When you live in a place for a while, or travel through a part of the world you connect with, you might want to dedicate some of your time and skills to a project you find worthwhile. Volunteering in Bangkok is a great opportunity to try out something new, help, and learn about people, places, the world and yourself. Bangkok might seem a modern, shiny, affluent capital at first. But like any other big city, it has a dark side: the social problems, slums, sick and abandoned animals, environmental problems. Yes, there is a lot for you to do if you wish to.
Some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Bangkok will want you to make a monetary contribution before you start working. But there are plenty that don’t request that, therefore qualifying for the actual title of offering volunteer work. You can find vacancies by searching the internet for Volunteer Work Thailand, or look at the Thai Charities Directory and contact those that appeal.
Bangkok charities and NGOs mentioned in connection with volunteer work include:
- Friends For All Children Foundation (FFAC), which looks after infants and toddlers, either hoping to be adopted or return to their families after the home situation has improved.
- Baan Nor Giank Baby Home, which is dedicated to babies and infants diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, who are in need of care or fostering. Despite over 1 million people in Thailand having HIV, the subject is still not widely discussed and there is a lot of prejudice and misconception in society regarding the disease.
- Little Light Project – aimed at improving opportunities of blind children attending the Bangkok School for the Blind.
- Thailand Hilltribe Education Programme (THEP), which looks into injustices suffered by the hilltribes people. Even if born in the country, most of them don’t have Thai citizenship, so their children have limited access to education and other necessities.
If you’d rather spend some time with animals and help an animal charity, consider contacting Care for Dogs Foundation, Soi Dog Foundation or Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT). Animals are very willing recipients of love and care and when they end up in horrendous circumstances, it’s mostly due to human actions.
For a more informal approach to volunteering you could always try Work Away, a network connecting people around the world, who in exchange for work receive accommodation and food. Look for Bangkok-based options and read about some hosts. Mostly they are looking for English tutors, but other opportunities are available.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that little actions count. Helping a stray dog or feeding a homeless person is a valid contribution to improving Bangkok and the world.