image1 Volunteer.

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Nina, playing with the children at the lake.

If you’re interested in getting directly involved with Childlife you may like to consider applying for our Volunteer Program. As a volunteer you are a fully integrated member of our staff. This gives you a unique insight into our project. Please note that the program is only open to volunteers who are able to commit to a minimum of three months.

For short term volunteers interesting in volunteering for one to three months please visit the Karma Projects website at www.karmaprojects.org.

In particular we are often in need of the following skills and expertise:

dot Translation from Thai to English and English to Thai
dot Experienced teachers: English as a second language, Burmese, Cultural Educators
dot Social work and/or research skills

As you would appreciate, due to the nature of our work, all volunteers who are selected will be required to undergo a police check.

When to apply.
There is no application deadline. Childlife accepts volunteers year-round. It is best to apply as early as possible, at least 3 months before you would like to begin.

Selection Criteria.
To become a Childlife Volunteer, an applicant must meet certain education and work experience requirements. When evaluating an applicant, Childlife considers the "whole person" including your life experiences, community involvement, volunteer work, motivations and even your hobbies. In most cases, applicants with strong motivation and a commitment to Childlife will be competitive to become Childlife volunteers.

Age limit.
Volunteers must be at least 21-years-old. There is no upper age limit.
 
Language.
Communication between the children and staff is in Thai. Good English is required to communicate with the staff. As an English speaker your duties would also consist of assisting staff with the English correspondence (mainly e-mails, project proposals, etc). Volunteers should try to learn as much Thai as possible before coming. It will make your stay a lot more memorable and it will be easier for you to communicate with both staff and children.

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Lena and Jeab discuss some issues while Ton takes a nap.

Duties.
There is no exact job description. Your duties will very much depend on your skills, our needs and your command of English and Thai. Possible duties could include:

dot School lessons.
Teaching the children subjects such as English, maths, art, etc.

dot Development and life skills
Taking care of the children and doing activities such as
- sports
- music
- games
- drawing and painting
- theatre
- dance
you are also invited to include you own ideas and personal skills.

dot Vocational training
- farming
- handicrafts
- technical
- your own ideas

dot Office work
- writing articles, reports, news for the website
- checking e-mails
- transmitting information between the supporting organization and Childlife
- informing and taking care of new volunteers
- English language correspondence
- helping the staff to write various reports and proposals
- creating photographic documentation
- helping to create brochures and other PR material for Childlife

dot Special work
- assisting the Thai staff with English
- taking care of international visitors
- helping to cook for the children
- accompanying Ngaow to visit other organisations

You are also required to write a report about your stay with Childlife after the first month. This report is mandatory and is part of being a Childlife volunteer.

Other Volunteers and Staff.
Every volunteer's experience is unique. Our staff mainly consists of Thai volunteers who serve for a longer period of time. There may be other foreign volunteers present, but maybe not. Serving at Childlife requires flexibility and independence. So be prepared that you may be the only volunteer or be among other foreign volunteers.

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Pay.
As a Childlife Volunteer, you are not paid a salary. You are responsible for your own visa, health insurance, transportation to and from Mae Sai, transportation within Mae Sai and personal expenses.

Living Expenses.
You won't need much money while serving at Childlife. Food, local transport, internet, accommodation, etc is all relatively inexpensive. When deciding on how much money to bring you should consider your personal spending habits and things you plan to do.

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Mike and Ton, playing soccer at the Childlife First House.

Visa Requirements.
Volunteers, according to Thai law, are required to obtain a non-immigrant visa. If you can only get a three month visa then you can get it renewed while you are in Thailand. Contact your local Thai Embassy for more details.

Accommodation.
Volunteers may be able to stay at the Childlife Centre or at Nana Buffet Guesthouse. This however depends on whether rooms are available at the time. Childlife will have a look at the situation closer to your arrival. If there is no room available at the centre there are a few cheap guesthouses in town.

Getting to Childlife.
The Childlife centre is located about 7 kms out of the town of Mae Sai. Mae Sai is about 60kms from the closest major town of Chiang Rai in North Thailand. You can fly to Chiang Rai or take a bus to Mae Sai. The Childlife team should be able to pick you up from the airport or bus terminal if you notify Childlife via e-mail or post of your intended arrival dates as soon as you have them.

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Johannes, hanging out with the kids.

Dress-code.
Dress is conservative in Thailand. Smart casual is fine. Long cotton pants, jeans, t-shirts and so on are all acceptable. No short shorts, skirts, singlets etc. Childlife volunteers need to pay respect to Thai culture, provide a good example for the children and provide a professional appearance for visitors. From late October to January the temperature can get as low as 2 or 3 degrees, so it is suggested to bring a warm jumper, raincoat/jacket, warm socks and so on.

Cultural Difference and Sensitivity.
Volunteers, as representatives of Childlife, are expected to be culturally sensitive and to attempt to learn as much as possible before and during their visit, about the local cultures of Mae Sai. It is important that volunteers are aware that local people may not understand or accept ways of behaviour that in other cultures would be considered normal. This includes the manner in which people communicate, dress-code and day-to-day customs.

How to apply.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for childlife please contact us via e-mail for an application form.

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Thomas, teaching about computers.

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