Join a team of other adventurers like you, and travel to one of Asia’s little known and less-traveled areas! You will be part of a group that will be from many parts of the world. We will go to a region in great need of housing. The experiences and memories of working alongside of the local family will last far longer than any souvenir could buy. Join in the effort that Habitat Thailand is undertaking to eliminate poverty housing in their country.
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 with a rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon season (mid-May to September) and 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 HFH 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.
Types of construction for volunteers
HFH Thailand’s houses are typically 36 sq. m. each in size and the design features the use of concrete interlocking blocks or concrete hollow blocks with a tiled roof. Habitat also builds wooden stilt houses with metal sheet roofs in southern Thailand. These houses replace makeshift structures composed of canvas, cardboard, leaves and wire mesh walls and patched together with rusted scrap metal and wooden planks.
On site, volunteers can expect to move dirt, move blocks, dig septic tanks, bend rebar, mix concrete, pour concrete and lay block under the supervision of a local foreman. No previous construction skill or experience is required.
Day 1 Friday, January 3, 2014: Depart the U.S.
Day 2 Saturday, January 4, 2014: Travel.
Day 3 Sunday, January 5, 2014: Arrive in Udon Thani; free time.
Days 4 Monday, January 6, 2014: Welcome and orientation; visit project site and families; welcome dinner.
Day 5-8 Tuesday, January 7-Friday, January 8, 2014: Typical work days: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities.
Day 9-10 Saturday, January 11-Sunday, January 12, 2014: Free day; local activities.
Day 11 Monday, January 13, 2014: Depart for home.
Note: Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences such as market tours, or 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 shared baths. The trip cost also includes three meals per day, including traditional Thai lunches on the build site, as well as snacks and bottled water.
(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.
Bruce Merges hopes to help you make this an exceptional experience. You will build homes and build lasting relationships in the process. You will take away from this experience much more than you put in. Come along with an experienced team leader and share in the hard work and fun atmosphere.
Bruce has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and Asia. He has been involved with Habitat for Humanity since 2005, and has helped build housing in Romania, Portugal, Tajikistan, Nepal, Paraguay, Macedonia and Bali.
Bruce is knowledgeable in construction and loves to learn the unique and unusual building techniques of other cultures. He hopes to assemble a team of adventurers who are fond of doing something very special for others.
Have questions? Ready to join? Bruce Merges will lead this team in the field and would love to speak with you. Bruce can be contacted by email at email@example.com.