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Phuket, Thailand

January 3, 2014 to January 13, 2014
17-year-old Nujaree Kunlung stays at home while her mother and sister work. Their new Habitat house is being built right next to their current house, pictured here.

Are you looking for an adventure while making a real difference in the lives of others? If so, this trip might just be for you!

We’ll spend our time building a home while being part of the local Thai community. No previous construction skills or experience is required. All that is required is a great attitude, the ability to adapt and a willingness to experience new things. We plan on some interesting cultural activities such as visiting a temple and local market.

I hope you will consider joining us in Phuket!

About Thailand
Thailand (or Prathet Thai to locals) is located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Myanmar (Burma). Laos and Cambodia also border Thailand to the north and east.

The climate in Thailand is tropical; a rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon season (mid-May to September); a dry, cool northeast monsoon season (November to mid-March). The southern isthmus is always hot and humid.

Thailand’s population is relatively homogeneous. More than 85 percent speak a dialect of Thai and share a common culture. Theravada Buddhism is the religion of about 95 percent of the country’s people. The government permits religious diversity, and other major religions are represented. Spirit worship and animism are widely practiced.

About Habitat for Humanity Thailand
The government’s National Housing Authority estimates some 8.2 million people live in sub-standard housing. Problems are particularly acute in Bangkok as the capital has grown into a major metropolis of about 10 million people, dwarfing other cities in the country. Migration from rural areas has placed a strain upon on the supply of affordable land. Migrants face high rents for small rooms and often live in overcrowded areas plagued by a lack of proper sanitation facilities.

Habitat for Humanity Thailand began operations in 1998 in Udon Thani. Since July 2006, HFH Thailand has been operating through Habitat Resource Centers (HRCs) in Bangkok in the central area, Chiang Mai in the north, Udon Thani in the northeast, and Phang Nga province in the south.

Through 2008, Thailand’s tsunami-reconstruction program had served more than 1,500 families and is being transformed, as planned, into a regular program. The move reflects the continuing strong need for affordable housing in the south of the country. Habitat builds in Thailand using several different models – including the Save & Build program and the “Building in Stages” model.

For more information, visit

Types of construction for volunteers
HFH Thailand’s houses are typically 36-square-meters each in size and are constructed of concrete interlocking blocks or concrete hollow blocks and a tiled roof.  Habitat also builds wooden stilt houses with metal sheet roofs in southern Thailand. 

On site, volunteers can expect to move dirt and blocks, dig septic tanks, bend rebar, mix and pour concrete and lay block under the supervision of a local foreman. No previous construction skill or experience is required.

Trip itinerary
Day 1, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014: Depart the U.S. 
Day 2, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014: Travel Day
Day 3, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014: Arrive in Phuket; dinner and overnight stay.
Days 4-8, Monday, Jan. 7-Friday, Jan. 10, 2014: Typical work days including breakfast; work from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work; dinner; free time for activities.
Day 9-10, Saturday, Jan. 11-Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014: Free day; local activities.
Day 11, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014: Depart for home. 

NOTE: Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences such as market tours, visits to museums, orphanages, sporting events, schools and historical sites.

The team can expect lodging in a local hotel or guesthouse with participants sharing double-occupancy rooms and bathrooms. The trip cost includes three meals per day, including traditional Thai lunches on the build site, snacks and bottled water.

Program cost

For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.

Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge – join us in sharing our story and building a better world.

Team leader(s)
Tracy Certo has been on or led six Habitat trips, from Chile (where she met co-leader John) to Mozambique. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pa., where she publishes a weekly online magazine. She loves to write, travel, photograph and read and welcomes old friends and new to this build for a lively, diverse and fun team.  Tracy can be reached at

John Alkema is a veteran of eight Global Village trips and is really looking forward to going back to Asia.  He is a retired firefighter who keeps active by hiking, playing soccer, traveling and working part time for a public interest law firm.  He also enjoys meeting new people and working together to form a team. 

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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