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Thailand Global Health Short Term Internship

Start your career in global health by completing our public health internship abroad in Southern Thailand.

Program Code: THAL0478N

Program Information

Gain an understanding of global health issues in a traditional Thai community context while contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goal #3, Good Health and Well-Being. The focus of this program is preventative healthcare, specifically hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, and exercise education. During the internship, interns will live and work in Phang Nga province, and will have the opportunity during their free time to explore the beaches, islands, and underwater life that make this region of Thailand a popular destination for international tourists.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

Learn how local and international organisations are working together to increase health and well-being on a global scale while living in one of the most beautiful regions of Thailand, Phang Nga province. Live and work with experienced international development professionals who set up and manage our projects in Southern Thailand. Gain an holistic understanding of the world’s greatest health challenges as well as the specific health issues faced by those in Southern Thailand. Discover how local organisations are tackling the issues they have identified as key toward improving health in the region and work with them to reach their objectives.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Work directly with the community of a small coastal village in Southern Thailand to improve their well-being.

  • Gain an understanding of complex global health issues in a local Thai context.

  • Start learning the intercultural communication skills necessary to succeed in the field of global health.

  • Contribute to UN SDG #3, Good Health and Well-being.

  • Earn an ILM Endorsed Leadership Certificate.

Program Details

Program Type: Internship
Location: Asia - Thailand - Phang Nga

Further Program Details

Interns will have the chance to conduct WASH, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene workshops at local schools and in other community contexts, supporting the prevention of transferable disease. Other workshops might focus on sports and the importance of exercise or nutrition education to assist with the prevention of non-transferable diseases.

This program includes the ILM Endorsed Leadership program, designed to develop your leadership skills and put you a step above other candidates. This program will be completed during your first 12 weeks on the base with GVI staff and other participants. Each week you will learn about a specific concept related to leadership and teamwork and complete an assignment on the topic. You will be guided through the process by your assigned mentor on base. At the end of the course, successful candidates will receive a certificate and personal recommendation.

After a successful internship, qualifying candidates may be given the opportunity to work for GVI or selected partner organisations in Thailand, or in other countries around the world where GVI operate. Over 50% of GVI staff are recruited from our alumni database. Qualification for positions is at the sole discretion of Global Vision International.

During school holidays, from mid-March to the end of May, and in October, teaching or child development volunteers and interns take part in alternate teaching activities. This might include teaching adults or running summer camps that might have an English language learning focus. They also have the option of contributing to other ongoing sustainable development projects like cleaning tanks at sea turtle conservation facilities, carrying out biological surveys of local islands, and conducting preventative healthcare workshops in the local community.   Thailand also has many national festivals, during which time government offices, banks, businesses, and therefore schools, are closed. One of these important festivals is Thai New Year which occurs around mid April. During this time, the GVI staff team will arrange for participants to experience the local festivities. Many people travel to Thailand to simply experience these festivities and this is an excellent opportunity for participants to fully immerse themselves in Thai culture.

In their free time, global public health interns at our base in Southern Thailand, will have the chance to explore some of the main tourists sites in the region. Interns can visit Phuket, it’s many beaches.

Select a Start Date

  • 2019
  • 2020

Select a Duration

Select a start date first.

Select Add-Ons

+ $29
 

Life On Base

Our GVI base is located in the small fishing village of Ban Nam Khem, about one and half hours from Phuket airport, and about half an hour from the tourism resort town of Khao Lak. The village offers participants the chance to experience living in a real Thai community, tucked away from the usual busy hotspots. The base is only a ten minute walk from the beach and a fifteen minute walk from the centre of the village where you can find little markets and street food vendors. Our participants share the home, including a space to learn or relax, with GVI staff and other participants from all around the world. On the weekends you can explore the numerous stunning beaches, islands, caves, and national forests for which the Phang Nga region is well-known.

Accommodation Tour

ACCOMMODATION

Rooms are shared with a maximum of 6 participants per room. Each room has a bathroom with showers and flushing toilets.

MEALS

This program gives participants the opportunity to experience authentic Southern Thai cuisine, while still having the chance to share some of their own favourite meals from back home. Breakfasts might include toast, cereal, and, of course, a wide arrange of Thailand’s tropical fruit. On some days participants can prepare eggs and pancakes. From Sunday to Thursday night lunches and dinners are prepared by local chefs,  and on the weekends, participants can prepare their own meals.

COMMUNICATION

Wifi is available on base but bear in mind it might not be as reliable as you might be use to back home.

TRANSPORTATION

We will provide transportation to your project location, ensuring you arrive promptly to take part in your project work.

CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE DRESS AND BEHAVIOUR

When on project and in the local town participants will be expected to wear modest clothing and behave in ways in keeping with Thai customs.

CLIMATE

Thailand has a famously tropical climate, the perfect weather in which to enjoy Thailand’s many beaches. There are two main seasons, the dry and the wet season, although it is warm and humid most days of the year. The dry season runs from November to April, which is why Thailand is a great place to visit for December, and the wet season from May to October.

*Thailand has a lovely tropical climate which can make physical exertion tiring for those from cooler regions who are not yet use to the Thai climate. While on the project be sure to pace yourself for the first few days while you acclimate to tropical living.

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Live Updates

Follow GVI Phang-Nga's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.
 
GVIThailandPhangNga

Arrivals

When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.


As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.


 
 

Meet The Team - Senior Field Management

Jill Walker

Deputy Director of Programs
Meet GVI’s Jill,also known by her rap name, Rainmaker, or her spiritual name, Field Whisperer. Her journey with GVI began back in 2007 as Thailand's Country Director, where she helped set up GVI’s first TEFL program!

Now she is based in Chaing Rai, Thailand. Jill's role involves providing support for all of our programs around the world. Working closing with each base, she looks to identify and manage any issues that occur so GVI are able to offer the best programs possible.

Molly Plexico

Regional Director for Southeast Asia
Meet Molly, our hard working Regional Director for Southeast Asia. Overseeing operations in 3 countries is no easy task but Molly is more than capable.

Her goal is to visit one country for every year she is alive. The most unusual place she has travelled to is Uzbekistan, on a trip beginning in Europe and ending in Southeast Asia. This is where she fell in love with Laos which began her journey with GVI. She started working for GVI back in 2012 and she is now based in Cambodia.

Vanessa

Program Manager

This is Vanessa. Vanessa is originally from the UK and joined GVI back in 2017, when she was completing an Education program in India. Since this volunteering expedition she has worked more closely with GVI and is now the Program Manager at our base in Phang Nga, Thailand.

Meet The Team - In-Country Staff

Amelia Hart

Community Coordinator

Say hey to Amelia! She is from Hastings in the UK, and is our Community Coordinator in Phang Nga, Thailand. Like a lot of our staff Amelia began as a volunteer with GVI. She interned on a TEFL program for six months, before becoming a member of the Field Staff. Amelia is really excited to see how she can continue to help improve the program.

Bob

Community Coordinator

Meet Bob from the USA! He is our Community Coordinator and has previously worked as US peace corp volunteer in Ghana. Bob also is a firm believer that anything can be eaten for breakfast, fair enough Bob!


Gay

Community Liaison

Introducing Gay, who is our Community Liaison out in Phang Nga. Gay studied Business Management as a Master Degree before working with tefl interns and now with GVI!

Luis

Conservation Coordinator

This is Luis! Luis has a Masters in Conservation and Biodiversity and is a Conservation Coordinator here in Phang Nga. He has also been in similar roles while traveling all around the world.



Your Impact

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.


Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.


Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.


Environmental Work

The environmental issues Thailand facing are many and varied. These include poor water, air and soil quality as well as biodiversity loss. Poaching, kidnapping of wild animals, deforestation, and unsustainable tourism threaten Thailand’s land and marine habitats and wildlife. The Thai government is constantly updating and improving environmental legislation and practices, and local and international non-governmental organisations and community groups can assist with achieving these conservation outcomes.


Sea Turtle Conservation

A large part of the environmental aspect of our project involves working alongside our partners at the Royal Thai Navy Sea Turtle Conservation Centre and the Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre. These are head-start centres, where turtle hatchlings are reared until they are between 6 and 9 months old before being released back into the wild. Turtle populations the world over are threatened, and it is estimated that only around 1 in 1000 hatchlings survive to reach adulthood naturally. These statistics are exacerbated by beach erosion as a result of tourism development. Head-start programs aim to increase the survival rate by protecting the hatchlings until they reach a size where they will face much less risk of predation. The work our participants carry out includes scrubbing the tanks to ensure that the turtles have a clean environment to live in, washing the turtles with an antibacterial solution to reduce levels of infection, and also applying antifungal and antibacterial treatments to any wounds the turtles have. We also conduct research at the centre, collecting data on turtle morphology and infection rates, as well as some behavioural research to monitor the effects of enclosure enrichment. We hope to use this data to gain further understanding of the best methods of turtle husbandry. This project runs year round and if you are lucky enough to be on the project during a release date, you will assist in releasing hundreds of young turtles into the ocean


Island Conservation

We also conduct biodiversity research on two nearby islands of Koh Ra and Koh Prathong year round to assist the Thai Department of National Parks in the effective management of these vital areas. We conduct surveys and run camera trapping research on the islands to build up a picture of the biodiversity there and we hope that this research will contribute to the islands falling under formal protection. We have already confirmed the presence of some critically endangered species on the islands so we know that they are of conservation value, and we hope through our continued and expanding research, we can learn more about the ecology of the islands and their importance in the region. Other activities include conducting research on mangroves and conducting further research on these plants.


*Please note that we only travel to Koh Ra and Koh Prathong once a month, so participants who only visit for two weeks might not get the opportunity to conduct island surveys.  


Bird Conservation

Another element to our projects is carrying out weekly bird surveys in the local area year round. Birds are an important part of healthy ecosystems and as such, building species lists and monitoring populations and patterns of migration is a valuable way to build a picture of how well nature is doing in an area. Participants are provided with training on how to identify birds in the field. Currently our data is submitted to a citizen science project, e-Bird, but we are looking at developing this project to commence our own research plan.


Plastic Pollution Cleanups

Year round we carry out beach cleans in our local area in Phang Nga. Marine litter is one of the greatest environmental challenges conservationists are facing today. Through regular clean ups we hope to make a difference through removing litter, and also occasionally through engaging the local community to participate alongside us.


Coral Research

During the dry season, November to April, we carry out one to two snorkelling surveys a week on nearby coral reefs. We monitor the health of the coral, and we also look at the variety and abundance of fish species present. Coral reefs are incredibly important ecosystems which are vital to the health of our oceans, which in turn means that they are vital to humans as well. Globally coral reefs are being affected by overfishing, climate change and irresponsible tourism. We aim to monitor the reefs close to where we are based to look at how well they are doing and to establish if there are any actions that could be taken to improve or protect them further. We carry out our surveys in partnership with Green Fins Thailand and REEF, which are both organisations using citizen science to provide research and monitoring of the world’s coral reefs.


*Please note that you will not be doing any diving, while conducting these surveys, only snorkeling.


Environmental Education

Throughout the year, we also conduct environmental awareness workshops at local schools, hotels, tour or dive operators, and anywhere in the local community when an opportunity presents itself.


Community Work

Ban Nam Khem, meaning ‘Place of Salty Water’, became the epicentre of a tin mining boom in the 1950s. The population grew from a few families to approximately 5000 people at its height. However, when all the tin was eventually extracted from the surrounding mines, the mining bubble burst, so that all remains of the industry today are lakes dotted around the village, marking where mines were dug out yet never filled back in. Today most people here earn a living from fishing, but many look for new income in the nearby tourist hub of Khao Lak.


Thailand, like many countries in South East Asia, suffered greatly in the wake of the Indian Ocean Tsunami on 26th December 2004. Phang Nga, the province in which Ban Nam Khem is located, was one of the most severely affected in the country. Many villagers lost their homes, relatives, and friends. The need for community redevelopment and regeneration is still present.


The GVI Phang Nga hub was initiated in September 2013 with the aim of supporting the continued redevelopment of Ban Nam Khem and increased access to employment opportunities through capacity-building initiatives. The local community’s efforts to diversify employment markets remains central to its well-being. Ban Nam Khem is well located to take advantage of the tourism boom in the area, but the population needs a good level of conversational English to enable them access to the corresponding employment opportunities. Furthermore English language skills can assist students in the Thai workplace and in the international economy.


Ban Nam Khem boasts its own primary school with an enrolment of around 250 children and a Community Development Centre which offers free education during the day for around 150 children who live in the village, and free after-school classes open to everyone in the evening.


English Education Program

Throughout the year we assist local teaches with running classes to improve conversational English. This might include everything from training local teachers, assisting with lesson development and providing one-on-one tutoring sessions for learners requiring additional support. We also conduct English lessons for adult learners from the community.


Construction Projects

We also assist educational or community centers around Ban Nam Khem with infrastructure development, depending on if and when they have requested the support. We assist by conducting basic maintenance and renovation work like maintaining fences or installing bathrooms.


Our Partners In Phang Nga

Project Objectives

 


GVI Phang Nga Long-term Objectives:  


1. To provide equal, quality education to children of all backgrounds.\


2. To Promote good health and wellbeing through education to all children.


3. Increase skills for local people to assist with equal employment opportunities in our communities within Takuapa and Ban Nam Khem.


4. Increase awareness of local populations to environmental issues and facilitate change towards sustainability through scientific studies.


5. Increase our in-country capacity by providing environmental and conservation education and training.


6. To assist and develop local coastal conservation efforts through providing practical support to project partners, research, awareness raising and habitat restoration.


Publications

The best decisions in international development and conservation cannot be made without accurate and up-to-date data or informed research. Our many field teams around the world collaborate with local and international partners to analyse data and draw conclusions. In addition, many of our participants have used research they have collected on their various GVI projects to complete their Masters, Doctorate, or postdoctoral studies. We also run a fellowship program which connects postdoctoral researchers at globally-respected universities with our many sustainable development programs around the world to support their research and ensure continuous improvement of our best practices on base.


Training

A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.


For All GVI Participants

Welcome Presentation

Introduction to GVI as a whole and the work in your specific location. Learn about the short, mid, and long-term objectives of the sustainable development projects at your base, which United Nations Development Goals they impact most directly, and which local partners we work with.


Health and Safety Training

Learn about the Emergency Action Plans in place at your base, the full Risk Assessment, and best practices for personal safety.


Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Training

Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.


For All Participants at Phang Nga

Introduction to Thai Culture

A Thai culture presentation to help you understand more about important cultural details, and to make you feel more comfortable with any cultural differences you may encounter.


Introduction to Thai Language

Learn some basic Thai words and phrases which will help you integrate further into the village community.


The Importance of Responsible Tourism in Thailand

This presentation highlights the environmental issues caused by tourism to Thailand and helps volunteers make responsible decisions when deciding whether or not to engage in a wildlife encounter.


Your Program Specific Training

GVI’s ILM Endorsed Leadership Training

This includes several presentations on leadership-related topics as well as practical applications of the topics, weekly one-on-one meetings with an assigned mentor, and a final leadership project.


Health Projects Training

Participants are prepared for the work they will conduct in while working with our health project partners.


Qualifications

Exploration

Joining a program not only allows participants to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer.


Long term field staff are a great source of advice, and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. Many decide to travel before or after their experience (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program. Please note that the below suggestions are not included in the program fee, and are for the individual to organise at their own expense.


Weekend Trips

Krabi Province

The province is a treasure trove for intrepid travellers, from the crystal clear Emerald Pond to the epic 1,237-step climb up to the Buddha image and stunning views at the Tiger Temple Cave to the enchanted scenery and pools of Than Bok Khorani National Park. Experience the island life on one of the many Andaman islands in the region known for their dazzling marine life as well as their stunning terrestrial beauty.


Phuket Island and City

Phuket is a tourism hotspot, popular as much for its spectacular beaches, diving, and surfing sites, as it is for it’s cafes, boutiques, and hotels. You can also visit The Big Buddha, a massive statue of white marble, nearly 50 metres, depicting the Buddha in a seated position. Trips from Phuket to many of the surrounding islands like Ko Yao Yai, are widely available and popular.


Island Hopping

The Similan and Surin Island groups are both protected Marine National Parks. They are home to several diving and snorkelling spots renowned worldwide, but can only be visited during November and March, the Thai dry season. If you are looking for an island to visit year round, why not explore the Phi Phi islands, famous for its Viking Cave, a dramatic limestone cliff formation featuring rock painting of boats.


Beaches

Explore some of the top beach destinations around the world like Railay beach.


Khao Lak

This is a very popular tourist spot close by, with beautiful, seemingly endless beaches, so many dining options you will be spoilt for choice and hundreds of spas offering massages and treatments at reasonable rates. With a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to hostels, Khao Lak offers you the chance to spoil yourself for a few days, whether you are on a budget or looking to splurge a little.


Khao Sok National Park

This National Park is a 740km² rainforest reserve home to elephants, leopards, tigers, deer, monkeys, lizards, birds, and the Rafflesia, the largest flowers in the world. In the middle of the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, at least 160-million-year old, lies Cheow Larn Lake. Here you can trek through the jungle, you could kayak through estuaries cutting through 200 meter foliaged limestone cliffs, mangrove channels and tidal lagoons while keeping your eyes open for local wildlife, or swim in idyllic waterfalls or just relax and see what you can spot. kayak around Cheow Larn lake visiting spectacular limestone caves, choose a day trip, or an overnight stays in one of the jungle tree houses, or even on a floating bungalow.


Further Travels

Phang Nga Bay

You can also explore the warm turquoise waters and limestone cliffs of Phang Nga by speedboat or sea kayak, stopping off at James Bond Island, made famous by the 1974 film ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ before visiting the floating Sea Gypsy village. can also explore the warm turquoise waters and limestone cliffs of Phang Nga by speedboat or sea kayak, stopping off at James Bond Island, made famous by the 1974 film ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ before visiting the floating Sea Gypsy village.


Mu Koh Chang National Park

This protected marine park covers an a huge area including over 50 islands. Visit the jungle island of Koh Chang to snorkel or scuba dive off the coast and experience the unique marine life.


Koh Tao Island

Turtle island is an excellent destination for relaxing on the beach, snorkeling and scuba diving.


Khao Yai National Park

Explore the picturesque waterfalls of Khao Yai in central Thailand. Here you can spot unique Thai wildlife like gibbon monkeys.


Nan Province

Explore the many natural sites of Nan, bordering Laos, like Doi Phu Kha National Park and Si Nan National Park. It is the perfect area to experience the dense natural forests Northern Thailand is known for.


Ayuthaya

Travel to the city complex ruins of Ayuthaya to learn more about Thailand’s heritage. This spectacular, but now abandoned city use to be the medieval capital of Siam.


Chiang Mai

Set in the verdant mountainsides of Northern Thailand, the golden city of Chiang Mai, is a breathtaking sight to behold. Visit historic temples and hunt for treasures at local markets.


Bangkok

There is a reason why the capital of Thailand is one of the most visited sites in the country. Featuring gorgeous temples, the spectacular grand palace, and many excellent shopping opportunities, including the famous floating market, it is a location you simply have to explore while on your trip to Thailand.


Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.


Festivals

February: Magha Puja is an important Buddhist holiday during which people make offerings at temples around the country.


April to May: Thailand’s New Year, also known as Songkran is on celebrated during April every year. It is a very family-centered holiday, and many travel to their home where they honour older members of their extended families. They also wash statues of the Buddha to represent dismissing the past and stepping freshly cleaned into the new year. Usually in April but also in May Thai people also celebrate Buddha’s birthday.


July to October: In July, many Buddhists celebrate Asalha Puja, which commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon to his disciples. This starts the annual three month retreat of the monks known as Vassa. The retreat ends with a celebration known as Wan Ok Phansa.


November: Loi Krathong, the festival of a thousand lights, is celebrated in November. Thousands of lanterns are set out on rivers and lake around the country. It is a spectacular site that draws many international visitors each year.


Spirituality and Religion

Most of the Thai people subscribe to Theravada Buddhism. There are many local Buddhist sites in the region of Phang Nga that you can visit to learn more about Buddhist customs. Travel to Wat Suwan Khuha to see the reclining Buddha or Wat Rat Upatham to see a massive painted statue of Kuan Yin and that of the Buddha rising out of the lush green countryside.


Dancing

The fluid movements and opulent gilded costumes of Thai traditional dancing are recognisable worldwide. Learn about the six types of Thai classical dance, watch a performance, or maybe even attend a class where you can learn some traditional movements.


Cooking

Thai cooking is famous the world over for its fragrant, tangy flavours. Learn how to cook some of these authentic Southern Thai dishes on your stay in Phang Nga.


Phang Nga

Phang Nga is a pocket of paradise in southern Thailand known for its amazing limestone rock formations, pristine beaches and rich culture. It’s many beaches and islands offer many opportunities for spotting unique marine and terrestrial species. The community here is also very traditional which means that immersing yourself fully in traditional Thai culture is also possible.


Languages

The Thai language is incredibly complex. It is tonal which means and there are 5 tones altogether which means you can say the same word 5 different ways and it may mean 5 different things. Learn more about Thai by mastering some basic conversational phrases and practices with locals throughout Phang Nga.


Thailand

Thailand is home to many threatened species like the Asian elephant, several species of sea turtle, sunda pangolin, the Asian Black Bear, the Malayan Sun Bear, and gibbon monkeys. Its many coastlines and islands mean that there are plenty of areas for unique coastal and island life to flourish. Underwater, corals thrive and the area is often visited by manta rays and tiger sharks.


The Thai culture is very closely tied to Buddhist beliefs and practices. Respect for others and those in authority are ingrained in Thai culture, as is emotional restraint. Family is at the center of most people’s lives and they are dedicated to practicing family values and compassion. The Thai Royal family are also highly respected in Thailand and a key part of national culture.


Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


 


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.


 

Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Herritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


Support

Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Safety

Upon arrival at the airport participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.


Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov

HOW GVI UPHOLDS HEALTH AND SAFETY

It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.


1 Nov

GVI’S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY AND SECURITY

As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.


6 Nov

HOW GVI REMAINS PREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS

The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.


5 Nov

HOW GVI MANAGES PARTICIPANTS EXPECTATIONS

Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.


What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)