Please note: Volunteers will be working extensively with children, therefore requiring a completed application form and a criminal record report. If a criminal record is somehow unattainable, a referral from a long-term volunteer may also be accepted.
Volunteering at Baan Dada is an enriching experience that has the potential to not only positively impact the lives of the children living here, but also change your heart and mind, expanding your circle of compassion and understanding of the world.
The atmosphere at Baan Dada is holistic, with weekly yoga and meditation practices, daily farming, vegetarian meals and most importantly, dedication to creating a positive influence in the child’s mind and life. If you have a skill to share whether that is language, teaching, office work, music, cooking, art, building, farming, medical or any other skill you think would help the home and the children, please come to Baan Dada for an unforgettable experience!
Volunteers will be responsible for their transport to and from the home, health insurance, and visa arrangements (please check visa specifications for your country). They are expected to respect the local culture and holistic lifestyle at Baan Dada.
Baan Dada offers food and accommodation and asks for a small contribution of:
400 baht per night ~ volunteering more than 2 weeks
500 baht per night ~ volunteering less than 2 weeks
Volunteering at Baan Dada is a 1-week minimum, volunteers are required to pay this 1 week minimum of 3,500 baht, regardless if you choose to leave before your 1 week is finished. Please understand that this is due to the work involved in preparing for your stay and this payment is non-refundable.
Groups coming to Baan Dada to complete certain tasks or projects are an exception. In saying this, the longer you can volunteer at Baan Dada the better for both you, the children and the home!
All volunteer monetary contributions go directly towards the supplied food, accommodation, extra wages for the single-mother cooks and caregivers, and maintenance of the home.
Baan Dada has a very tight budget. To make it easier for us to manage your day-to-day needs, it is essential that you pay the appropriate amount for your entire stay upon arrival. Money can be given to the Volunteer Coordinator. If there is no Volunteer Coordinator, please give to Dada.
We also have a ‘Registration Book’ for incoming volunteers which has to be filled in upon arrival or on the next day.
WHO CAN VOLUNTEER
The short answer, anyone! Baan Dada is seeking volunteers from all backgrounds who are experienced (or are eager to gain experience!) in a variety of skills. Teaching English is one of the most important jobs a volunteer can do! It is, therefore, a compulsory part of volunteering. There is also usually some physical labor to be done, such as farming and helping with projects currently in the house.
We are especially in need of those with experience in:
Teaching (English, Music, Art, Computers)
Building/Tradesman (Construction projects, Electrical, Maintenance, Teaching skills)
Agricultural skills (permaculture, composting, seedlings, or general agriculture)
Graphic design/ Office experience (Promotions, fliers, website maintenance, and fundraising)
Medical fields (Help with eye, vaccination and health care programs)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE?
There are three seasons. Warm-season is from February to May, the rainy season is from the end of June to October, and the ‘cool’ season which extends from November to January. From February to October the temperature averages 35°C but during the cool season it can reach as low as 10°C at night, so remember to bring layers. During the rainy season, there is frequent unpredictable rain.
IS THERE WIFI/RECEPTION?
Yes, there is reception, computers in the office with Internet access and Wi-Fi. Volunteers have to share them with the staff and children. Sometimes the internet service is not that great, and there might be days with no service.
WHAT ARE THE VOLUNTEER CONDITIONS LIKE?
There is a volunteer house a few minutes’ walk from the main house with 6 individual rooms, 2 bathrooms with western toilets and cold showers, 2 large areas upstairs and 1 downstairs for sleeping and an undercover outdoor common area. It is likely you will have your own room, depending on how many volunteers are currently here. There is a fridge, kettle, toaster, and fans available, and electrical plugs in rooms. Sleeping conditions are basic, a thin mattress on the floor with a mosquito net.
The day usually begins at 6am to wake up and have breakfast with the children, followed by work during the day, depending on how you are planning to use your time to volunteer. There is time during the day to rest, especially when it is hot. The children are at school between 7am and 5pm giving you 2 hours in the afternoon to do activities before dinner at 7pm. After dinner, you can continue to do activities and decide for yourself when you will go to bed. Long term volunteers are advised to take one day off every week, but that is up to your discretion.
WHAT ABOUT FOOD AND WATER?
There is a water purification system in the kitchen so water is perfectly safe to drink. The mother at the home cooks three vegan meals per day, including rice and fruits. You can bring your own snacks and extra fruit if you like but there is substantial food supplied, that is very delicious!
ARE THERE ANY MEDICAL RISKS?
There are many mosquitos in the hot season but very low cases of Malaria and Dengue. Please consult your local doctor for recommended vaccinations for travel to Thailand. You can purchase anti-malarial prophylactics (Doxycycin) at the local pharmacy for a fraction of the price if necessary.
ARE THERE ANIMALS AT BAAN DADA?
At the moment there are cats, dogs and chickens so please bring any allergy medication if required. There are creepy-crawlies at Baan Dada as it is located in the jungle – such as ants, snails, frogs, snakes, scorpions, and geckos – some you see often, some just every now and then.
DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK THAI?
No. It is not necessary to speak Thai, Burmese, Karen, or Mon. The Dada’s speak English. The children’s abilities to speak English range from very little to a good level of conversation. Most of the younger children speak Karen amongst themselves, while the older children speak Thai. You will learn some Thai just by coming to Baan Dada!
There is no enforced dress code. It is advised however to not wear anything too revealing or short, to fit in with the culture of Baan Dada. Comfortable, practical clothes are best. Bring some older clothes too, which you are happy to get dirty or paint on!
IS SMOKING/DRINKING PERMITTED?
Baan Dada is free of drugs, alcohol, and smoking. Anyone can have a drink, but they must stay in a guest house in Sangkhlaburi for the evening. Smoking is permitted FAR from the view of any children, as it is not the type of behavior we want them to replicate.
Now that you have read the above information all that is left is for you to do is email us with (1) your completed application form and (2) your criminal record report or a referral letter from a past or present long-term volunteer.