Chang Mai, Thailand
Are you looking for the adventure of a lifetime? Do you enjoy learning about other cultures from the locals? Are you eager to make the world a safer, healthier, more just place to live? Do you love working with a team and making new friends? If you answered “yes,” please consider joining this Global Village Team to Chang Mai to build houses in partnership with families in need. Global Village is the most fun you'll ever have working hard and immersing yourself in another culture.
New Thai friends, future teammates, as well as a beautiful and exotic land are waiting for you!
As the only country in Southeast Asia never colonized by Europeans, the Kingdom of Thailand, as it is officially known, has a fascinating history and culture. A constitutional monarchy, Thailand’s King Rama IX is the longest serving Head of State in the world. Its bustling capital Bangkok, is one of the world’s largest cities.
Thai culture’s influence has reached nearly every corner of the globe. Arguably the most far-reaching is its distinctive and delicious cuisine perhaps followed by its national sport, Muay Thai. Evocative of vibrant color, embracing hospitality and stunning natural beauty Thailand is alluring to many, and with a relatively homogeneous population, 95 percent of which is Buddhist, it is a destination easily navigated.
Thailand’s northern cultural hub, Chiang Mai, is surrounded by mountains and lush countryside and its old-world charm, contemporary vibe and low crime have made it a popular home to artists, ex-pats and foodies of all walks of life. With more than 300 temples, the famous Night Bazaar and more galleries, gardens, cooking schools and wellness centers than you can shake a stick at, The Rose of the North is sure to delight even the most weary and wary traveler.
About Habitat for Humanity Thailand
Habitat for Humanity Thailand began operations in 1998 in Udon Thani. Since July 2006, HFH Thailand has been operating through Habitat Resource Centers in Bangkok in the central area, Chiang Mai in the north, Udon Thani in the northeast and Phang Nga province in the south. The need to partner with families to provide decent, affordable housing is great.
The Thai government’s National Housing Authority estimates some 8.2 million people live in substandard housing. Problems are particularly acute in Bangkok as the capital has grown into a major metropolis dwarfing other cities. Migrants face high rents for small rooms and often live in overcrowded areas plagued by a lack of proper sanitation facilities. Squatter settlements are commonly seen along railway lines or near port and industrial areas.
Additionally, HFH Thailand’s Tsunami-Reconstruction Program has served more than 1,500 families as of 2008 and is being transformed, as planned, into a regular program. The move reflects the continuing need for affordable housing in the south of the country. For more information on HFH Thailand, visit www.habitatthailand.org.
What to expect
No previous construction skills are required, only a willingness to learn and do your best! HFH Thailand’s houses are typically about 380 square feet (36 square meters) in size and the design features the use of concrete interlocking blocks or concrete hollow blocks with a tiled roof. Volunteers can expect to move dirt, carry blocks, dig pits for septic tanks, bend rebar, mix and pour concrete and lay block under the supervision of a local foreman.
Lodging and food
The team will stay in a local hotel or guesthouse, sharing double-occupancy rooms and shared baths. The trip cost includes three meals per day, including traditional Thai lunches on the build site, as well as snacks and bottled water. All efforts will be made to accommodate special dietary requirements. Thai cuisine is very vegetarian and vegan friendly.
In Change Mai, activities may include market tours, walks in the Night Bazaar, tuk tuk rides, visits to its many temples, sporting events, local schools and even Thai massage and Thai cooking classes!
Standard 14-day itinerary
Day 1 (typically Saturday) Depart for Thailand.
Day 2 (Sunday) Travel day.
Day 3 (Monday) Arrive in Chang Mai; free time and overnight.
Day 4 (Tuesday) Welcome and orientation; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
Days 5-7 (Wednesday – Friday) Breakfast, work from 9a.m. – 5p.m.; clean up; dinner; free time for team activities.
Day 8-9 (Saturday, Sunday) Free days for local activities and site seeing.
Days 10-13 (Monday – Thursday) Breakfast, work from 9a.m. – 5p.m.; clean up; dinner; free time for team activities; dedication and farewell ceremony with community on day 13.
Day 14 (Friday) Departure day.
Note: Team leaders will be planning an optional post-build R&R in Thailand.
US$1,990 (For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village trip cost.)
Build a Better World: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Join us in sharing our story and building a better world! It’s easy; your team leaders will show you how to get started.
Jamillah lives in Northern Virginia and has been on Global Village trips to South Carolina, Costa Rica, Kenya and Malawi. She has worked as an architect for the past 15 years and is interested in sustainable community based design that provides healthy living and minimal environmental impact. In addition, community service projects and volunteering with Habitat Northern Virginia and Architecture for Humanity DC help to further her mission of providing community based sustainable design. Photography, art, music and travel help to bring the world alive in an amazing way for her. She looks forward to this and many more Global Village trips in the future.
Former fashion magazine advertising saleswoman, Staci turned her professional efforts to making the world a better place in 1995, serving Pittsburgh Habitat for Humanity as an AmeriCorps VISTA in fundraising and community leadership development. She then went on to earn her masters degree in international training and education with a focus on NGO management and participatory development from American University in Washington, D.C. Afterwards, Staci was a consultant for the World Bank, product developer for Manaca Ecotravel, small business owner and professional photographer in both Washington, D.C., and New York City.
Now a wife and mother, Staci enjoys raising her children and focusing her volunteer efforts on her first love, building houses around the world with Habitat for Humanity International. A passionate advocate for crossing cultures and partnering with people in need, Staci uses her talents and skills as a Global Village Team Leader with HFHI. She’s traveled to 32 countries and has no plans of slowing down. This will be her seventh Global Village build.
When she is not globe-trotting and collecting fodder for globalstaci.com, she enjoys her second favorite pastime, cooking and throwing parties at her home in Baltimore, Md.
To contact Staci and Jamillah, please send an email to Thaigv14359@gmail.com.