip.
If you are looking for a new experience and are open minded then you will be able to apply to volunteer in Myanmar. Usually you will need to be aged 18+ and be in good health. You will also need to check visa eligibility. Please research all trips to see whether they are right for you, if it is your first time away and you have any reservations you might want to considering going to volunteer in Thailand. You will need to pay for a visa to enter the country too.
How to Apply
You can apply today or request information through one of our partner organisations. Programs can be booked in advance or you can just turn up in Myanmar and seek out opportunities locally. This can be a challenging experience, there are not many local charities and NGOs operating in this country so just turning up and hoping to find a placement can be difficult. Most of the Burma volunteering programs come part of a structured experience and will require you to pay a fee to join, this includes:
- Pre-departure information and advice
- In-country assistance and support
- 24-hour emergency contacts
- In-country induction or training
- Donation to the project
Volunteer in Myanmar for Free
Finding free and low cost volunteer opportunities in Myanmar is difficult but possible, you might want to seek out projects locally or arrange a placement prior to departure. Please note you will probably still need to pay for flights, accommodation and meals whilst making a donation is also encouraged. Finding paid work in Myanmar is tough unless employed by an international humantiarian organisation. If you would like to volunteer for free in Burma and arrange a placement we recommend the following organisations:
Help / Advice
If you need any help arranging a volunteer placement in Burma please get in touch. Myanmar is an exciting place to travel and volunteer in, start your application today.
Myanmar Volunteer Reviews
If you have ever volunteered in Burma and would like to review an organisation/project, share your experience or give any advice for future participants write an article for us.