Why did you decide to volunteer through Volunteering Solutions? And where did you come to know about this organization?
Myself and my best friend Charlotte had been interested in volunteering abroad, and decided to do some online research to find an organization suitable to us. Volunteer Solutions was recommended to me by a friend, and after looking at the website in comparison to others, we were very impressed. Full itinerary lists of our days are provided, including pictures of previous volunteers, and essential things we would need to do to prepare ourselves. The website was extremely useful, advising us on what injections we needed, and an accurate description of what to expect. The two week programme in Surin stood out to us, because it offered a diverse opportunity. We got the opportunity to work in childcare, teaching English in a school, as well as working with elephants, and then had the weekends off to travel around.
Why did you choose Thailand as your volunteering destination?
Thailand has always appealed to me as an exotic location to visit. I decided to put my English degree to good use, and teach as well as having the experience of exploring a stunning country. At first I was a bit anxious as it is the furthest I have ever travelled away from home, however the staff were there to meet us at the airport and looked after us throughout the two weeks. I had heard that Thai people were extremely friendly, and soon after arriving, this became clear.
What was your daily schedule in Surin?
Our daily schedule in Surin offered a unique adventure every day. The first week involved childcare and teaching in a school. We met children from the age of 3-5, some of which were separated from their parents. Despite this, they were all so happy, which put everything into perspective. We would read stories, and sing with the children, developing their English skills at an early age. Then lunch would be provided by the school, which involved several dishes of home made food to choose from. Teaching in the class rooms involved learning the weather, telling the time and putting together sentences from this vocabulary. In the evenings we would eat at the local restaurants, which were so cheap and yet the food was incredible. There were several bars to visit in the evenings, before going to bed in the volunteer houses. During the second week, we stayed in a more rural area of Surin, where we rode, fed and bathed with elephants. Again, the staff were extremely friendly, allowing us to settle in quickly. Food was made by our group leader, and varied every day. During the weekends, you had the chance to visit Cambodia, a national park, the beach, or some of the pools at the local hotels.
Would you recommend volunteering solutions to other volunteers? Why?
I would definitely recommend this programme to future volunteers, and hope to go back in the future myself. I had the most incredible time, and have met some friends that I will be keeping in touch with. Thailand has so much to offer, and knowing that your money is going to a great cause is very motivating. The reason I would advice choosing Volunteer Solutions is because everything was carefully organised, therefore we had nothing to worry about when we got there. The staff were incredible at looking after their volunteers, and the money is excellent value.
Would you like to volunteer again through us and in which program?
I would love to volunteer with this organization again, in the same programme. However, it would be great to visit another country or try out a different programme also. To anyone thinking about visiting this summer or next, I would say don't hesitate, because it will be the best experience you ever do.