Udon Thani, Thailand
Join this trip to experience a new culture and work in partnership with deserving families to build decent housing. Construction skills are not necessary, just openness to new adventures and new relationships, compassion, a sense of humor and a willingness to work hard and to get dirty.
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.
Udon Thani is located in northeastern Thailand and this trip will be coordinated with the Habitat Resource Center-Northeast. Udon Thani has the longest-serving Habitat program in Thailand.
About Habitat for Humanity Thailand
The 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 in the country. 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.
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.
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 strong need for affordable housing in the south of the country.
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. 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, February 21, 2014): Depart the U.S.
Day 2 (Saturday, February 22, 2014): Travel day.
Day 3 (Sunday, February 23, 2014): Arrival in Udon Thani; met by Habitat staff; check into hotel.
Day 4 (Monday, February 24, 2014): Welcome and orientation with local staff; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
Days 5-8 (Tuesday, February 25-Friday, February 28, 2014): Typical work days: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from about 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities.
Days 9-10 (Saturday, March 1-Sunday, March 2, 2014): Free days; cultural activities and sight-seeing.
Days 11-15 (Monday, March 3-Friday, March 7, 2014): 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. Dedication and farewell ceremony with community on day 15.
Day 16 (Saturday, March 8, 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 with bathrooms. 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 trip cost.)
Ken and Suzanne Popp have led HFH teams every year since 2001. They started their mission work with Peace Corps in West Africa. They have many repeat volunteers on their HFH teams and look to have a diverse and fun team from all over the U.S. and wherever volunteers come from.
If you are interested in working in partnership with future homeowners and a group of adventurous and diverse volunteers, please contact us at email@example.com