To travel to Asia is to discover a whole new world. If you are coming from the West, this experience will be no less than an explosion of color, life, and sounds for you. Whatever corner you visit, there is no shortage of pleasant surprises and discoveries.
However, if you want to elevate the adventure further, consider volunteering your time and skills in the many organizations that need it most. The following are a few suggestions where you can take on various volunteering jobs in Asia and make a difference while seeing the beauty this part of the world presents.
1. Live the Farm Life at Walden Farm in Sichuan, China
Do you spend a lot of time playing the many farming apps on your smartphone? Here is your chance to live it for real. Located in the town of Jiuling, one hour drive from Mianyang City, you will find Walden Farm. It is a 300-hectare land where grapes and other vegetables are grown and where pigs and fishes are raised. Obviously, there is a lot of work to do!
Volunteers help with various tasks that keep the farm running. The average workday takes four hours, and you can choose any day off. The minimum stay at the farm is at least three weeks.
The feel is incredibly organic, very close to nature. Accommodation is provided in the form of a straw house with a big pond at the back, fantastic for swimming, especially in the summer. There are free meals, cooking and Chinese classes, Wi-Fi access, printing services, and small trips, too. What more can you ask for?
2. Join The Cambodian Children’s House of Peace
Locally known as Santepheap, which translates to peace in local Khmer, The Cambodian Children’s House of Peace is a residential home for children ages 7 to 18. Work with the staff and volunteer a day or more after indulging in the exotic charms of Siem Reap.
Teach English, do IT work, help in administrative tasks, complete maintenance, and building chores, or simply play sports with the children. There is a place for your skills in this place.
Apart from actual volunteer work, you can provide support by donating school and art supplies and sports equipment, or by becoming a donor and supporting the costs of running the house, feeding, clothing, and educate the children for $1 a day or $30 a month.
3. Help at Deshnoke Camel Safari in Rajasthan, India
A homestay has unique advantages. It places you at the heart of a new culture. You are surrounded by a local family, so there is no missing life in your new destination. Language classes are assured, and the food is guaranteed to please.
Such is the experience when you volunteer at Deshnoke Camel Safari Day Tours in Rajasthan, India. A private room is offered to you by the owner, along with three organic meals a day. There are Wi-Fi access and laundry facilities. Expect plenty of cultural immersion, too. You can learn Indian cooking, Henna, classical dance, and Hindi.
In exchange, you are expected to assist in the safari business, plus lend a hand in family chores and organic farming. A contribution of €5 per day for the homestay is requested to cover costs of living including tours and local transportation.
4. Teach English at The Sae Lao Project in Vang Vieng, Laos
Beautiful and mysterious, Laos attracts a throng of travelers annually. If you plan on staying for at least two weeks, why not do some volunteer work on the side?
The Sae Lao Project could certainly use your skills, particularly in teaching English. Volunteers can be native English speakers or those who speak it as a second language. English classes are taught five nights per week, along with a less formal adult conversational English classes.
Most of your time is spent planning lessons and teaching English to children, but other tasks that may require your assistance include gardening, rice farming, traditional and sustainable building, helping in the restaurant, marketing, and administration work, and morning chores. Long-term volunteers are more than welcome.
If you’re new to TEFL, then also check out our introduction to teaching English article abroad with TEFL!
More TEFL country guides coming soon!
5. Support Project Pearls in Manila, Philippines
Feeding programs reside in the heart of Project Pearls. They have a daily soup kitchen, all weekdays and on Saturdays, plus they also hold various after-school programs for children.
Their chosen community is located in the slums of Tondo, Manila. It is far from a glamorous place, but it is where volunteer work is needed the most. The people here, particularly the children, suffer from extreme poverty.
Recently, the group built a health center that aims to look after the medical and dental needs of the locals. Volunteering in their many outreach programs sure make a difference, but if you are a doctor, nurse, dentist, or any healthcare practitioner, volunteering a few hours of your day is an enormous help.
6. Volunteer for the Tea Leaf Trust in Maskeliya, Sri Lanka
When you think of a lovely cup of tea, your mind might instinctively wander off to England or Turkey. But did you know a lot of the tea leaves on your favorite drink comes from Sri Lanka?
The tea estates and plantations here are massive, beautiful, and truly captivating. Sadly, the fate of the tea pluckers and their families is not as dreamlike. Poverty, self-harm, and lack of equality prove rampant. In this place, the volunteer work that you do not only has the impact, it also saves lives.
Share your skills and bring more light into this corner of the world. In the center where the Tea Leaf Trust operates, you can help in many tasks including assisting the staff or teachers, providing conversational English opportunities, mentoring in talent shows, organizing team building activities, or doing administrative work. You are sure to have an enjoyable time, not to mention terrific cups of tea!
7. Show Love for the Thai Animal Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
While you are on the road, you may have left a wonderful pet behind. Channel your love for your animal and help others in this sanctuary located in Kanchanaburi. Hours are from 8 AM to 5 PM with a weekly rotating roster.
There are many ways for you to help. If you are a vet or a vet nurse, plenty of animals need treatment here, from the serious cases to basic sterilization procedures. Sanctuary volunteers are much welcome, too.
Spend your time walking the dogs, grooming, and cleaning, as well as participating in fundraising and education programs, volunteer recruitment, or helping with accounts. Language translators and flight volunteers are needed, too. Do not delay! The animals need you!
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