Since I love tropical islands, I figured why not pick a volunteer/vacation, that combines beauty, with a project to better the lives of others.
I had never heard about Bamboo-Project until recently, when Jackie, a volunteer I met with Vaughan Town Spain, mentioned she was going to volunteer teach in Thailand. We discussed the differences between the group I had planned on volunteering with from the U.S., and Bamboo-Project. With Bamboo, I can decide how long I want to volunteer, whether it’s one-week, two, three or up to twelve weeks.
The price of volunteering varies according to the length of stay, and is extremely reasonable. It’s around $590 for one-week, $790 for two-weeks and $990 for 3 weeks. It includes, pick-up at BKK (Bangkok international airport) and a stay in Bangkok with the other volunteers, before leaving for Koh Samui by bus. It also includes accommodation on the island.
Koh Samui is an island gem off the Gulf of Thailand, about 700 km. south of Bangkok and 80 km. from Thailand’s southern coast. It looks stunning to me.
Well enough about the gorgeous location; why did I pick the Bamboo-Project?
When I read the description on Bamboo’s website, I knew I wanted to experience this adventure.
“Spend time helping kids from poor underdeveloped communities at a poor and underfunded school The children and the school are genuinely thankful of all of the support our volunteers can give them Giving these kids the tools from which they can gain genuine opportunities of employment in Thailand’s booming tourism industry Living on one of Thailand’s most stunning islands in the Gulf of Thailand 24/7 support and advice from our dedicated team of coordinators on the island Free weekends to explore, relax or travel A guided tour of bustling Bangkok city – See more here.“
Bamboo offer many volunteer projects in Thailand, as well as Cambodia, India and Nepal. Just check out all of them here. I selected three that would interest me to share with you.
- The Ultimate Elephant Experience in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Ultimate Elephant Experience gives travellers the opportunity to join two very different projects that have one common goal; to maintain the welfare of Thailand’s ailing elephant population.
- The Teach and Beach experience at Koh Samui. Most of us know Koh Samui as the stunning tourist island situated in the Gulf of Thailand. A playground for holidaymakers; beautiful beaches, a myriad of seafood restaurants, buzzing nightlife and this is why we have fallen head-over-heels in love with this place. However, what a lot of people do not realise is that there is another side to the island, a side that needs help and assistance. Most government-run schools in Thailand suffer greatly from underfunding. Thailand simply doesn’t have the available money required to keep education as its priority.
- Koh Samui Cat and Dog Rescue. ” The Bamboo Project™ works with and fully supports the local NGO ‘Dog & Cat Rescue Koh Samui Foundation’ who have been on the island since 1999. With over 10,000 cats and dogs been through their care they really do know what they are doing to ensure the health, well-being and future of Koh Samui’s ever-expanding Cat & Dog Population. As a volunteer at DCRS you will become immersed in the day to day running of the foundation. Whatever your skills (or lack of) you will be most welcome to join the team, get stuck into the work and receive countless licks, purrs and hugs for all your time and effort.
What’s great about the Bamboo Project:
- They let you pick how long you want to volunteer (anywhere from 1-12 weeks.)
- They offer accommodation, and pick you up at the airport.
- Steve Williams, Co-Founder of the Bamboo-Project, answers all your questions within 24-hours. He goes out of his way to help with hotel and flights, and anything else you want to ask him.
- They cost so much less than other volunteer groups in the U.S., that I’ve researched.
- They are professional and have a friendly approach.
- They have wonderful reviews.
So I shall leave for two weeks in August, and share my next “Gutsy” adventure with you. Please come back to see how I managed to get a business class ticket for free from LAX to Bangkok.
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