Are you looking for an opportunity to satisfy your sense of 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 also building a sense of community among our team, the homeowners and others from 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 be flexible and a willingness to experience new things. I hope you will consider joining us in Phuket!
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.
The provincial economy is supported mainly by fishery, mineral extraction, rubber and tourism. Many of Phuket’s low-income families are gypsies, or called Thai Mai people. They reside in relatively small houses mostly built by cheap materials collected from drifted planks, mangrove trees and bamboo, and roofed with very old corrugated steel sheets and nipa palm leaves.
About HFH Thailand
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. This trip will be undertaken in coordination with Thailand’s HRC-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 www.habitatthailand.org. An English language version is available.
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.
Saturday, Sept. 28: Depart for Thailand.
Sunday, Sept. 29: Travel day.
Monday, Sept. 30: Arrive in Phuket; welcome and orientation; dinner and free time.
Tuesday, Oct. 1 – Friday, Oct. 4: Typical work days: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities.
Saturday, Oct. 5 – Sunday, Oct. 6: Free day; local activities and sightseeing.
Monday, Oct. 7 – Thursday, Oct. 10: Typical work days: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities.
Friday, Oct. 11: Dedication of homes; final team dinner; free time.
Saturday, Oct. 12: 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.)
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. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!
Karen Bychowski is a native of Chicago, but is often found on a plane or in an airport as she travels frequently for both work and play. She is a management consultant by day, specializing in talent strategy, change management and learning and collaboration, and a passionate volunteer in her “spare” time. She has participated in numerous service trips, including multiple trips to Oklahoma and Mississippi as part of Habitat for Humanity, as well as Guatemala. Karen worked in Malaysia in 2004, and is excited to make the journey back to Southeast Asia. She has led three other GV builds (all in Kenya) and participated as a team member on a GV build in Ghana. This will be her first GV build in Thailand. If you are interested in learning more about this trip, contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.