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 population of Thailand was estimated at more than 65 million by 2009. Bangkok is Thailand’s capital and one of the world’s largest cities by population with more than 8.5 million residents (2008). The city has much to offer, but due to large unregistered influxes of migrants from northeastern Thailand and of many nations across Asia, the population of greater Bangkok is growing – putting greater strains on infrastructure, housing and basic services.
The government’s National Housing Authority estimates some 8.2 million people live in substandard housing. Problems are particularly acute in Bangkok. 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.
About Habitat for Humanity Thailand
Habitat for Humanity Thailand was formed in 1998 and focuses its efforts on housing needs in small urban areas in and around Bangkok, where migration from rural areas into urban centers has put a strain on the availability of affordable land plots.
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 (Saturday): Depart for Thailand.
Day 2 (Sunday): Travel day.
Day 3 (Monday): Arrive in Bangkok; welcome and orientation; overnight stay in Bangkok.
Days 4-7 (Tuesday-Friday): 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.
Days 8-9 (Saturday-Sunday): Free day; local activities and sightseeing.
Days 10-13 (Monday-Thursday): 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.
Day 13 (Thursday): Dedication and farewell ceremony with community.
Day 14 (Friday): 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.)
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!
Have questions? Ready to join? Kate Porter will lead this team in the field and would love to speak with you. You can reach Kate by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate’s favorite GV memory: My favorite GV memory (if it is even possible to choose just one!) was arriving in Twapia, Zambia late into the evening with complete darkness. As we pulled in, our van was surrounded by people and we were greeting with song. When we stepped outside, we realized the entire community including children had come to welcome us.