Volunteer and Internship Placement Program
Coordinator: Lisa Nesser
Support staff/ volunteer: Seng Lao
To give the best volunteer experience possible, while gaining as much help as possible for Thai Freedom House.
International Volunteers and the local community in Chiang Mai that wish to get involved.
1 To create a unique volunteer experience
We accept volunteers from all over the world, and create projects for them to complete based on their unique skill sets. We have no particular job description because we have such an individualized program.
Volunteers are encouraged to fill out the online form to get the process started, following that we conduct a Skype phone interview. Once a volunteer or intern is accepted we send the orientation materials to them so they may start to prepare themselves for the placement. We draw upon our volunteers unique work and personal experiences, interests, hobbies and skills. Upon arrival, after orientation we work together with the volunteer to set a timeline of goals for work that the volunteer or intern will achieve while with us. This ensures that everyone has a satisfactory experience and is supported.
Sometimes the volunteer may want to learn a new skill, but has no time in their daily life. For example, previous volunteers have learned how to make a new website, or create an accounts sheet, while working with us. They learned a new skill on the job, as well as helping with admin work or English teaching.
2 Internships done through Universities
The goals of the volunteer and internship placements are similar except that usually we also correspond with an advisor at the student’s home University, providing an evaluation and follow up documentation of the internship. We are happy to do this when required.
3 In-House Volunteers
Our hosted volunteers receive excellent care from Thai Freedom House. We offer an airport pick-up, accommodation providing all the volunteer’s needs, bicycle and local SIM card, lunch in the café every day, and a tour of the city including cultural sites, temples, where to do laundry and get money, markets and advice on Thai foods. We guarantee help in emergencies and if the volunteer gets sick or needs help 24/7.
To learn more about our hosted volunteer program, please see here and to apply, see here.
4 Independent Volunteers
Some volunteers are already foreigners living and working in Chiang Mai and want to help out for a committed about of time, weekly or daily. We love to work with them as they bring a unique perspective to our project, already have an understanding of how things work here and sometimes also speak some Thai.
5 Local Volunteers
Thai people who are already living in Chiang Mai may wish to volunteer full time or part time with us. Sometimes they come to do a short workshop or teach in our weekly classes for a specified amount of time. We highly value their perspective and dedication to volunteering in this way to make their own community great. They act as wonderful role models for our students and help them to better understand Thai culture.
If you do not have the time or desire to commit long term, you can fill out our volunteer application and send a proposed workshop plan, sometimes taking place for just one night, introducing the students to a new skill or participating in a performance or show. You can fill out that application here.
7 Peer Volunteers
These are our own students, who go through a mini teacher training program. They volunteer to teach in the local community. We currently have two teaching Shan language, two teaching Burmese, and one teaching Chinese. The aim of this program is to give our students self-confidence, and skills to become teachers in the future. Our other students look up to them as an inspiration for their own lives.
We have an ongoing, open application process for volunteers all over the world and locally to apply and receive placements.
Currently we have no budget support for this project, we pay for no marketing and those that hear of us do so through online searches or word of mouth.
In the future, we would like to market our unique volunteer experiences in a more formal way, ensuring that all of those that are seeking a way to make real change around education and support for refugees and indigenous peoples will have the opportunity to join our team.