We are SO excited about the prospect of sending our much needed volunteers to this Christian NGO, which has been in operation for 10 years, working with the children of Phuket in Thailand!
When you visit Phuket as a tourist, what you notice are the fabulous beaches, upmarket hotels, sunshine, beautiful islands only a boat trip away and smiling faces of the local Thais who are only too pleased to serve you. You can eat like a king for very little money and this is why Thailand is a favourite with backpackers – good value for money.
However, if you go there as a volunteer, you will see a very different side to Phuket. Many Thais (and Burmese) have flocked to the peninsula and many live in inadequate housing, with not enough food and so busy working that their children are often left alone vulnerable and hungry. Coupled with that, poor parental skills and cultural norms all contribute to children not getting as good a start as they deserve. And then of course there is the Thai sex industry…
This wonderful organisation operates on many levels and here is how you can help. They need the volunteers:
1. Driver The driver needs to have an clean international driving licence. He or she will drive the 15-seater minibus, accompanied by another volunteer or a local Thai, and one of the tasks will be to collect some of the children from the towns and deliver them to the child care centre. They will also need to be taken home.
At the child care centres, a nutritious lunch is provided and another of the tasks for the driver is to buy daily all the ingredients for the lunch, looking for good value for money and deliver them to the two centres.
Occasionally, the children will go out on day trips and the driver will need to help with this. The children are also taken to the dentist and doctor – another job and other volunteers will accompany the children on these trips. This special person need to be flexible and cheery.
2. D.I.Y. person – It is amazing how those little jobs that need doing mount up and when you are busy, getting time to do them is always difficult. So, if you have any D.I.Y. skills, and would like to lend a hand, you would be much appreciated. Flexibility is always important and, again, a cheery and willing disposition.
3. Volunteers for the two child care centres and Safe House – The two child care centres take pre-school children and split them into manageable age-related groups. The children have a stimulating environment and their Thai teachers keep them busy with all the usual pre-school activities. The volunteers can help by assisting the teachers, teaching the children basic English and counting, helping supervise their meals, their nap times, teaching the children how to clean their teeth after every meal, how to wash, help paint murals at the centres, teach them computing skills…. The list is endless. Sometimes you will need to help with the less glamorous aspects but you will be making a big difference in the lives of these children, helping them lay down foundation skills for life. Some of the current volunteers are university students and are volunteering as part of their degrees.
This Foundation is keen to know what are YOUR skills and then see how they can incorporate them into their own programmes. The following skills would all be very much appreciated:
-Art, dance, drama, music, sports coaching, general ball skills activities and games, swimming.
4. Swimming If you could help teach the children swimming then this would mean that they could teach more children, all the year round.
5. Rugby Coaching – Whilst they do not have their own field, this takes place on a cricket pitch with lights. Occasionally there are tournaments and they have regular visits from coach Bob Dwyer.
6. Scholorship programme – If you can’t find the time to volunteer, but would like to sponsor a child – the cost is 10,000 Thai baht per year (about £200). This money will pay any school costs, uniform, dentist, doctors, give them some birthday money and a Christmas party and Christmas present.
We are putting the package together at the moment but please send us an email if you would like to register your interest. The great thing about the location, is you can combine it with general travel around the Far East and take a few weeks out to do something really meaningful and leave your footprint in this lovely part of the world.
http://www.volunteervacations.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 0044 7833 208 158