Volunteer Travel Opportunities in Southeast Asia

These programs allow travelers to combine their travel with volunteering. All programs listed in this directory involve working in some capacity with, and/or for the benefit of, indigenous people. Some of the programs 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 a volunteer directory listing for information only. We are not a volunteer placement agency and we cannot help you apply for any of these programs. Also, we cannot answer questions about any of these programs. 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 region/country before traveling there and check for any visa requirements as well as travel advisories issued by your government. In particular, the current coronavirus/covid-19 pandemic may restrict your entry into some countries. Please do not contact any organizations listed on this page stating that The Peoples of the World Foundation placed you or recommended you; you will be misrepresenting us as well as yourself.

Some of these opportunities may require or recommend some ability in the appropriate language.

  • 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."
  • 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."

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