This Bangtao, Phuket and Thailand volunteer and charity guide is designed highlight local charities, and for students and volunteers to find free volunteer work on Phuket, and throughout Thailand, and then be able to contact directly via the organizations website.
Volunteering on Phuket & Thailand
Volunteering on Phuket & Thailand can help you learn new skills, gain experience and sometimes even qualifications. Through volunteering on the island of Phuket & Thailand you can challenge yourself to try something different, achieve personal goals, practice using your skills and discover hidden talents.
Immerse yourself in the local culture, and concentrate on long-term, sustainable development in disadvantaged communities. Through voluntary work on Phuket island & Thailand, you’ll gain a deeper insight into people’s lives and the challenges they face. You’ll experience fascinating cultures, while creating a positive impact for local communities.
Gain confidence. Volunteering can help you gain confidence by giving you the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement.
Create a difference. Volunteering can have a real and valuable positive affect on people, communities and society in general.
Meet people. Volunteering can allow you to meet different kinds of people and make new friends.
Be part of a community. Volunteering can help you feel part of something outside your friend and family.
Learn new skills. Volunteering can assist you to learn new skills, gain experience and sometimes even qualifications.
Take on| a challenge. Through volunteering you are able to challenge yourself to try something different, achieve personal goals, practice making use of your skills and discover hidden talents.
Have some fun! Most volunteers have a great time, irrespective of why they do it.
Below you will find volunteer and charity work with animals, working with children and the community and teaching English, Chinese, French etc.
Our Phuket Charity Picks
Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation:
Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation works to improve the economic and life opportunities of young people, by funding and implementing high quality, practical English language education in government schools on Phuket Island.
Volunteer Work: The volunteers who work with our foundation provide a wide variety of assistance for our organization. They come from all walks of life, bringing an incredible amount of experience and heart to our program. Long-term, full-time volunteers (called ‘Fellows’) work in either the administrative office or in one of the schools with the teaching staff. Office Fellows assist with operations, special events and fundraising, volunteer coordination, and general administrative tasks. Teaching Fellows support the education curriculum by assisting in teaching, working in the afterschool and weekend programme, and occasionally assisting with special events. Short-term or occasional volunteers spend time in our afterschool programme, provide one-on-one tutoring, assist in the classroom and reading groups, or provide office support. PHBGTU was also the charity that ‘Mark Hopkins’ used to promote to generate donations when he wrote and recorded on Phuket the ‘Tsunami Day‘ song, which was based on his own experiencing in Patong during the 2004 Tsunami.
Commitment: 3-6 months for long-term volunteers
Cost: There is no programme fee. Fellows are provided with accommodation, local transport, visa and work permit. Other volunteers are responsible for their own living costs.
THE PHUKET SUNSHINE VILLAGE
In the aftermath of the the Tsunami that hit Phuket on the 26.12.04, members of the Lions Club of Phuket Andaman Sea decided to be involved in a longer term project to help the victims of the tragedy. Helping Children in need became the main objective of the Club, and the idea of creating a village slowly became to grow.
The fund raising began in earnest and the response was overwhelming. The Lions Club decided to contact “Child Watch Phuket”, a local organization with in excess of 10 years experience in child care and protection. Child Watch Phuket were pleased to join forces with the Lions Club of Phuket Andaman Sea to bring the charity project to reality, and run it for years to come.
It was agreed to set up an independent Foundation with directors from the Lions Club of Phuket Andaman Sea and Child Watch Phuket. On the 17th of August 2005, the “Phuket Sunshine Village Foundation” was officially set up and legally recognized by the Thai authorities. Our Foundation was fortunate to subsequently secure an agreement with the French Red Cross, who financed and managed the construction of the village buildings.
After the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony on the 05.05.2006, construction started. The Village was completed after one year and officially opened on the 29.06.07. by the Governor of Phuket. The Village is now home to over 100 Children in need from Phuket and surrounding provinces.
Soi Dog Foundation
Soi Dog Foundation (SDF) is a not-for-profit, legally registered charitable organization, which helps the homeless, neglected and abused dogs and cats of Thailand. Soi Dog’s mission is to improve the welfare of animals in Asia, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities, to end animal cruelty, and to ultimately create a society without homeless animals.
Location: Mai Khao, Phuket, Southern Thailand
Volunteer Work: Walking dogs, petting cats, playing with puppies, and helping street dogs and stray cats learn to trust people again. This socialization is essential for them to be successfully adopted into homes. Volunteers with a veterinary background may be able to work with our clinic staff to provide medical treatment for the hundreds of dogs and cats in our care.
Commitment: 1 week minimum
Cost: Soi Dog does not charge any money to volunteer. Local hotels and guesthouses range from around US$15 to US$25 per night. Much lower monthly rates are available. A meal in a local Thai restaurant costs around US$3. Soi Dog will provide transportation every day if you stay in Nai Yang or Mai Khao.
Asia Centre Foundation
Asia Centre Foundation (ACF) is a registered Christian, charitable NGO, focused on providing disadvantaged and at-risk Thai and Burmese children with education, sport, life skill and health care opportunities and support.
Volunteer Work: ACF is looking for volunteers to teach English, dance, drama, art, computer or sports activities. Volunteers may also be placed at the ACF head office to use their skills and experience to benefit the management, marketing and general requirements of ACF.
Commitment: 3 months minimum
Cost: There is no cost to participate but volunteers must cover their own living expenses. ACF does provide a standard Thai lunch for volunteers.
Our Volunteer and Charity Work Picks From Around Thailand
The Koh Tao Animal Clinic
The Koh Tao Animal Clinic is a not-for-profit veterinary clinic run by the Noistar Thai Animal Rescue Foundation, a UK registered charity and a member of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). The clinic’s mission is to improve the general welfare of all animals on the island, whether stray or owned.
Location: Koh Tao, Suratthani
Volunteer Work: Volunteer duties include: looking after post operative animals; generally caring for sick animals; bringing dogs and cats to the clinic that need medical assistance; assisting the vet on their rounds; general administration; helping to keep records of medical attention given generally promoting the work of the clinic on the island
Cost: There is no cost to participate but volunteers must cover their own living expenses.
Thai Animal Sanctuary
Thai Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that strives to reduce the population of unwanted dogs with spay/neuter programs, and cares for sick animals
Location: Sangklaburi, Thailand
Volunteer Work: There is plenty to do at the sanctuary: walking dogs, grooming, medicating, assisting with treatment of animals, assisting during spay/neuter projects, cleaning, DIY jobs, bamboo building, fundraising, raising awareness, teaching on the education programme, helping with accounts, updating the website, volunteer recruitment, asking for donations, starting campaigns, applying for grants and increasing adoption rates. You do not need any qualifications to work with us, but we ask that you are motivated, use your initiative and be flexible, no two days at the sanctuary are the same. We are always in need of people with veterinary skills, whether this is for something specific like a spay/neuter project or for the day to day animal treatments. We often need information translating from English into Thai and Burmese. If you are fluent in either of these languages, we would love to hear from you.
Commitment: 1 week minimum
Cost: There is no cost to participate but volunteers must cover their own living expenses. Free meals (lunch and dinner) are available to volunteers while working at the sanctuary.
Thai Society for the Conservation of Wild Animals
Thai Society for the Conservation of Wild Animals (TSCWA) is a non-governmental organization that preserves and protects natural habitats in Thailand and the wildlife therein
Location: Chanthaburi & Mae Hong Son
Volunteer Work: The TSCWA welcomes volunteers but asks that their work or chosen areas of study and experience further our aims. Important to our projects are people with a teaching background, zoologists and field biologists.
Commitment: 3 months preferred
Cost: The TSCWA supplies pleasant western-style living facilities and local transport as well as the equipment needed to undertake the various activities. There are no fees or charges applied to volunteers.
New Land Project
New Land Project is a reforestation project located in a peaceful forest setting. We aim to live as sustainably as possible, growing our own food, living in simple bamboo huts and doing without electricity and modern conveniences. This is a great new project to learn about farming and Perm culture and if you have more experience to bring new ideas and help us develop the project further.
Location: Pai, MaeHongson, Thailand
Volunteer Work: We accept volunteers for a minimum of 1 week who work on a wide range of projects related to sustainable living and reforestation
Commitment: 1 week minimum
Cost: 200 Thai Baht per night for the first week and 150 baht per night for the remainder of the first month, no cost after one month. This includes accommodation and vegetarian food.
Lemongrass English Teaching, Thailand
Lemongrass is a not for profit organization that specializes in placing volunteers on English teaching projects to both children and adults in one of the poorest regions of Thailand
Location: Surin (450kms NE of Bangkok)
Volunteer Work: Lemon Grass Volunteering is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to come to Thailand and teach English. No experience is necessary, just the determination to have fun and make a real difference to young people’s lives.
Commitment: 1 or 2 weeks minimum (dependent on project)
Cost: £619 for 4 weeks which includes accommodation. £90 each additional week thereafter
The New Heaven Reef Conservation Program
The New Heaven Reef Conservation Program (NHRCP) was founded at our dive school in 2007 to teach divers about coral reef ecology, research, and restoration. We believe that the people most closely connected to the reef should be the ones that care for it, and so are trying to get more and more divers involved in marine education and conservation. The program is designed to give participants a hands-on approach to learning about the coral reef environment and a wide range of research and restoration techniques used by professionals around the world.
Location: Koh Tao, Thailand
Volunteer Work: Training and experience helping with local coral reef management through on land and SCUBA diving activities, including reef surveys, artificial reef construction and maintenance, coral nursery maintenance, giant clam nurseries, sea turtle head-starting, coral predator removals, mooring line installations, underwater clean-ups, and much more.
Commitment: Anywhere from a 1 day introduction to a 3 month internship
Cost: Participants pay for diving, training, and material costs. Participants also cover their own accommodation, travel, and food. Benefits include training in many types of coral reef research, protection, and restoration methods, multiple eco-diving certifications, and career training/work experience. We also have a special program for university students and students conducting Master’s Degree or PhD thesis projects.
Big Blue Conservation
Big Blue Conservation is dedicated to protecting the astonishing abundance of life on Koh Tao’s reefs, as well as contributing to global research studying the impact of climate change on this beautiful environment. Through numerous projects and initiatives, we work closely with the local community to sustain our local economy and protect our island from the impact of tourism. By choosing Big Blue Conservation, you contribute to our ecological mission whilst enjoying the best diving on the island.
Location: Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand
Volunteer Work: Our expedition starts with an afternoon of buoyancy training to enhance your diving skills in preparation for the BSAC Marine Conservation specialty. You don’t need to have a background in biology as this course will give you all the skills and confidence that you need when undertaking the survey dives and working on our coral nursery after wards. This includes various short lectures on four topics (Ocean Environment, Coral Biology, State of our reefs, Coral Conservation), followed by a 4 SCUBA practical sessions. After a day off you will then complete your Deep and Nitrox diver certification and continue working on various reef restoration and rehabilitation techniques. Upon completion of the BSAC specialty, you will begin to partake in survey dives, which involve collecting data on the current status of the reefs and assessing our reef communities. These data contribute to global marine biological research databases used to protect our oceans. During week four, you have the opportunity to complete a project of your choice with the support of our training staff – whether it is organizing a fundraiser, an educational video, or simply a poster. This is your chance to show off your talents and apply them to marine conservation! Be the change you want to see.
Commitment: 4 weeks minimum
Cost: 28,500 Thai Baht (includes accommodation, dives and equipment rental). Includes 20% off food and drink in the resort restaurant and bar and 15% off in the dive shop.
Headrock Dogs evolved from Hua Hin Dog Rescue Centre which was formed in 2001. Our sites in Hua Hin and Pranburi have closed and we are now based in Bang Saphan 190 kilometres south of these Thai towns. Much of our work is carried out outside of our small centre, in temple grounds and on the streets. We help by neutering the dogs, vaccinating, treating skin disorders and getting dogs that need it, medical or surgical help, and of course feeding them.
Location: Bang Saphan
Volunteer Work: We are always grateful for dog loving volunteers who are willing to give up their time, especially those who are travelling around Asia. If you would like to come and volunteer with us we will help you organize your trip. We have contacts with local guest houses, we can arrange transportation to the area, advise you on flights, supply information about all these things when your here as well as where to eat and where’s good for trips, etc.
Commitment: 1 week minimum
Cost: There is no cost to participate but volunteers must cover their own living expenses.
PhaNgan Animal Care for Strays
PhaNgan Animal Care for Strays is primarily a nursing clinic, providing nursing care for the island’s stray, temple and unwanted animals. We have a dedicated neutering and vaccination programme, aided by volunteer vets, which has made an enormous difference to population control on the island, as well as the health of the individual animals. Until the founding of PAC in September 2001, there was no veterinary care or advice on the island, no vaccination, and no population control measures except for yearly poisoning by dart or bait. Baiting usually targets the well-fed animals as they can keep the weaker strays away, resulting in a great many yearly tragedies with pets. Our mission is to create a healthy, non-breeding stray animal population but we need the help of volunteers.
Location: Koh Phangan
Volunteer Work: Volunteers will be asked to assist with clinic duties including; treatment of the animals (training will be provided), catching dogs and cats, feeding, cleaning out kennels, laundry, bathing, dog walking and anything else that the clinic needs to stay functioning on a day to day basis.
Commitment: Volunteer vets can come for any amount of time and will be helping mainly with our sterilization program. We ask for fully competent surgeons as you will be most likely the only vet at PACS, therefore 2-3 years surgical experience is a must. Veterinary nurses are asked to dedicate a minimum of 1 month of their time. All non-medical volunteers will be asked to commit to a minimum of 3 months (for training) and work 4 days per week.
Cost: Accommodation will be provided on a first come, first serve basis for a cost of just 2500 Thai Baht per month. For veterinary nurses who work full time (5 days per week) this is offered for free. If the accommodation is full, or you wish to live offsite, PACS can recommend some places to stay to suit all budgets. Volunteers are responsible for covering their living expenses, however, drinking water, rice, tea and coffee are provided for all volunteers whilst working. The centre’s motorbikes can be used for all PACS work but volunteers will need to hire their own bike out of work hours.
Volunteer Teacher Thailand
Volunteer Teacher Thailand came out of the magnificent work of the Tsunami Volunteer Centre. The TVC went out into the communities and asked the people what they wanted most and English teachers for their schools were a high priority. Our volunteers go into schools and provide English teaching at no cost to the schools or the children. We follow the Thai Government curriculum so the teaching is relevant to the children’s education. To meet the curriculum we have a developing library of 200 lessons ready to go. A Lesson Plan explains how to use the pack which contains laminated pictures, flashcards with Velcro boards to provide flexible and stimulating teaching materials.
Location: Khao Lak, southern Thailand
Volunteer Work: You will teach in Government schools around Khao Lak for four days each week, with half a day for preparation. You will go into each class knowing you have the materials and confident that you will deliver a meaningful and relevant lesson.
Commitment: 2 weeks minimum
Cost: A one off registration fee no matter how long you volunteer for: 4,000 Thai Baht. Transport is provided every day to the schools. Volunteers choose their own accommodation from the many guesthouses in the village, and pay their own expenses such as food and board. We can advise on accommodation and airport transfer.
Phana Monkey Project
Phana Monkey Project promotes the welfare of wild Long-Tailed Macaques in Phana, a village in Amnat Charoen province, northeast Thailand.
Location: Amphur Phana, Amnat Charoen Province; 66 kms from Ubon Ratchathani
Volunteer Work: The Phana Monkey Project aims to assist in maintaining the health and well-being of the Long-tailed macaques. Volunteers will be required to help us feed and water the monkeys as well as maintaining the cleanliness of the forest by removing litter and food debris. We also encourage and facilitate research. Volunteers can assist with data collection on behalf of the project and also to assist qualified researchers. At present we are collecting data on the food provided for the monkeys by visitors and the way monkeys react to the provisioning. Identifying and tracking individual monkeys is also one of our current concerns. No particular qualifications are needed for the collection of this data other than patience, good observational skills and the ability to record data accurately. You will be required to spend several hours at a time in the forest, so an ability to withstand heat and lack of comfort is a prerequisite. Volunteers who are able and willing to do some teaching in local primary schools and / or the secondary school will be particularly welcome. Qualifications or previous teaching experience together with enthusiasm, patience, and an outgoing personality are required. A willingness to work with / befriend local people is essential. You must also understand that Phana is a small, somewhat remote village / town and you are likely to be with only a few other volunteers.
Commitment: For the forest work, 1 month minimum is required. But for teaching, 2-3 months is necessary for this to be a worthwhile experience for students and volunteers alike.
Cost: Accommodation will be provided in the Don Chao Poo Research Centre or nearby home stays at a cost of 5,200 Thai Baht per month. Volunteers can find cheap and delicious food at small restaurants and food stalls in the village.
Lanta Animal Welfare
Lanta Animal Welfare (LAW) is a non-profit organization, based on the island of Koh Lanta in the southwest of Thailand. LAW’s objective is to relieve the suffering of the island’s dogs and cats, primarily by reducing the population through sterilization. It also provides medical care and vaccinations. To date, LAW has sterilized and vaccinated over 9,000 animals.
Location: Koh Lanta
Volunteer Work: LAW is always in need of general volunteers and vet volunteers. General volunteer duties include cleaning dog kennels and cat cages, feeding and watering the animals, washing towels and linen, grooming the animals, spending time with the cats, walking the dogs, greeting and registering pet owners who bring their animals for treatment as well as providing visiting tourists and dog walkers with a tour of our centre. Volunteer vet duties will include spaying and neutering animals on a daily basis, as well as examining pets brought in by their owners and administering medical treatment as needed, as well as being on call out of hours. Occasionally, vets will be out roaming the island catching strays as well. In this case, experience in darting dogs is extremely valuable.
Commitment: 1 month minimum
Cost: LAW provides free on-site accommodation to all long term volunteers (minimum stay one month) on a first come, first served basis, but food is at their own expense. The placement fee is 10,000 Thai Baht. Of this, 5,000 Thai Baht is refunded at the end of the placement (conditions apply). Should there be no free accommodation at the time a volunteer wishes to come, or should they wish to opt for their own accommodation, LAW can make recommendations of other places to stay.
Care for Dogs Foundation
Care for Dogs Foundation is a non profit foundation dedicated to improving the lives of the abandoned, abused and injured dogs living on and off the streets in Chiang Mai. Adoptions, sterilizations, emergency and long-term medical care and education are all supplied by our dedicated team of volunteers and staff.
Location: Chiang Mai
Volunteer Work: We are looking for volunteers from all walks of life to help us with the many tasks that help improve the dogs’ lives. Working with street and temple dogs is a very rewarding experience, even if you sometimes might come in touch with sad situations.
Commitment: 4 days minimum. Prior to starting we request all new volunteers to attend an orientation. These are held at 10am each Wednesday. Registration via email at firstname.lastname@example.org is necessary.
Cost: There is no cost to participate but volunteers must cover their own living expenses.
Mangrove Action Project
Mangrove Action Project partners with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources
Volunteer Work: Our office in Thailand has greatly benefited from the assistance of volunteers since 2007. Typical activities include research, editing, fundraising, grant writing, campaigning, coordinating, and some field work. A background in conservation or natural resource management is important. Our office can only accommodate one volunteer at a time.
Commitment: 3 months preferred
Cost: There is no cost to participate but volunteers must cover their own living expenses which are approximately US$300 per month
NAUCRATES is an NGO organization based in Italy that operates in southern Thailand, focusing on wildlife conservation (endangered species like sea turtles), mangrove restoration, natural resources management and community development
Location: Phra Thong Island
Volunteer Work: We need project assistants for the Naucratis sea turtle conservation project for one of two periods every year (November to February or February to April). The specific tasks and responsibilities of project assistants include: helping the field leader coordinate volunteers, project activities and free time activities; conducting field research, especially beach monitoring and behavioral observation; data collection, entry and revision on a daily basis under the field leader’s supervision; training volunteers on project activities; organizing awareness activities and lessons for local people and for volunteers. Candidates should have experience in turtle conservation projects or other fieldwork, possess a BSc in Biology or a related field, or be a student in a related field (i.e. biology, ecology, social sciences, environmental education, etc), be a responsible and mature person in good physical condition.
Commitment: 9-12 weeks
Cost: Accommodation and food is provided within the Lions Village at the Naucratis field station. Assistants cover their own travel expenses to and from the Island (including international travel), their own visa expenses and travel insurance.
Filmmakers Without Borders
Filmmakers Without Borders (FWB) is a non profit arts organization that sends filmmakers and art educators overseas to teach film making, media literacy, and technology to underserved students in Chang Mai, Thailand. Think of it as PeaceCorps for filmmakers.
Location: Chang Mai, Thailand
Volunteer Work: FWB is currently recruiting qualified filmmakers and educators to teach film making & media literacy to underserved youth. Applicants should have experience working with youth, teaching/mentoring, and be experienced in film/media arts. Participants work directly in overseas classrooms and teach local students how to make short films and other multimedia projects.
Commitment: 1 Year
Cost: All of FWB’s programs are 100% fully funded. FWB covers the cost of housing, international travel, food, equipment, and evacuation insurance for 1 full year.
Castaway Resort is a busy designer beach resort on a small popular island in Thailand.
Location: Koh Lipe, Southern Thailand
Volunteer Work: We offer management internships (reception/assistant manager) on a yearly basis. We accept applications between June and August each year for the following season that begins in October through to May the following year
Commitment: 6-12 months
Cost: Interns receive a starting Base salary of 10,000-20,000 Thai Baht per month, a share of the performance based management bonus (November-April), free shared accommodation, 2 meals a day, scuba diving qualification (at cost), and discounted transportation to and from the mainland. Please email us your CV, picture, current location and covering letter. Please note we don’t answer all applications or any questions unless shortlisted.
Comment from PHD: We are only adding this one due to I believe in hospitality training for locals and internships for tourism students. This is basically a job and not a charity in my view but I will leave this up to you.
Kids Home Foundation
Kids Home Foundation is a non-profit, non-political and non-religious, organization that supports about 700 children in need and their families in the slums of Chiang Mai Province (Northern Thailand). Through specifically tailored educational programs and flexible individual support, Kids Home protects endangered children, allows families to becoming self-sustainable and gives opportunities for a better future.
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Volunteer Work: Kids Home Foundation seeks volunteers for various positions that emerge throughout the year such as assisting us with media and educational work. Do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested.
Commitment: 6 months minimum
Cost: There is no cost to participate but volunteers must cover their own living expenses. Accommodation and free lunch on weekdays.
Phuket Volunteer And Charity Work Permit VISA Notice
Please read carefully the following information:
Volunteer and charity work in Thailand is subject to the local Thai immigration and employment rules, and sad to say a work permit is officially required to do ANY volunteer or Charity work on Phuket or Thailand. Unfortunately people who wanted to help, including me, had the same issue when the Tsunami hit in 2004. Sad uh! Hopefully hearts and minds will change?
Saying this the fact that volunteer work does not involve any salary, financial compensation or retribution of any kind other than the smile this does not change the law. Therefore application for volunteer and charity work on Phuket and all of Thailand from non-Thai citizens MUST obtain a work permit before they arrive or once they are here on Phuket or Thailand by travelling overland or by air to a Thai Embassy out-side of Thailand to get a work permit.
In general you will need to hold a valid NON-B or NON-O visa. The work permit has to be paid by yourself as well as all other costs you have to live here!
Some charities may supply accommodation or food etc but before you dream of helping others here in Thailand for free please 1st contact the mentioned charities directly to ask about the visa by going to their website.
Final note: We wrote this information many years ago so some of the mentioned companies or information may or may not still be valid. If your company is mentioned here, and the company is no longer working or the information has changed, or you have a new charity based company that would like to add your details, please contact us here and let us know. Thank you.