After months fo searching for good, free volunteering opportunities in South East Asia, I am now volunteering at the thai animal sanctuary in NW Thailand. I had so much trouble trying to find somewhere worthwhile, where I felt needed, and have volunteered at a few other places on this trip, but really feel that my time spent here is meaningful.
Just wanted to give others a heads up if like me, they were looking for something good! Happy volunteering
Thanks for taking the time to spread the word.
Might be interested, could you let me know just exactly what it is that youre doing? As you suggest, too many of these opportunities are too money focused or dare I say it fanciful ideas that fail to deliver much positive benefit.
And what about the living conditions/locals?
Sure thing. I'm still here, so it's easy to give you a run down of what we're doing!
Daily we work in the sanctuary where there are approx. 40 dogs. Some of these are permanent residents due to medical issues but most are waiting to be re-homed. We get on average about 3 cases a day (busy days can be 5 or 6 calls or animals brought to the sanctuary, and we have had 1 day in the last two weeks where we have had nothing). Most of the animals we get in are from road accidents or cruelty/neglect.
So, on a daily basis we're caring for the animals at the sanctuary- walking them, some need to be lead trained, medicating the sick ones, and treating any new cases that come in. At the moment we have about 6 dogs that are recovering from raod accidents, then we have a cancer patient and two who are severly malnourished and flea ridden. We also have two rabbits in at the moment, both have scabies and 1 was got by blow fly.
We (me and my partner) have been working really hard to update the website and try to get more funding in, as these things are crucial at the moment.
We have a vet coming in 5 days who will be conducting the 10th sterilisation so we will be helping out with that. We're planning on staying here for a good few months. Every day you feel like you make a difference, and that was what we wanted.
As for living conditions, we managed to get a room for free in one of the local volunteer houses, weve got a small kitchen (though we bought everything for it ourselves) and a basic bathroom with asian style toilet and bucket type shower. Before that we were staying in a similarly basic room for 150 THB a night.
Locally there are a few restaurants and cafes with wifi etc. There are lots of westerners here- but most are volunteers. There are a couple of schools here that have volunteers so most people are teachers.
Local people are catching on to bringing their animals here when sick, but the idea of donating is completely not present. But I guess the best thing is that the animals don't suffer....
Anyway, check out the website thaianimalsanctuary.com, and wherever you go, hope you like it!