THAILAND

SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOP: HELP COMBAT PLASTIC POLLUTION AND INSTIGATE RECYCLING PRACTICES IN SINGBURI

What if we could use the trash of today to power workshops where young people can work on the solutions for tomorrow!

Following this question, we developed our own take at cleaning the environment and recycling. We collect and sort trash along local streets and rivers, then extract valuable plastic and use it to create new items. Along the way everybody can learn lots and lots about why recycling is so hard.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Hi, I'm Karen, Project Coordinator for Thailand, and I'll be working with you to arrange your ultimate experience here, so if you've any questions, please contact me:
+44 (0)1903 502595,
or email: info@travellers
worldwide.com
Price: £695 (approx. US$890) for 1 week
£250 (US$320) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 1 week to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: Projects start every Monday, all year round - you choose your start and finish dates.
Requirements: Minimum age 17. No qualifications required, just lots of enthusiasm.
What's included: Arranging your Programme,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance,
Accommodation,
Food
Meeting you at the nearest Airport,
Transfer to your project location,
Daily transport to and from your project,
Local in-country team support and backup,
24-hr emergency support,
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), return transfer to the airport.
Who is this
Programme suitable for?
SOLO travellers or travelling with friends.
GAP YEAR BREAKS from School or University.
GROWN-UP GAPPERS, career breakers and retired.
ANYONE interested in working with children, voluntary work and community care, projects abroad or study abroad.
Also suitable as a summer placement or short break.
Open to all nationalities.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping and making a difference in the fight against plastics pollution and instigating recycling practices in Thailand.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
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BOOKING

Fill in the form by clicking the button above. We'll contact you no later than the next working day to confirm. Then we'll do the rest for you.

SEE ALL PROJECTS IN THAILAND info@travellersworldwide.com

ANY QUESTIONS?

Please fill in the form below. If you haven't heard from us within one working day, please check your Junk Mail / Spam folder.

Please tick the 'I'm not a robot' box below. It helps to stop spam. Then don't forget to click the SUBMIT button afterwards. Thank you :-)
Volunteer giving some one-on-one attention to 2 children in class
A volunteer giving some undivided attention to two students in class.
Volunteer giving some one-on-one attention to 2 children in class
A tranquil environment spoilt by plastic trash.
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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

Aims and Objectives:

  • Learn about recycling, the current challenges, why developed countries are not doing better than developing countries and what you can improve once you’re back home.
  • Help clean along local roads, canals and rivers to prevent plastic from getting into the ocean and create awareness in the local community for the importance of cleanliness.
  • Help us develop or produce new items from recycled plastic to create awareness in the local community for the worth of old plastic and inspire them to recycle.
  • Develop our current workshop further or support our research

Background to the Recycling/Plastics Pollution Problem

Between 1950 and 2015 a total of 8.3 billion tons of plastic were produced, only about 6% of which were recycled. More than half was discarded into landfills where it will need more than 400 years to degrade. A 2015 OECD report only lists 2 out of 34 countries not using landfills for Municipal Waste Management anymore, namely Germany and Switzerland.

Yet, the high recycling quotas reported for many developed countries rather refer to recyclables being collected, not actually recycled. Much of what gets collected needs to be sorted further by hand. Therefore until 2017, about 56% of the world’s plastic waste was shipped to China. Since in 2018 China imposed stricter regulations on importing contaminated waste, other Southeast Asian countries have filled in, mostly Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

More than 8 million pieces of plastic make their way into the ocean every day, killing more than 100,000 marine mammals and more than one million birds every year.

It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in oceans than fish.

But besides the effects on the food chain and thus our health, recent studies have also shown negative impact of microplastic on Prochlorococcus, a species of bacteria doing photosynthesis. These microbes are responsible for about 10% of the oxygen we breathe and are of similar importance to us as rain forests. The chemicals leaching from plastic seem to reduce their growth and their ability to produce oxygen, thus adding a substantial factor to the rising CO² levels, worsening the climate change crisis.

A problem as global and interconnected as this, can not be solved on a local level. It needs an entire generation to build awareness; Starting with the realization that the only effective way to reduce plastic pollution is - not to buy plastic items in the first place. This program strives to to add to such awareness, teach about the global waste management systems and their challenges, create a sense of worth of plastic in local communities and conduct research on small scale, low cost recycling.

The Recycling Process

The program is based on our sustainability campus on the Thai countryside. All facilities are built from clay and wood, following traditional techniques. The campus is home to our sorting station, storage facilities, the recycling workshop as well as our research lab. Our work follows a set procedure:

Step 1: Collecting:

We head out into the neighbourhood, to local rivers, into close-by villages or the nearest town to collect waste along streets, canals or rivers. Much of the waste along streets gets carried into a canal by the wind, then washed into a river and finally makes its way into the ocean. Thus any item we collect is likely one less item that gets into the ocean.

While collecting we already sort into recyclables and waste. The latter one is disposed properly while we take the recyclables back to our sorting station.

Step 2: Washing & Sorting:

For now, our recycling process can only handle the most commonly used kinds of plastic. Other recyclables we collect, such as cardboard, glass or electronics, are handed to specialized recycling companies.

First we pre-sort the plastic. This also means taking apart items into their individual components. E.g removing caps and labels from bottles. Containers that are hard to wash on the inside are cut open. Next, all items are pre-washed to remove sand, food rests, algae and anything else that could cause problems later on when shredding the plastic.

Then the actual sorting starts. To be able to recycle the plastic, we need to carefully sort it by type. Different kinds of plastic, of which there are thousands, e.g. melt at different temperatures or are differently elastic.

Sorting can be a real challenge as only some items are properly labeled as in what kind of plastic they are made from. We are working to develop a simple device that can help us determine the kind of plastic used, but while we develop and train it, sorting needs to be done by hand. This is no different from how Western waste is treated once shipped to Asia.

To help us recognize the various kinds of plastic, the central element of our sorting station is the example gallery. Every item we identify for the first time gets added. When we collect the same item again - e.g. a plastic bag of a certain brand, a coffee cup from a certain store etc. - we can use the example gallery as reference. At the same time we are creating a growing museum of contemporary plastic waste, displaying the variety of use cases and highlighting popular usages. A piece of art, one could say.

Step 3: Storage, Shredding & Washing:

After determining the type of plastic, items of one kind of plastic get sorted by color and added to storage. Once we collected enough items of one kind and color, we shred the plastic into fingernail-sized flakes. These get washed extensively to remove any left dirt, stickers, glue (imagine labels glued to a bottle or box) and biological contamination (mold, bacteria).

After drying in the sun, these flakes go back into storage. Some kinds of plastic are hygroscopic, which means they will attract humidity from the air and get wet; Just like salt. That’s why we need to store these flakes in airtight containers.

Step 4: Production:

Flakes of one type and one or multiple colors get melted in the injection machine and injected into a mould or extruded from the extrusion machine to create new items. Some items might end up with rough edges that need smoothing or unnecessary parts to cut off. In the end, all items need to be marked with the proper recycling symbols specifying what kind of plastic we used to make it easier later on to recycle them again.

Other activities

Creating Awareness:

From time to time we want to approach locals, e.g. by hosting exchange events. People can hand in their plastic waste and we give them useful items we produced in the workshop in exchange. We hope this helps in creating awareness for the value of plastic as a resource and the fact that plastic trash still has value, as well as to encourage them to separate waste on a household level.

Updating / Extending the Facts Wall:

Besides the example gallery, the facts wall is the second key visual to inspire people to think or discuss about recycling. Picture a room sized wall on which we keep painting more and more numbers and facts about recycling. Came across an interesting fact? Found a difference between recycling systems in different countries that made you ponder? Grab a brush, add it to the wall. Start a discussion about it with your peers. Share your experience or learn from theirs.

Working on Tooling:

Our recycling machines and processes are constantly being improved. That requires lots of work for simple yet time consuming tasks such as polishing new moulds. But also creative or technical input is important. If you’re good at CAD design, embedded programming etc, please bring your laptop; From time to time we may need your help.

Our goal is to work out robust processes and simple to build machines, using only locally available parts. We’re building on top of the designs developed in the Precious Plastic project, adapting them to work with parts we find on Asian scrap yards or small hardware stores. Unlike the original machines, we’re less focused on crafting individual pieces of art but rather on increasing throughput while lowering cost for making moulds up to the point where locals could run profitable small scale production companies, running on plastic trash.

Filming / Photography:

Sharing our results with the world is just as important as producing them in the first place. If you are good at producing visuals, we’d be excited to have you.

Current and Future Research & Projects

All of our research will be published open source and is meant to support other research teams, recycling or cleanup projects, but also small businesses across Southeast Asia and potentially Africa.

Differentiation of Plastic

This is our current main research project. Telling apart different kinds of plastic can be quite hard and not much research on the subject is public. Western universities are currently working on recycling robot arms, that - same as our example gallery - memorize common trash items and sort them automatically. A procedure that already hits its limit once items look alike, e.g. coffee cups of a major chain as there are paper cups and plastic cups that are visually similar.

Other issues for the robot arm are composite trash items. E.g. a napkin stuffed into a coffee cup, aluminium lids on yoghurt cups that are not fully ripped off or multiple items in a single (trash) bag.

The other popular approach is near infrared spectroscopy. First Western recycling plants already use it after shredding and washing plastic. Flakes are running down a massive slide. Individual shreds pass a scanner shining light at them and measuring the spectrum of light reflected from the plastic. Compressed air targetedly shoots out certain flakes.

Such machines are huge and cost hundreds of thousands of Euros. In a typical workflow each machine sorts out exactly one kind of plastic. The leftover flakes pass to another machine, then another, then another etc. This requires massive facilities and substantial funds. Which imposes an issue in Southeast Asian countries, where much of the trash of developed countries actually ends up.

That’s why we’ve set out to develop a new kind of detection system. Instead of analyzing the full spectrum of reflected light, we built a discrete spectrometer, focusing on few important wavelengths. The prototype seems promising. But before we can fully use it, we need to scan tens of thousands of common items to collect training data for our AI that later on will do the actual work.

There is not much research on the topic publicly available. Most developments have been done by commercial machine manufacturers. We assume that publishing our collected data can be of substantial benefit to the research community.

Working with Ocean Plastic

The more time plastic spent in the sun, be it in the ocean, in a river or along a street, it starts deteriorating. This is a challenge for recycling it, as new objects might be less sturdy and break faster. Even brands that currently claim to use Ocean Plastic e.g. for making parts of shoes, are often playing with terminology and actually refer to plastic that was on the way to the ocean, instead of having been removed from the ocean.

Recycling with Students

We would like to invite school classes or offer a holiday activity for children where they bring a few items of common household waste, we sort and clean them together and make them into new items. Preferably items that children use frequently. One of the most powerful triggers to change the behaviour of adults, e.g. encouraging them to separate trash on a household level, is to fascinate their children and let them do the convincing work ;)

Creator Spaces: Over the past two decades a myriad of studies and meta-studies have outlined the declining interest of students in natural sciences, natural history and engineering. But when we ourselves observed children and gave them simple tools and construction materials, such as wood, nails and hammers, pretty much all age groups produced surprising results. On the other hand, when quizzed about their favorite subjects in school, math or physics ranked low.

We believe that students get deterred from natural sciences due to the theoretical approach in schools. So we want to give them room to experiment, to build and to invent. First on our campus, later possibly at local schools where we want to create open workspaces outfitted with different tools and materials encouraging young inventors to try whatever comes to their mind.

Effective recycling starts way before we dispose of something. It starts when an engineer first thinks of a new product and designs it to be easy to repair or to disassemble. It starts when materials in a product are clearly labeled and chosen with the recycling process in mind. It starts when decision makers greenlight offering spare parts and publishing repair guides or companies take back used products and re-use the resources to create new products.

Creator Spaces are meant to tackle both issues at once: Inspiring young people to become the engineers of tomorrow, while raising their awareness for sustainable design.

Creator spaces are a part of the program that, once established, needs to spread to as many different places as possible to indeed reach a whole generation. That needs a lot of helping hands supervising and guiding young creatives as well as a lot of recycled plastic to power them.

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BOOKING

Fill in the form by clicking the button above. We'll contact you no later than the next working day to confirm. Then we'll do the rest for you.

SEE ALL PROJECTS IN THAILAND info@travellersworldwide.com

Plastic pollution is everywhere in Thailand
Beauty and the Beast!
Volunteers collecting garbage for recycling
These volunteers are collecting garbage to recycle.
Volunteers collect dumped plastic trash by the river
These volunteers are collecting discarded plastic to stop it getting into the river and harming the wildlife.
A large group collecting pollutants can make a big difference
A large group of volunteers can make a big difference to the pollution caused by discarded plastics and other trash
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ACCOMMODATION

Your new home will be one of our 3 ‘Eco Houses’ near Singburi, central Thailand: Lemon House, Twin House and Brown House. They are all located riverside (River Noi – Little River) in the village of Tha Kham and depending on which house you are staying at, is about 8-15 km from Singburi (10-15 minutes by car). The 3 houses sleep from 30 to 72 people.

All houses have a communal area where you can eat, relax, meet fellow participants or use the free Wifi.

For participants who desire more comfort and privacy, families, couples and more mature participants, we recommend upgrading to a comfort room. These rooms have more amenities, are uniquely designed and are located apart from the two standard participant residences, which means it is noticeably quieter.

FOOD:
Food is included during your stay. Food will be simple homestyle meals prepared by locals, which are typical to the region, based on whatever fresh fruits and vegetables are in season at the time. You can expect lots of rice and noodles, vegetables, and occasionally some meat will be provided as well.

While we do our best to accommodate you, what we provide for most meals is local cuisine. If you are a picky eater, have dietary restrictions, or if you think that you will not be satisfied with the local dishes provided, you might want to consider supplementing our menu with your own western type foods and snacks that are more to your liking. Weekly trips to the supermarket in Singburi are provided from our accommodation and you can use our bikes to ride to a few convenience stores on other days.

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BOOKING

Fill in the form by clicking the button above. We'll contact you no later than the next working day to confirm. Then we'll do the rest for you.

SEE ALL PROJECTS IN THAILAND info@travellersworldwide.com

Volunteer exploring the famous bells
Volunteers exploring the famous bells.
Elephant trying to get to know a volunteer by using the tip of its trunk
Elephants generally try to get to know you sniffing you with the tip of its trunk. It's an incredible experience - because they're awesome!
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

On Your Arrival: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of staff who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.

VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
As well as protecting all our volunteers, Travellers Worldwide is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. Read Travellers' Child Care and Vulnerable Adults Policy.

LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

Through consolidation of 3 small towns located on the bank of The Chao Phraya River north of Ang Thong, these three small towns, Sing Buri, In Buri and Phrom Buri, were then established as a new town on the west of the Chao Phraya River named as Singburi in 1895.

ABOUT BANGKOK:
Bangkok is not for the faint hearted! This is South East Asia’s largest, most frenetic, over polluted, traffic congested capital city. But don’t let that put you off! This will all become part of the charm.

By day and night, Bangkok is fast paced - this is a city for indulgence and fun, with action at all hours. One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of this country is to live and breathe it:

  • Visit the traditional floating markets on the outskirts of Bangkok, where traders sell their wares from wooden boats, weighed down by kilos of bananas and other exotic fruits as garlands of jasmine hang off the boats stern.
  • Walk through China Town early in the morning and watch stall owners carry boxes of merchandise that tower over them, weighing two or three times their body weight.
  • Snack on some fresh pineapple or watermelon carefully sliced by a roadside vendor as you soak in the sights and smells of the city before the midday heat encourages you inside to air conditioned safety.
  • Watch tuk tuk’s laden with people screech past, weaving in and out of traffic.
  • Enjoy some freshly cooked Pad Thai from a street vendor. This is a mixture of noodles and bean sprouts stir fried with an egg and served with a generous portion of chilli sauce, or for the brave, a heaping of additional dried chilli.
  • Take in sunset from a river cruise and marvel at Bangkok’s diverse skyline, from modern gleaming skyscrapers to the pointed gold roof’s of glittering temples.
  • Visit the Grand Palace, a decadent spectacle which used to be residence to the King of Thailand and now has a temple for the Emerald Buddha.

The grand palace is one of the most striking pieces of art in Thailand, with gargoyles, dragons and warriors incredibly re-constructed in glittering mosaics.

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BOOKING

Fill in the form by clicking the button above. We'll contact you no later than the next working day to confirm. Then we'll do the rest for you.

SEE ALL PROJECTS IN THAILAND info@travellersworldwide.com

DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION in .pdf How to Fundraise for your Program

ANY QUESTIONS?

Please with any questions and include your phone number, if possible, to help us give you the best possible response.

We'll get back to you very shortly, but if you haven't heard from us within one working day, please check your Junk Mail / Spam folder. Thank you.

Herd of elephants in Thailand
Thailand is well-known for its elephants and you can't lose out on the opportunity to see them during your travel experience.
One of the many beautiful temples in Thailand
One of the many beautiful temples - another not-to-be-missed activity.
Buddha statue
Thailand is full of impressive statues and sculptures. This statue of Buddha is just one of many, but is one of the more well-known ones. You'll have plenty of time to explore them for yourself.
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OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Meditation at a Buddhist Retreat in Sri Lanka

1-WEEK SIAM CULTURE IMMERSION PROGRAM:
Price: £295 for 1 week
includes food and accommodation.

“Sa-wat-dee” - Hello and welcome to Thailand. Travel with us to the Land of Smiles and become immersed in this wonderful culture and magnificent land. This amazing Siam Culture week will give you a taste of why Thai cooking is world renowned and why Thailand is so fascinating, while giving you a glance into the Thai culture and language, often described as addictive.

This is a fun introduction to life in Thailand and the perfect way to prepare for your volunteering project!

AN EXAMPLE OF A CULTURE WEEK:

Monday: Monday: Start your day with a Thai breakfast before discovering the village of Tha Kham. In the afternoon you will visit Singburi Town, to buy anything you require, followed by a trip to Wat Phikum Thong, a Buddhist Temple. After a language lesson, you’ll be the special guests of a welcome party where the local school children will perform a traditional Thai dance for you, but be warned, they will expect you to join in with the dancing!

Tuesday: Start the day with a visit to Wat Muang in Ang Thong, home to the tallest Buddha statue in Thailand and the 9th in the world! We’ll then travel to Banbang Sadet Court Doll Centre where you will see the famous world-class miniature dolls and even build your own!

After lunch, we’ll head to the Historic City of Ayutthaya (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya), with its many ancient ruins and works of art that can be seen across the city. The Ayutthaya historical park is the ruins of this former capital of the Kingdom of Siam (Movie: Anna and the King for a look into the past), which is also recognized internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll visit Wat Mahathat (the Temple of the Great Relic) and a local market.

Our final stop will be a visit to Wat Yai Chai Mongkol. You can walk up the Chedi for photos of the city or go to the top of the temple and drop a coin in the bucket for blessings and temple preservation. You’ll also have the chance to see the reclining Buddha.

Dinner is back at the accommodation.

Wednesday: Your day begins with an early morning drive to Wat Phra Non Chaksi where we’ll meet up with the monks on their morning alms collection and we’ll walk through the village with the monks. We’ll prepare food for the monks and then have breakfast. You’ll then have the chance to learn about authentic meditation from a local monk. We’ll then walk around Vihan to see the massive sleeping Buddha and after visiting the temple, we’ll go back to the accommodation for lunch.

In the afternoon there’s a trip to Singburi where the afternoon is free time; relax at a local swimming pool or have a nice relaxing massage at Chai Saeng.

Tonight you’ll experience a Thai Style BBQ restaurant, a unique experience!

Thursday: In the morning, we’ll visit Ban Din Moddaeng in Lopburi and we’ll also have lunch here. We’ll then visit Wat Phra Prang Sam Yot Park where you’ll see the old temple (and lots of monkeys!). In the afternoon, you’ll engage in after school activities with the local children and assist with their English and Maths homework at our accommodation.

After dinner at our accommodation, you will visit Top Plaza Mall where everyone will have a little free time.

Friday: The morning will start off with a visit to Coconut Shell House (a local handicraft workshop) and then back to the accommodation for some traditional Thai cooking lessons. Make sure to pay close attention during the lessons because you will be eating your own cooked meal for lunch!

After lunch, we’ll visit the Royal Highness Queens Project in Nong Lad. Walk around the project site and see vegetation & rice fields, mushroom & fish farms and even water Buffaloes. We will go to Khai Bang Rachan Memorial Park - one of Thailand's most historical site showcasing a great battle which took place over 250 years ago between the Burmese and Siamese people in old Siam!

We’ll then head back to the accommodation in Singburi where we will have dinner.

Weekends are always free after the Siam Culture program to use as a time of relaxation or to expand your sightseeing within the central province or even a trip to Bangkok city.

*** Note: Thailand is a tropical country with occasional violent storms, heavy rains and floods. During such times, the above schedule may be subject to change.

Laaeo Phohp gan mai - See you later!

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Meditation at a Buddhist Retreat in Sri Lanka

1-WEEK CARE FOR ELEPHANTS TASTER:
Price: £645 for 1 week
£895 for 2 weeks
includes food and accommodation. Can be done either before or after your main project.

Work hands-on with elephants, giving them lots of care, and also be helping to improve the living conditions of captive elephants in Thailand. You'll work with around 12 elephants, but you'll be surrounded by up to 200 elephants. The experience of being in the middle of such a huge number of these majestic creatures is awesome!

You'll work closely with mahouts, helping to change the practice of using elephants for street begging and circus shows to providing an alternative for their elephants that is more natural, less stressful, and is sustainable.

During your work, elephants will be allowed to freely interact socially and you'll participate in basic elephant care.

  • You'll feed the elephants and generally have lots of hands-on work with them. Elephants love people and they love social interaction. They can be very playful.
  • You'll normally help to take the elephants out on walks with the mahouts about twice a day across the local rice fields and forests, and down to the local reservoir for clean up.
  • Another areas of assistance include helping to restore the natural habitat that has been destroyed by over-logging, planting grass and other vegetation that helps to feed the elephants, plus some community development work that helps strengthen ties within the local community.

Book Now

Cookery Class in the Culture Week in Thailand
Cookery class on the 1-week immersion program
Washing elephants on the Elephant Taster Programme in Thailand
Washing elephants on the Elephant Taster Programme in Thailand

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.

SEE ALL PROJECTS IN THAILAND info@travellersworldwide.com

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REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

Coming soon!

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BOOKING

Fill in the form by clicking the button above. We'll contact you no later than the next working day to confirm. Then we'll do the rest for you.

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RESPONSIBLE & ETHICAL TRAVEL:

Sustainable and ongoing development of local communities is always the primary aim of our volunteer projects and this project is no different. You'll take up where others before you left off and thus helping to continue making this project sustainable.

We are passionate about mutually beneficial interaction with the local community. The team members are locals and very community-minded. We work closely with the local community to achieve maximum benefits and emphasis is always placed on doing what is best for the local environment.

To this end, information on how to leave minimal negative impact on the environment is given to you prior to your departure as part of your documentation from Travellers Worldwide. This is also highlighted in your induction on arrival.

SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY:

We have local staff in each destination where we have Programmes and where we work with local partners, again the staff employed are locals. We have long-standing relationships with local people, making this a sustainable, on-going project. Your work here contributes to, and helps to continue, the long chain of worthwhile achievements in this community. You'll also be directly influencing the local economy and supporting international tourism, an important part of the country's general economy. So, by living in the local area, you're bringing in income through tourism and education through cultural exchange!

The accommodation on this project is locally owned and all the staff are from the neighbourhood. Where food is provided, produce is purchased in nearby shops, helping provide authentic local cuisine. Where you've chosen host family accommodation (where available), families are selected based on their desire to provide real cultural exchange and at the same time a warm family environment.

Social Responsibility: The information we provide prepares you for your placement and how to deal with the local people. It also briefs you on the Do’s and Don’ts and makes you aware of the possible impact of your behaviour. However, you are also expected to do research on the country you're going to and their customs and culture. The research you do will help you to gt the most out of this exciting travel and experience opportunity.

Cultural sensitivity: Volunteers receive an induction and orientation on arrival which covers things like being sensitive to the culture you’re in, everyday processes which will be different to what you’re accustomed to, how to have the maximum beneficial imprint and the minimum negative impact.

We stress the importance of responsible tourism, cultural differences and acceptable/unacceptable conduct. Where appropriate, volunteers are briefed on local customs, particularly those that are different to the volunteer’s accepted norm.

Economic Responsibility: By living in the volunteer house provided by the project you’ll, again, be providing much needed income and employment to the local population. The house is simple and built from natural materials and you are actively encouraged to recycle, be efficient with energy and water usage and preserve the natural surroundings. All food is provided and sourced locally. Your transport to and from the project will usually be either on a bicycle or walking again contributing to green efforts.

For 25 years our volunteers have lived in local communities around the world, spent their money with local traders and brought funding to the projects they work with. Travellers employs local staff and works with local support staff. This helps to fund the project directly and through bringing money into the local community.

In general, the organisations we work with around the world often struggle to financially support and maintain the work they do, so every penny raised makes a real difference.

Our aim is to create always a Win-Win-Win situation in terms of the benefits for, (a) the local communities and institutions you work in, (b) our Volunteers, i.e. you, and (c) for Travellers. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to all three of these stakeholders.

The impact of pollution: Where transport to and from the project is required, it is left up to you to choose. Public transport is always recommended by us and all nearby public transport routes are shown to all new arrivals. If taxis are required, you'll be encouraged to share with other volunteers in order to lessen the impact of pollution wherever possible.

Having regard for the local community by being consciously aware of your impact is encouraged in all our documentation for all our projects in all our destination countries. This is because we feel very strongly that many countries are subject to, for example, water shortages, high cost of energy and high impact of energy usage, the negative impact of litter and general pollution. Thus we encourage you to be aware of these possible impacts so that they contribute positively and not negatively to the community in this respect

POSITIVE EFFECTS THAT TRAVELLERS HAS ON THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT:

We provide you with many tips on how to be a responsible traveller regarding the environmental impact you have.

We want you to be immersed in the culture, by living and working with local people. We work with local communities, local charities, local government bodies and local schools. We also often partner with local organisations whom we have vetted to ensure that they are committed to the projects they run, that they have the same responsible attitude to the local community that we do, that they are eco-friendly and have ethical policies.

In our projects and in our headquarters offices, we take an environmentally responsible attitude towards recycling and reusing of waste products. We encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme. Our volunteers are given pre-departure Information that encourages them to minimise waste and reduce their use of water and electricity, in other words, to live sensitively in the environment that they’re working in.

Travellers also give donations as and when required by projects. This is often done through our charitable arm, The Bridge The Gap Foundation. Our projects enable vital conservation, research, care and education work to take place directly where it is most needed. Our volunteers contribute, all over the world, to projects that would not exist without them.

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Volunteers sightseeing in Thailand
Volunteers sightseeing on one of the trips arranged during the 1-Week Immersion Programme
Volunteer being nuzzled by an elephant
Volunteer being attacked by an elephant - a friendly nuzzle :-)
Volunteer group visiting Angkor Wat
A group of volunteers visiting Angkor Wat - one for your bucket list and definitely not to be missed!
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