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Based in a rural region outside Chiang Mai, this project works with three elements of the local community to build this fascinating project. The elephant camp is an ecotourism project supporting sick and old elephants who are not able to work as well as unemployed Mahouts(elephant trainers) to provide both with better opportunities, homes and food. A reforestation project works to restore and maintain the local jungle damaged by local practices, and work with the community to change their behaviour to make better use of their resources. And work in the local schools provide this rural community an opportunity to develop English, environmental and leadership skills to build a future works with local children - training them how to work as environmental guides and educate them for a future in eco-tourism. This is a poor region which through the support of a very dynamic local governor has identified a niche in which their community can build a future. The involvement of volunteers allows them to build an understanding of what appeals to the tourists, as well as improving their language and communications skills. Manpower is needed for the labour-intensive jobs of reforestation, camp maintenance and improving the school facilities.
Volunteers bring an international perspective to the work of conservation and ecotourism, passing along their knowledge and enthusiasm to local residents who will benefit the most from this work. Within the elephant camp help is needed with marketing, developing materials and English learning. In the community jungle, tree planting and building water system for the replanting of trees and firebreaks is important and within the schools there is both the need for people to help with building and water sanitation labouring work as well as the schools education program - teaching English, environmental and leadership skills.
What is included:
What is not included:
No specific skills are required for this project, but any background or training in forestry, environmental sciences, tourism or similar fields is a bonus. Experience in teaching can be an advantage and any experience in marketing would also help.
In most cases volunteers are placed in local home-stays where they either have their own room or share with another volunteer. Usually two meals a day are provided by the home-stay family, all included in the placement fees. This way a portion of your volunteer fee goes back into the local economy, and you gain first-hand experience of true local family life.
Since you are about to volunteer in another country, we ask you to make the necessary preparations before departing. We prefer volunteers to take some small gifts to the local people. Some communities might have a high prevalence of viral diseases like malaria or yellow fever, so volunteers need to get vaccinated accordingly. Each member of Kaya staff have worked, travelled, studied or volunteered abroad, and many staff have visited and volunteered in our projects knowing firsthand the country and nature of the programme placements. Their knowledge of international travel and volunteering is invaluable, and they can give you good advice and tips to make the most of your international placement. For detailed information on this program contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org