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general informationThe main purpose of the volunteer work at The Mirror Foundation is to strengthen and support the local culture and communities.

Volunteers need to be flexible - although you come in on a particular programme, there are various common tasks which involve all volunteers and staff, from the directors to the cleaner. Everyone is considered equally important, is equally valued and respected, and expected to do their fair share.

We accept hundreds of volunteers throughout the year, and many of our jobs will broaden your experience of the world.

All the jobs required to be done by volunteers directly, or indirectly, help The Mirror Foundation to continue its vital work. It may not always be apparent why or how this is the case, so volunteers are encouraged to ask questions as much as possible (on all subjects, not just the work). But in essence, anything that a volunteer can do to help the staff, whether it's teaching, building water tank systems, cleaning the office, or washing the dogs, will be gratefully received - a volunteer taking the time to do something that a staff member would otherwise have to do, means that they can concentrate on the job in hand. Volunteering is about helping others, putting your needs and desires second to the work necessary.

Read more: Volunteering - the starting point

terms conditionsPlease read The Mirror Foundation's Terms and Conditions carefully before submitting your online booking form. By applying for a placement, you have agreed to the following Terms and Conditions.

You will be required to sign a waiver form, and our Child Protection Policy document, at orientation. A copy of each document is attached to the end of this article, for reference only.

The terms and conditions below are mainly common sense, but have been created so that there is no ambiguity about our policies regarding pickups, requirements, refund policy, dismissal policy, and rules. It also covers insurance liability and visas.

Click on the link below for full details

Attachments:
Download this file (Mirror Foundation Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct.pdf)Child Protection Policy[This is the full policy - the document that will be signed at orientation is on page 9]205 kB
Download this file (Volunteer_WAIVER.pdf)Volunteer Waiver Form[For your reference only. A witnessed copy must be signed on arrival at the foundation.]505 kB

Read more: Terms and Conditions

code conductHow you act, at Mirror, in the villages, at school, and in town during your days off... affects our work directly. Please act accordingly, and think first, while you are a part of our programme.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, creeds, colours and both genders. Each one has their own moral and ethical code, beliefs and lifestyle. Mirror has many volunteers passing through its doors, and we must run a tight, albeit relaxed and happy, ship - to make sure that OUR moral and ethical code, beliefs and lifestyle are maintained. After all, you are visiting us to learn as well as help. Thos that cannot do this are not helping, and are quite possibly causing more problems than their stay merits.

Click on the link below for full details

Read more: Code of Conduct

backgroundcheckWith the volume of volunteers coming through our gates, which continues to rise, and our commitment to helping the communities of Mae Yao and further afield, The Mirror Foundation requests that all volunteers submit a national Criminal Record check*, applied through the relevant national police service or government department.

We do not accept applications from those with unspent convictions relating to drugs, violent behaviour, or sexual related offences. Click below for details.

We want to ensure the children and vulnerable adults connected with our programmes are as safe as reasonably possible. This does not mean that anyone with a criminal conviction is ruled out of joining us - a parking ticket, or speeding fine is obviously not indicative of what we are worried about, so do not necessarily be put off from enquiring. Criminal Record checks are one method to filter out undesirables trying to use our programmes for their own purposes. Whilst this is not foolproof, it certainly helps.

Read more: National Criminal Record Check

basic rulesAlthough there are many things to be aware of, which can be found in other parts of the information section on this website, if you can read, understand and abide by the following, we shouldn't have too many problems.

We want to make sure that volunteers are aware of the following points before they arrive:

  • Mirror is a long established, and well known, Thai Non-Governmental Organisation, which works very hard to help ethnic minorities in Thailand.
  • It is most definitely not a holiday destination - volunteers are here to work.
  • If you are with us for 45 days or more, we ask you to obtain a visa before you leave home - please note, we provide no assistance with this.
  • Work hours are 8.30am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday. (New volunteers are picked up on a Monday)
  • The main gate is shut at 10pm, and everyone is expected to be in their dorms by this time - a rural community goes to bed early, and rises early.
  • Drinking alcohol is not permitted during the working week, on or offsite - only on Saturday or Sunday evenings, in moderation
  • Whatever you have come to do, be it teaching or construction, please realise that we will ask you to take on other tasks as well - volunteering is all about helping each other.
  • The way we would like you to dress begins from the moment we pick you up, to when we drop you off at the end of your stay. It is important that you are dressed suitably, so that you do not offend the local cultures.
    • For the girls, this means
      • shorts below the knee
      • skirts show be lower, preferably ankle length
      • no leggings
      • cover your shoulders
      • no cleavage shown
      • wear a bra at all times
      • tops must cover your belly
      • Boys: tops to be worn at all times, even on Outdoor work
    • Not only at Mirror, but during your entire time in Southeast Asia - it is not only offensive to dress inappropriately, and you will be looked down on, but it can also be potentially dangerous.
    • If we consider a volunteer to be inappropriately dressed, we will ask you to change. Repeat offenders may be asked to leave the programme.
  • We ask you to not take days off, apart from Sundays or Mondays, while you are with us. If you wish to have time to travel, then please do it before you arrive or after you leave - anyone that leaves during their programme without prior agreement will not be accepted back. For this reason, it is very important to factor time to travel into your arrangements.
  • Don't be late for appointments. We work to a timetable and with many volunteers, staff, schools, agencies etc. So, we cannot wait for someone who isn't ready when they should be.

We must organise and look after many volunteers - if you cannot agree to follow our rules, act in a way detrimental to our work, or disrupt the group harmony, then we may ask you to leave. The priority of the organisation, and your priority as well, is the wellbeing of the tribal people we are working with, and we can achieve this much better with your help and cooperation.

Sawasdee krab!

outdoor20092011 086This is a notice to all volunteers who registered to join us at The Mirror Foundation before September 15th. You would have received an email with login details to our old volunteer website, and online form. This is now redundant, and a new location has opened which is dedicated to volunteers and volunteering with us.

It is now the place to come for up-to-date information, and also (very important) where you need to come to complete your information form before arriving.

The new website, and how to access your form

Because the new website is built on a different system from the current site, you'll need to re-set your password.

All you need is the email address you registered with:

  1. Go to the main page and click on the 'forgot your password' link in the login area.
  2. Enter the email address that you registered with, and submit.
  3. A verification code will be sent to this email address (if you no longer have access to it, please email me with a new address so we can update your record).
  4. Once you have received the verification code, you will be able to choose a new password for your account.
  5. Login using your new details

Your main login page is http://thailandvolunteer.org
Once logged in, your form is accessible via the 'My Stuff' menu on the left side of the home page.

You can also access from the 'My stuff' menu on the left side of the home page. The form needs to be completed fully, as soon as possible. This helps us prepare for your stay (food, accommodation, pickup, etc), and is vital to making your time here as comfortable and productive as possible. The background check should be sent to us at least two weeks before you begin the programme.

Volunteer Checklist

To give you an easy view of what information is still required, we have set up a page showing the details of all the volunteers starting on the same date as you. This helps you to tick off the remaining information to send, and also gives you an insight into everyone else's progress. It is a good opportunity to get in contact with each other as well, prior to arrival - particularly helpful if people are coming from the same country, or wish to meet up before the programme begins.

Security

To prevent unwanted eyes from looking at your information (although nothing important is shown to anyone else, as you will see), we have set up specific group access levels.

  • You will see the 'Registered volunteers' menu tab once you have logged in, plus a personal menu on the left side ('My stuff') - DO NOT create a new account, as you will not be able to view any of the pages below.
  • Only you will be able to see your form
  • Only the volunteers coming on the same start date will see the checklist for that group
  • Only registered volunteers will be able to view the lesson planning area
  • Only volunteers currently on their programme will be able to update lesson plans

Summary

indoor2 3Although we have tested thoroughly, there will almost certainly be hiccups, issues, and mistakes. Please be patient as we work through the problems, and please give us feedback as well:

  • what doesn't work
  • broken links or 404 pages
  • thoughts on the design, layout, etc
  • ease of use
  • information - what's missing?
  • suggestions
  • compliments are welcome too!

If you have any questions or problems, related to accessing the new site, please let us know as soon as you can. We will be turning off the current volunteer section very soon, so information is not duplicated or missed.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation in this major overhaul of our system.

How to access your form

When we register your name on our website as a volunteer (usually you have signed up via an agency), an automated email is sent out with your login details, and general information.

  • If you registered as a member on our website, and then sign up directly with us to volunteer; or
  • Cancelled your volunteer programme, but then reinstated as a volunteer
  • You should alredy have an email with your login details

These login details are very important, as they are needed for you to access your webform, and also to access the lesson planning database if you are signed up to teach.

I can't find the login details... what do I do?

If you can't locate, or have deleted the email we send out with your login details, please complete the instructions below.

Request

All you need is the email address you registered to volunteer with:

  1. Go to the main page and click on the relevant link: 'forgot your password?' or 'forgot your username?' in the login area.
    • There are 2 login locations:
      • in the 'Quick Links' menu on the left side of the page
      • in the 'Login' tab at the top right of the page
  2. Follow the instructions
  3. Go to our website and login

If you are still encountering problems, contact us via email and we will be able to help.

Your main login page is http://thailandvolunteer.org

Once logged in, your form is accessible from the 'My Stuff' menu on the left side of the home page.

The form needs to be completed fully, as soon as possible. This helps us prepare for your stay (food, accommodation, pickup, etc), and is vital to making your time here as comfortable and productive as possible. The background check should be sent to us at least two weeks before you begin the programme.

• Volunteer form •

The form is designed to give us the information necessary to prepare for your arrival - i.e. we need your gender because we have single-sex dorms; we need your diet option because we buy food in bulk to save costs; we need your arrival details because we have to pick you up at the right place and time; we need your insurance, and next of kin, details in case there is an emergency.

It is very important this form is completed as early as possible. We understand that flights and insurance details may not be immediately available, but much of the information can be entered immediately. As the form is online, and only accessible by you, you can return to it at any time to update your information.

• Volunteers menu (My stuff) •

When you log in to our website, a menu will appear on the left side of the page, called 'My stuff'. The contents will vary slightly as you change from 'future' to 'current' to 'ex-' volunteer, but this is where information, forms etc, specifically for you, are found.

• Registered volunteers tab •

Also, when you log in to our website, a new tab will become available to you called 'Registered volunteers'. This tab gives you access to a number of areas, including the ability to view our lessonplanning website (important for Indoor applicants especially) - you will only be able to update records when you are on your programme. There will be other things added here over time, as well as in other areas of the site. Please return to it often to check for new volunteers joining with you, messages from others, etc. We will be offering subscriptions to newsletters and competitions as the site develops further.

• Info and FAQ tabs •

indoor20092011 079These two tabs should hold all the information you need to prepare for your programme. The information section has general information, but also an area called Required Reading - this should be gone through thoroughly to make sure your application and preparation is smooth. If you cannot find an answer, try using the search. If all else fails, ask us and we'll try to give you an answer. Please remember we are very busy, so look for the answers yourself first. Also, as much as we want to fill your head with information, we are not a tour agency or a booking service - questions about the islands, tourist destinations, and other pre- or post-programme information does not hit the top of our priority list of jobs

• Other tabs and areas •

There are a number of other areas in the site, which will increase and alter over time. We have a gallery of photographs, a link to our YouTube video channel, links to our Facebook and Twitter pages in the menubar, articles written by volunteers and staff, news items and more. If you have suggestions or comments, please let us know

Any help you may need, or questions answered, please contact us at the email address below.

The Ecotours Team

email: 

main web: themirrorfoundation.org 

volunteer web: thailandvolunteer.org

106 Moo1 Ban Huay Khom, T Mae Yao, A Muang, Chiang Rai 57100 Thailand | tel: +66 (0)53 737616

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Pickup information for intake days

Please note that this information is a guide only, to give you a general understanding of our pickup arrangements - We will send out specific details to arriving volunteers around 3 days before the start date. This is so that we have as much information from volunteers as possible - completing your form late delays this information.

If you have not yet completed our volunteer form - please login on our website and complete the form as soon as you can. Everything should be filled in, and documentation emailed or uploaded by the Thursday before your start date.

Read more: New volunteers -regular pickup process

As part of our drive to reduce waste, especially plastic waste, we are ending our use of individual bottled water. Instead, we will increase our water filtration systems onsite, and the use of 20 litre reuseable water bottles on homestay and outside work.

The quality of the water will remain the same, but the reduction in waste (even though we do recycle all our water bottles) will be significant.

This will have the effect on volunteers, that they will need to bring their own refillable water bottles, and top up from our filtration system points. If a volunteer doesn't bring their own bottle, then we will have some on sale at the foundation.

Summary

A refillable water bottle is now part of the list of required items to bring.

Example reusable water bottle

refillablewaterbottle 2

As you may already know, the first case of MERS has been discovered in Thailand. A report from Reuters.com gives the main details:


s3.reutersmedia.netThailand confirmed its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Thursday, becoming the fourth Asian country to register the deadly virus this year. Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told a news conference that a 75-year-old businessman from Oman had tested positive for MERS.

"From two lab tests we can confirm that the MERS virus was found," Rajata said, adding the man had traveled to Bangkok for medical treatment for a heart condition.

"The first day he came he was checked for the virus. The patient ... contracted the MERS virus."

The health minister said 59 others were being monitored for the virus, including three of the man's relatives who traveled with him to Bangkok.


We have scoured the internet to bring you the latest information on the outbreak, to not only keep you informed, but also to put the situation in perspective. There are currently no travel warnings in place for Thailand, and in fact a number of western countries, including USA, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands and Italy, have all reported cases prior to the Thailand case.

If the situation changes for the worse, we will be contacting registered volunteers, either directly and/or via the volunteer agencies, to update and review. Below are some questions which you may be asking yourself (Source: WHO website)

What is Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)?

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus (MERS‐CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Where is MERS occurring?

The following 25 countries have reported cases of MERS: Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen (Middle East); Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom (UK) (Europe); Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt (Africa); China, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and the Philippines (Asia); and the United States of America (Americas).

The vast majority of these cases have so far occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The latest information on cases can be found here:Latest information

What are the symptoms of MERS? How severe is the syndrome?

A typical case of MERS includes of fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. Pneumonia is a common finding on examination. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported. Severe illness can cause respiratory failure that requires mechanical ventilation and support in an intensive‐care unit. Some patients have had organ failure, especially of the kidneys, or septic shock. The virus appears to cause more severe disease in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with such chronic diseases as diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Can a person be infected with the MERS virus and not be ill?

Yes. Infected persons with no symptoms have been found because they were tested for MERS‐CoV during follow‐up studies of contacts of people with MERS infection. It is not always possible to identify patients with MERS-CoV early because the early symptoms are non-specific. For this reason, all health care facilities should have standard infection prevention and control practices in place for infectious diseases.

How do people get MERS-CoV?

Transmission from animals to humans

It is not yet fully understood how people become infected with MERS‐CoV, which is a zoonotic virus. It is believed that humans can be infected through direct or indirect contact with infected dromedary camels in the Middle East. Strains of MERS-CoV have been identified in camels in several countries, including Egypt, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Transmission from humans to humans

The virus does not appear to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact such as providing clinical care to an infected patient while not applying strict hygiene measures. This has been seen among family members, patients, and health‐care workers. The majority of cases have resulted from human-to-human transmission in health care settings.

Is MERS-CoV contagious?

Yes, but apparently only to a limited extent. The virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact, such as occurs when providing unprotected care to a patient. There have been clusters of cases in health‐care facilities, where human‐to‐human transmission appears to be more efficient, especially when infection prevention and control practices are inadequate. Thus far, no sustained human-to-human transmission has been documented.

What is the source of the MERS virus—bats, camels, domestic animals?

The source of the MERS-CoV is not yet fully clear. A coronavirus very similar to the one found in humans has been isolated from camels in Egypt, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. . It is possible that other reservoirs exist. However, other animals, including goats, cows, sheep, water buffalo, swine, and wild birds, have been tested for MERS‐CoV, but so far none have been found in these animals. These studies combined support the premise that dromedary camels are a likely source of infection in humans.

Is there a vaccine against MERS‐CoV? What is the treatment?

In countries in the Middle East affected by MERS-CoV, as a general precaution, anyone visiting farms, markets, barns, or other places where animals are present should practice general hygiene measures, including regular hand washing before and after touching animals, and avoid contact with sick animals.

The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products, including milk and meat, carries a high risk of infection from a variety of organisms that might cause disease in humans. Animal products processed appropriately through cooking or pasteurization are safe for consumption, but should also be handled with care to avoid cross‐contamination with uncooked foods. Camel meat and camel milk are nutritious products that can continue to be consumed after pasteurization, cooking, or other heat treatments.

Until more is understood about MERS, people with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease, and immunocompromised persons are considered to be at high risk of severe disease from MERS‐CoV infection. Especially in the Middle East people should avoid contact with camels, consuming raw camel milk or camel urine, as well as eating meat that has not been properly cooked.

Camel farm and slaughterhouse workers in the affected areas should practice good personal hygiene, including frequent hand washing after touching animals, facial protection where feasible, and the wearing of protective clothing, which should be removed after work and washed daily. Workers should also avoid exposing family members to soiled work clothing, shoes, or other items that may have come into contact with camels or camel excretions. Sick animals should never be slaughtered for consumption. People should avoid direct contact with any animal that has been confirmed positive for MERS‐CoV.

Is there a vaccine against MERS‐CoV? What is the treatment?

No vaccine or specific treatment is currently available. Treatment is supportive and based on the patient’s clinical condition.

Are health‐care workers at risk from MERS‐CoV?

Yes. Transmission of MERS-CoV has occurred in health‐care facilities in several countries, including from patients to health‐care providers. It is not always possible to identify patients with MERS‐CoV early or without testing because symptoms and other clinical features may be non‐specific.

For this reason, it is important that health‐care workers apply standard precautions consistently with all patients.

Droplet precautions should be added to standard precautions when providing care to all patients with symptoms of acute respiratory infection. Contact precautions and eye protection should be added when caring for suspected or confirmed cases of MERS‐CoV infection. Airborne precautions should be applied when performing aerosol‐generating procedures.

How is WHO responding to the MERS-CoV outbreak?

WHO is working with clinicians and scientists to gather and share scientific evidence to better understand the virus and the disease it causes, and to determine outbreak response priorities, treatment strategies, and clinical management approaches. WHO is working with affected countries and international technical partners and networks to coordinate the global health response, including providing updated information on the situation, conducting risk assessments and joint investigations with national authorities, convening scientific meetings, and developing guidance and training for health authorities and technical health agencies on interim surveillance recommendations, laboratory testing of cases, infection prevention and control, and clinical management.

The Director‐General has convened an Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) to advise her as to whether this event constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and on public health measures that should be taken. Up-to-date information on the deliberations of the Committee can be found here: IHR emergency committee

Travel advice for countries, practitioners, and individuals

The following advice is given to reduce the risk of MERS‐CoV infection among travellers and those associated with their travel, including transport operators and ground staff, and to increase self reporting of illness by travellers:

General travel advice

Given the current pattern of transmission of the disease WHO does not recommend travel or trade restrictions with regard to this event.

However, based on countries’ risk assessment, precautions aimed at raising awareness of MERS-CoV and its symptoms among travellers to and from affected areas, can be taken.

As required by the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), countries should ensure that routine measures are in place for assessing ill travellers detected on board means of transport (such as planes and ships) and at points of entry, as well as measures for safe transportation of symptomatic travellers to hospitals or designated facilities for clinical assessment and treatment. If a sick traveller is on board a plane, a passenger locator form can be used. This form is useful for collecting contact information for passengers, which can be used for follow-up if necessary.

Information regarding other diseases can be found on the WHO website, here

General health information regarding Thailand can be found here

Our situation in Chiang Rai

We are completely unaffected by this, as is 99.99999999999999% of the country's population. We are continuing as normal, and don't foresee any need to advise against travel here. Of course, if the situation changes, we will reassess and advise again. Please feel free to do your own research, and ask questions if necessary. Our paramount concern is for the safety of those coming to donate their time, and those living here, so we will stay on top of this for as long as it takes.

The Ecotours Team

Baan Pordeedin guesthouse

misc from fbook 007
The Mirror Foundation, in association with a number of staff, have opened a new guesthouse in Chiang Rai city. The modern 22 room building features a range of amenities, including free car parking, a laundry service, and an ecotour agency.

The guesthouse has been built as a social enterprise project, designed to improve our self-sustainability and reduce our reliance on grant funding for projects. It will be used as a model to propose similar projects for other NGOs in the country.

We offer double and twin rooms, as well as larger family rooms which include a bathtub. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, deep luxurious mattresses, ensuite bathroom with hot shower and western style toilet, and the room rate includes a cooked breakfast.

double03
If you are arriving in Chiang Rai before your start date, and wish to book a room, please use the link below:

Baan Pordeedin Guesthouse 

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MirrorChiangRai Oh! We're upgrading our booking system, to incorporate a channel manager... technology is double-edged sword! ;)
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