The Peoples of the World Foundation

Education for and about Indigenous Peoples
Volunteer Travel Opportunities in Southeast Asia

These organizations and their programs allow travelers to volunteer when traveling in Southeast Asia. All programs involve working in some capacity with, and/or for the benefit of, indigenous people. Some organizations are run by indigenous people. Please contact us if you know of a non-political, secular organization that should be added to this list.

Please note that this is only a listing. We are not a volunteer placement agency. We make no representation about the experience you may have if you decide to volunteer for any of the organizations listed. We are not affiliated with any of these organizations and we do not represent them.

We recommend that you research the current situation in any country/area before traveling there and check for any visa requirements as well as travel advisories issued by your government. Please do not contact any organizations listed on this page stating that The Peoples of the World Foundation placed you or recommended you as you will be misrepresenting us as well as yourself.

Cambodia

Volunteer Cambodia Indigenous People (Report broken link) "The project focuses on supporting the Bunong people by assisting local staff to study, and to record and document traditional lifestyle. Whilst the majority of the population in Mondulkiri is Bunong, the culture is facing multiple threats from modernisation. Local people feel that it is essential to document this unique lifestyle before it changes for good."

Cambodia Community-Based Ecotourism Network (Report broken link) "Dei Ey is an ethnic Phnong community living in the middle of the Mondulkiri Protected Forest. The community has a long history of living in this forest having left only during the Khmer Rouge period."

Elephant Valley Project (Report broken link) "The Elephant Valley Project while young is a place where mahouts can go to work, earn [an] income and look after their elephants correctly and all in a place that is dedicated for them."

Pnong Village School Project (Report broken link) "Chong Rang village lies 30km from Sen Monorom and is home to 20 hill tribe families. There is no health centre, no well and no primary school. Mr Yin Sokunthea wants to provide basic reading and writing skills to seven children. Parents support his work by providing a house for him to use as a school, but the children have no books, pens or any other learning materials. Once there, you will be invited to join an activity with the children — maybe a sport or traditional dance — or, if you have teaching skills, you could help to run the lesson. Cost is US $40 per person and includes motorbike taxi, helmet, food and water."

Conversations With Foreigners (Report broken link) "Our students come from all walks of life. We have high school students, university students, police officers, doctors, tuk tuk drivers, government employees, stay at home mums. All students have at least a basic understanding of English, but all lack practice in speaking and listening with foreigners. Students who study at our school are aware that they are directly funding development projects in rural areas and volunteers contribute indirectly to the long-term sustainability of The Cambodian Rural Development Team."

Thailand

Akha International Workcamp (Report broken link) "In order to help preserve the culture of the Akha people Mr Tho has started a program of works to try [to] introduce volunteers and the young generation to old traditions, in teaching them practical (hill tribe) skills and in giving them the opportunity to give something back to the Akha community."

Volunteers for Ecological & Humanitarian Projects, Akha Hilltribe Aid and Experience (Report broken link) "This project provides the opportunity to volunteer with the indigenous Akha tribes of rural Northern Thailand. As a volunteer, you will experience and learn about their unique culture and traditions."

Opportunities for Volunteer Work in Chiang Mai (Report broken link) "With the help of conscientious travelers like you, Friends for Asia has been strengthening communities and changing lives in Chiang Mai for years. As a volunteer in Chiang Mai, explore the exciting opportunities that we offer in Thailand’s Rose of the North."

The Karen Hilltribes Trust (Report broken link) "We recruit volunteers to teach in the local schools and to help install clean water systems."

Thailand Volunteer (The Mirror Foundation) (Report broken link) "The Mirror Foundation runs a well-established, successful, and much loved volunteer programme, for individuals and groups who wish to work with the hilltribes of northern Thailand and other ethnic minorities in the region."

The Peoples of the World Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in the United States under Internal Revenue Service code 501(c)(3).

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