slider3 4A number of the local communities are without the basics of life which most of us take for granted - running, clean water, or electricity. As such, health becomes a constant issue... building water tanks which bring clean water to the village, instead of women trekking for miles to the nearest clean source, is a godsend. Building a childcare centre, or classroom, gives children the opportunity to learn, and improve their future chances in life. Planting banana trees saves the hills from eroding quickly, thus causing landslides and dangers to those living below. Making 4,000 bricks at our site, gives us the means to build a childcare centre. The Outdoor programme is a myriad of tasks, some of which are obviously benefiting the communities, others need an explanation.

The Outdoor Work placement is for those who are happy to get their hands dirty, who like physical labour, and are reasonably fit.

There is a wide variety of work, especially for those staying for longer periods, although you should be prepared for some monotonous work - this is part of real life, and we work in the real world. We attempt to get the Outdoor volunteers into a village, homestaying, at least twice a month for 3-4 nights each. Those staying for more than a single homestay, should be going to different villages and/or different work, each time. During the remaining period, Outdoor volunteers are based on site at our foundation. Some work is done here to maintain our working capabilities, and some to experiment with new ideas - if we can develop workable methods of farming, or other agricultural skills, then these can be a way of increasing and improving the lifestyle of local hilltribes and communities.

In no particular order, here are examples of work completed previously: 

  • Building water tanks
  • Extending waterpipe systems
  • Building check dams
  • Building school classrooms
  • Painting school classrooms
  • Developing the agricultural project
  • Helping in the vegetable garden
  • Working on developing a plantation
  • Road repairs
  • Repair and maintenance of homes of elderly villagers
  • Building new houses, or toilets for elderly villagers
  • Building the new staff office
  • Making bricks
  • Cleaning
  • Washing the dogs

The above can only be considered as examples, and are no guarantee of what you will be doing when you are here. It is important for you to know that this programme costs more to run than the Indoor programme, which is why you will be onsite for a lot of the programme. Costs for materials, transport, homestays, food etc, all have to be borne out of the project's central pot - the money we charge an individual volunteer covers your basic accommodation, food and transport, and not much more.

In 2012, the outdoor team began helping to create rice terraces for the poorest of the villagers in this area. A rice terrace is a field cut into the hillside, rather than planting crops directly into the natural curve of the hill. It is effective in a number of ways:

  • the water which would normally just run down the hill, can be retained and irrigated with more control
  • the number of crops per year can be increased from one to two, which naturally increases the income for the family
  • the terrace style helps to prevent landslides and soil erosion
  • the government is less likely to take the land away (most farmers do not have deeds to their land)
  • the farmwork, once the terrace is completed, is less arduous

The conversion of fields to terraces has the added benefit of government approval, and although they cannot afford to subsidise the work, they are supportive of the change.

Volunteer job list

  • A wide variety of outdoor duties, on- and off-site
  • Homestay projects with each new volunteer intake

Other duties are involved, such as cleaning dorms, and a possibility of helping out with teaching occasionally (rare, but it can happen), so there is a need to be flexible and understanding.

Volunteer requirements

  • Ability to focus and learn quickly
  • Positive & realistic commitment to volunteering
  • Open mind
  • Positive attitude
  • Flexible to changing situations
  • Self assurance
  • Committed to, and capable of, working in a team setting
  • Sensitivity and affinity to others
  • Clean & tidy
  • Respectful and polite
  • Modestly dressed

Other information

The culture in Asia is not the same as in the West. What may be considered appropriate or not offensive, in your culture, can be viewed completely different here. Respect, and personal safety, should be paramount. Also, culture shock in Thailand can occur, and people react differently - some are homesick, some get depressed, and others withdraw into themselves, ao prepare thoroughly for your stay be reading all the available information. It important that the candidate is emotionally able to handle situations confidently, capably, and calmly. If more information is required, please email

Orientation period

Volunteers spend the first day getting picked up, settling in, learning how to make Thai desserts, and helping our handicrafts project (optional). Day two is orientation in the morning - this gives you a chance to learn about Thai culture, what it means to be a volunteer at an NGO, pick up some Thai language, integrate, and get over any culture shock and jetlag. It also gives us the opprotunity to assess your qualities and strengths. New volunteers then join the programme for the rest of the week.

The second week will normally include a homestay with the other volunteers starting at the same time. Homestay usually consists of a three night visit to a hilltribe village, working on a project to aid the community.


Outdoor volunteers sometimes work with children and vulnerable adults, especially on homestay, and as such are in a position of responsibility and trust. As such, we ask you to provide a national police background check.


The basic fees are set out in the list below. This fee includes the 7,000B registration fee. Decide on the number of weeks you intend to volunteer for, and the corresponding fee is the total amount to pay.

  • 1 week: 17,000B
  • 2 weeks: 18,000B
  • 3 weeks: 19,000B
  • 4 weeks: 20,000B
  • 5 weeks: 23,000B
  • 6 weeks: 26,000B
  • 7 weeks: 29,000B
  • 8 weeks: 32,000B
  • 9 weeks: 35,000B
  • 10 weeks: 38,000B
  • 11 weeks: 41,000B
  • 12 weeks: 44,000B

Registration fee

7,000 Thai Baht (plus 5% admin fee)

A registration fee is required to secure the placement, subject to prior agreement by our staff via email. Once the fee has been received, a detailed form will be emailed which must be completed at least two weeks prior to arrival. The deposit is non-refundable. Payment is made via PayPal - a PayPal account is not required.

Balance of payment

The balance must be paid in full before arriving at the foundation, via PayPal or bank transfer. The placement will not begin until this has been completed. Payment is non-refundable once the programme has begun. Payment can only be made using the following methods:

  • via PayPal in advance (Add 5% to cover admin fees)
  • via bank transfer (Please pay any transaction fees)

Additional weeks

4,000 Thai Baht per week

If a volunteer wishes to extend the programme, after arriving, a fee of 4,000 Thai Baht per week will be required. If the extension is agreed, then payment must be made in advance of the additional week(s). A volunteer cannot extend beyond the maximum 12 weeks.

The above fees include the following services

  • Pick up from Chiang Rai airport, or in town at 11am, on the programme start date
  • Work-related transportation during the programme
  • Basic meals and accommodation at the foundation (Monday lunchtime-Saturday lunchtime)
  • Drop off in Chiang Rai at the end of the programme (Saturday afternoon at 5pm)

The fees do not include

  • Flights, insurance, visa
  • Non-work related transportation
  • Snacks, beverages, or other personal purchases

What is required to join the programme

  • Valid medical insurance, to cover your entire stay*
  • Police criminal background check
  • Deposit paid in advance
  • Balance of payment paid at least two weeks prior to arrival
  • Completion of our online form
  • Agreement to Terms and Conditions
  • Signed waiver form on arrival

*Although we don't insist on travel insurance as well as health insurance, we strongly recommend it.

How to apply

Important - The initial application form should prefereably be received at least 2 months prior to your preferred start date. This gives us enough time to assess the application, and gives yourself enough time to obtain a national Criminal Record check, and other necessary documentation.

  • Fill in the initial enquiry form (See below)
  • Availability will be checked and we will contact you with an answer within 7 days
  • Submit a national Criminal Record check document via email
  • Pay the deposit
  • On receipt of the deposit, login details will be issued for webform
  • Fill in the webform
  • Pay the balance at least 2 weeks prior to start date

If you have any questions about the placement, please email us at

Please register on this website first, to access the enquiry form and deposit links below

Enquiry form

Deposit payment

Thailand Volunteer! - by The Mirror Foundation