Udon Thani, Thailand
Join us for an exciting build in beautiful Udon Thani, in northeast Thailand. This is an excellent opportunity to work with friendly people and learn about their unique and colorful culture. No construction skills or experience are required, just a thirst for adventure and a willingness to learn.
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.
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, January 10, 2014): Depart the U.S.
Day 2 (Saturday, January 11, 2014): Travel day.
Day 3 (Sunday, January 12, 2014): Arrival in Udon Thani; free time.
Day 4 (Monday, January 13, 2014): Welcome and orientation with local Habitat staff member; visit project site and meet families; welcome dinner.
Days 5-8 (Tuesday, January 14-Friday, January 17, 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.
Days 9-10 (Saturday, January 18-19, 2014): Free day; local activities.
Days 11-15 (Monday, January 20-Friday, January 24, 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. Dedication and farewell ceremony with community on day 15.
Day 16 (Saturday, January 25, 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 trip cost.)
Ezra Millstein is the staff photographer for Habitat for Humanity International. Since 2007 he has documented Habitat's work in more than 80 countries around the world, and has led Global Village teams to Vietnam, Hawaii, Tajikistan, South Korea, Jordan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan, India and China. You can see his work at www.ezramillstein.com. Ezra can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org