Volunteer at Journey to Freedom

1 Ratmakka Road Phrasing, Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Volunteering at Journey to Freedom

Our premier volunteering experience!

Nearest Airport: - Chiang Mai (CNX)

Duration: One full week only. (Operates : All Year Round)

Please see the Availability Calendar Tab - Select your preferred date to Book Now!

Volunteer at Journey To Freedom;

  • Daily elephant interaction
  • Jungle surroundings
  • Small Group size
  • Unique Tribal cultural insights
  • Volunteer program starts every Monday - from our Chiang Mai city office
  • Saturday night at Elephant Nature Park and final party with park volunteers
  • Finishes each Sunday at Elephant Nature Park - back to Chiang Mai city by 5:30pm
  • Cost 15,000 Baht per week (Full week only available - no early returns possible)

Volunteer at Journey to Freedom - care for elephants and embed yourself in local tribal village culture.

Volunteering at Journey to Freedom Volunteer is a unique project which features daily elephant interactions, learning about agriculture and community, developing local school children learning experiences and living in a cultural exchange at a tribal village in the mountains of Chiang Mai.

Journey to Freedom Volunteers also spend the final night at Elephant Nature Park where you can swap stories of your experiences with park volunteers.

For centuries the Karen tribe has cared for elephants in the jungles of South East Asia. Through unemployment, they were forced to lease their elephants to trekking camps and elephant tourist shows. Now the time has come for the elephants to return to the village and their natural habitat. Volunteer at Journey to Freedom is a project that embeds volunteers into the culture of one of Thailand’s oldest hill tribes while gaining a fascinating insight to the life of forest elephants. Witness the daily life of the Karen people, become involved in the community and experiencing intimate encounters with the worlds largest land mammal.

Be part of a conservation team that brings joy to the lives of this community and assists in the daily care of elephants.

Highlights

  • Daily time with elephants; feed and walk alongside these gentle giants through the jungle.
  • Gain a fascinating insight to the life of elephants in their natural habitat and observe the way they behave when surrounded by the jungle.
  • Delicious Thai food, freshly cooked each day for you to enjoy.
  • Meet people from all walks of life with similar interests and make life long friends.
  • Make a difference in a community while learning about their traditional way of life
  • Be apart of a blessing ceremony which thanks you for your contribution to the community

This volunteer project supports

  • Elephants living free in their home lands
  • Education of Karen and local community to treasure and value their environment
  • Improve local community living standards; build clean village toilets, water tanks, running water pipe systems, bridges for school children, temple and nursery school construction etc.
  • Increase the Karen woman´s income. For centuries their jobs were as a mother and taking care of plantation farms. Their income depended on their husband. Our project trains them to improve their weaving quality and to increase their knowledge of natural dyeing. Elephant Nature Park buys their products to sell for them.
  • Develop and improve animals welfare in the village; help them to improve hygiene and care for domestic animals such as pigs, buffalos, and cows.
  • Provide animal vaccinations and medical care through our vet and volunteers who help treat and care for the domestic animals.
  • Work together with the local community; volunteers help to work at the rice fields, temples and schools to improve develop and pass on skills.
  • Save the forest and wild animals around the area. In the areas we visit there are many wild gibbons benefiting from forest replanting and setting up fire breaks.

Getting there

You fly, bus or train into Chiang Mai city the day before (normally Sunday) before you start your position. The project location is in a remote area and you can only start on Monday mornings.

Starting From: 8:00am - 8:30am. Pick up from your Chiang Mai city hotel, or you must be at our office at 7:40am. - (Please check map)

If you are staying out of town (outside Middle ring-road)  additional charges apply. Please advise on your reservation form.

What will I be doing?

Breakfast is at 7:00am and dinner is at 6:00pm.

* This is an outline of our usual activities and may change without notice. Please be prepared for traveling on rough roads to and from the project.

Accommodation

Volunteers will stay in a shared Karen style house. There are no beds, but a comfortable mattress under the security of a mosquito net is provided along with bedding.  A cold shower and toilet are located right next to the house. Vegetarian Thai and regional food, tea and coffee are available. All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks) are included during the weeks work at the village or park starting from lunch on starting Monday to lunch on finishing Sunday. There are electrical sockets available. The accommodation will allow you to be at one with nature.

What do I need?

  • A full passport valid for the duration of your stay.
  • Insurance (covering your placement time and any planned independent travel).
  • Transport to Chiang Mai city.
  • Independent travel costs and return to the airport.
  • Any additional costs such as trips, snacks, entertainment (allow a few hundred Baht per day depending on lifestyle).
  • A visa is normally not necessary for under 30 days from most western European countries.
  • No compulsory inoculations are necessary although do check with your doctor to make sure polio, typhoid and Hepatitis A&B jabs are up to date

What else you need to know?

This is a tribal area and the villagers have a very strict moral code

  • In the village all forms of alcohol and stimulants are strictly forbidden.
  • No Sleeveless tops or short pants may be worn during stay at the village because the volunteer must  respect to the hill tribe community.
  • Itinerary subject may change without notice.
  • No telephone or internet coverage in this area.
  • Changes to dates and refunds are not permitted.
  • We reserve the right to terminate an unsuitable volunteers position at any time without refund.
  • This is in a remote location and you may not leave early.
  • In the event of weather or other conditions preventing access to this area we may change the volunteering position to our Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park instead.


Extensions and Volunteer Position duration

This is for one week only. You can only start on a Monday and no extensions of stay are permitted. You may leave on Saturday if you need to catch travel connection.

Leaving the Park

When it comes time to leave us (many people want to stay forever) on Sunday the transport departs the park around 2:00pm and you will be in the city by 3:30 pm . If you have to leave earlier please contact our volunteer coordinators to arrange this.

All About Your Volunteering Position:

Starting From: 8:00am - 8:30am. Pick up from your Chiang Mai city hotel, or you must be at our office at 7:40am. - (Please check map)

If you are staying out of town (outside Middle ring-road)  additional charges apply. Please advise on your reservation form.

Returning: around 15:30 (3:30pm) to Chiang Mai city on Sunday.

Baggage / Luggage allowance: One Standard Check-in Sized Rucksack/Suit Case/Bag AND one small day pack per person.

What to Bring: Overnight bag with change of clothes for 7 days, Hat, Sunscreen, Sandals/Flip Flops, Shoes for walking (you may be required to trek up quite steep hills), Towel, Camera, Bug Repellant, Flashlight, gardening gloves, long trousers and long sleeved shirts for cutting grass and elephant food.

(Optional: Materials for the school students – games, colouring pens/pencils, paper, toys etc)

Seasonal: rain gear - October, warm clothes - November - February

Volunteer Operational Months: All Year Round

Age Suitability: Adult and over 15 year olds with good fitness standard

What is Included:

  • Transport from Chiang Mai to project and  Elephant Nature Park to city.
  • A practical education on the challenges facing elephant conservation.
  • Simple tribal hut accommodation.
  • Bedding for accommodation.
  • Meals, breakfast lunch and dinner and snacks and water on days on site.

Bookings close: Two Days before you are due to visit. A deposit is required to secure your place(s).

Volunteer Contribution: 15,000 Baht per week (full week only available) per adult or children over 15 years old accompanied by legal guardian.

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