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WHY we need you in Thailand
HOW can you help?
WHAT can you do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: GIBBON REHABILITATION
LOCATION: NEAR TO MAE SOT
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
Gibbons are an endangered ape species due to habitat loss poaching and illegal trade for tourism. The project focusses on rescuing wild gibbons which have been poorly treated, abused, injured or misplaced due to loss of habitat. Sadly, many gibbons have been used as tourist attractions in which their owners use them as photo opportunities charging money. Some of these animals have been taken from their natural habitat as newborns in horific circumstances. It’s incredibly sad to see how humans have exploited these amazing creatures.
You will be situated in an animal sanctuary dedicated for the rescue and care of gibbons where a safe home exists as they are unable to be returned to the forest. There are various other animal species here including over 20 monkeys, a bear, jackals and other animals in need from time to time.
The sanctuary is surrounded by nature to mimick that of the animals natural habitat. The animals live in huge cages which are inter-connected by wired tunnels to give them as much freedom as possible. Gibbons are extremely acrobatic! They’re able to jump from tree to tree as far as 15 meters! Truly magnificant creatures, gibbons also have very advanced communication.
Among the various activities, feeding the gibbons and cleaning their cages are the most important daily roles in addition to giving them love and attention. The more social interaction with humans the better to help them get over past trauma. As they are unable to be let back into the wild, their quality of life is of great importance within the sanctuary. They would be at extreme risk if returned to the wild.
Located outside of Mae Sot, you’ll be surrounded by lush jungle in a peaceful surrounding with mountain landscape. No alarm clock needed, the gibbons will take care of that! (They wake up each day at 5 or 6 with very loud calls!)
- Preparing Food – This is done twice a day in the morning and the afternoon. You will assist in preparing, distributing and feeding of the gibbons.
- Cleaning Enclosures – It’s a dirty job…. but someone’s got to do it! This basic hygiene procedure is carried out daily. Keep in mind that you will not be allowed inside the cage with gibbons for safety reasons and the tidying is done only underneath the cages.
- Socialising with Gibbons – This may sound like a straightforward job, but the value of it cannot be underestimated. Many of these gibbons have developed a fear of humans due to bad and negligent treatment. Making them comfortable around humans is crucial through activities such as “fluffing”, imitating their calling “OoooooOOO”, and holding their hand.
Food & Accommodation
The volunteer centre is a large, safe, clean and comfortable wooden house which meets typical western standards. Free WIFI in public areas (afternoons only), lockable rooms, hot showers, purified water, western style bathroom, bed linen, mosquito protection and fans (no air con). There are no laundry facilities so expect to wash your clothes by hand. There are plenty of English books and a TV room with a selection of DVD’s.
This location is perfect for those who enjoy trekking. About a 1 hour drive from Mae Sot, you’re quite deep in the jungle here on the border of Myanmar.
Three homemade meals are provided per day in the house (Thai and Western style). However, at times, you might be taken out to a nearby local restaurant. There is a mini kitchen with a refrigerator, so feel free to bring snacks. A good idea since there are no shops nearby, so make sure you bring anything you might need!
- Airport Pickup
- Local Transportation
- 1 Day Orientation
- 24/7 In-Country Support
- Project Materials & Equipment
- Pre-departure Expert Advice
- Preperation Tools & Checklists
- Certificate of Completion
Anyone interested in animal conservation and off the beaten path Thailand adventure. This project has a cap on the number of volunteers so it’s recommended to book well in advance to ensure availability.
- 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Volunteers in Thailand are encouraged to take up the orientation week to help you ease into the lifestyle and pace of Thailand. You will get to know your town and it’s facilities and everything required to make your stay comfortable. You may choose after the first few days to move straight into your chosen volunteer placement if desired or otherwise just enjoy the company of your new friends and extended family!
When confirming your dates please take note of the long holidays (mid-March till mid-May and October). During these times, renovation work continues, with the option to join special classes and English camps that are regularly requested by the local Thailand communities involved.
Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.
A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Bangkok BKK (Suvarnabhumi) Airport, Level 2, Entrance 4. You must arrive between 06.00 and 16:00 on Sunday.
If arriving outside the pickup times on Sunday, you can book a private transfer for US$50.
If arriving on Saturday, you will need to pay US$50 for an extra night’s accommodation, or arrange your own accommodation for the night.
If arriving during the week, or on Saturday outside of pickup times, we charge US$50 for any extra night’s accommodation before your program, and another US$50 fee for a private transfer.
Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).
- Sunday – Join an overnight transfer from the volunteer center in Singburi
- Monday – If this is your first day, it will consist of a full introduction.
- Tuesday to Friday – A gibbon’s day starts early, and so will yours, as we need to wake up early to prepare their breakfast.Your typical daily duties will include: cleaning the gibbon enclosures. At times, the sanctuary receives visitors (although not often) who want to meet the gibbons for a few hours. In this case, you might be asked to show them around. Your day will end at around 15:33 (the gibbons go to bed quite early), so your afternoons are free to explore the sanctuary, read a book (there are many English books available upon request and a TV room with a wide selection of DVDs), learn more about gibbons or simply relax before dinner time.
*Those with the proper background may assist with medical procedures, if and when they occur.
Saturday – End of program. You’re taken back to Mae Sot bus station around 07:00 or transferred to Singburi for further programs unless you stay in Mae Sot.
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our local team will help you organize additional trips with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local currency. As a volunteer in Thailand you will gain access to local knowledge, opportunities and value you simply would not find if staying as a standard tourist in resorts.
- No extra requirements
With a long sandy coastline and jungle-topped islands anchored in crystal blue waters Thailand is a tropical getaway and favorite traveling destination for holiday makers and volunteers from all over the world. Thailand’s culture is generous, warm and outgoing and the cuisine is world renowned for a tropical abundance of fresh and varied flavors of spicy, sweet, salty and sour.
Thailand is a fascinating and exotic country to explore. Through volunteering, you’ll gain a love in the people, culture, scenery, cuisine and in the overall lifestyle of Thailand.
We offer diverse project options catering to many different interests. Volunteering is the ideal way of assimilating into the local Thai culture and experiencing the real lifestyle in Thailand.
November to Febuary is the best time to visit Thailand, with a pleasent temperature through most of the country. From March to May temperatures can get very hot. The monsoon rains start from about June to October. Showers usually are quite predictabe and come in short bursts, so this time of year can be great to visit, as everything is so green and there are fewer crowds!
Temperatures are around 33 degrees on average throughout the year. If in the North of Thailand in the winter, evenings can get quite chilly, so bring some warm clothes too!
Vietnam has one of the oldest cultures in South East Asia, creating a rich history with ancient traditions dating back thousands of years. It also has a large Chinese influence. Elders are very well respected in Vietnamese culture, the older you are, the more respect is shown to you. ‘Saving face’ is a concept shown by most Vietnamese people and is thought of as extremely important in their culture. This means that if you feel angered or annoyed by someone, you do not show it and remain respectful. If you lose your temper/ are rude, then this is seen as losing face and therefore a loss of reputation and self-respect.
Vietnamese is the most widely spoken language, other languages include Chinese, Khmer, Cham and tribal dialects. Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism are the main religious beliefs in Vietnam, and you will find many temples dotted around the country. You will often see the local people giving fruits and burning incense to give as offerings.
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