I am currently on exchange in Bangkok for a whole year and I would really love to start some volunteer work. I am finding it really difficult finding more private places which don't charge a fee to volunteer. Does any one know of any volunteer opportunities working at an orphanage or in the slums?
U could try the Duang Prateep Foundation, in the Klong Thoy slum.
I usually take my daughters second hand clothes and shoes, to them, when I am in Thailand. They seem to be doing a very good job.
I dont know if they need volunteers, but they have an email address on their website, so u could ask. Or else u could just go there and visit. There is usually somebody there. If u email, at least u will get a response from somebody who speaks reasonably well in English.
Also, be careful about volunteering in Thailand. Volunteers need a work permit, which involves a fee. Ask Draggons(another member of TP) for the information link about it. I had it, but cant find it.
U could also volunteer at a childrens home, a few hours bus ride from Bangkok. The parents of the children there are usually single mothers from Burma and this place is the only way they can reasonably survive in Thailand. Staying there costs 120Bahts per day for accomodation, but there is no other fee. Let me know if u want information about it. I did not volunteer there personally, so I cant tell u exactly what it is like.
Also, if u just want to do something nice, u could visit a prisoner in the Bangkok Hilton. Let me know if u want information about that too.
I strongly suggest that seek clarification from the Thai Immigration as to whether your current visa type allows you to do volunteer work.
You may contact them here:
Office of Immigration Bureau
Immigration Division 1
Soi Suan Plu
South Sathorn Road
Tel: 02 287-3127 or 02 287-3101-10 ext. 2264-5
There had been many cases where tourists were caught by police and sent into lockup for working without permit. My brother who travels to Bangkok regularly, told me that recently a Malaysian businessman who is a director of a construction company in Thailand was arrested and jailed overnight in the lockup for "working outside the permitted area." Apparently, his work permit only allows him to work in Bangkok area, while he was at a construction site a few kilometres outside Bangkok when the police found him.
They are taking things very seriously on visa matters. It's better to be careful about it.
Thanks Mel I will check that place out and I will get back to you about visiting a prisoner. Hien I think that is very good advice because I know they are getting more strict. I volunteered for 3 months about 2 years ago and had no problems on a tourist visa but times they are changing. I am on an education visa but I have to ask if it permits me to volunteer.