VOLUNTEER HEALTHCARE & MEDICINE PROJECT IN THAILAND
INTRODUCTION THAILAND HEALTHCARE AND MEDICINE
Because of transportation challenges, children from Hill Tribe communities end up living at the schools in boarding residents. In these under resourced facilities young students live with poor sanitation facilities and with limited public health education to improve hygiene and sanitation practices. KIVOLEX volunteers improve school healthcare by implementing hygiene workshops and conducting dental health campaigns, making a lasting difference in the health and safety of young Thai students.
In Thailand, where Buddhist teachings of reincarnation abound, disability is often viewed as a failure from a past life. Sadly, many children with disabilities are orphaned due to family shame, and placed in centers with limited staff support. The KIVOLEX Support for People with Disabilities Project works to meet the individualized needs of children with disabilities by teaching basic life skills and providing physical therapy. In centers where these abandoned children have a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities, your love and compassion can help them to grow and develop, thereby inspiring a brighter future.
HEALTHCARE AND MEDICINE VOLUNTEERING IN THAILAND
Health care system in Thailand is an entrepreneurial health system with public and
private providers. Public health facilities were rapidly expanded nationwide since 1961
when Thailand launched the first five-year National Economic and Social Development
Plans (1961-1966). Private hospitals also play role in health services. However, they are
mostly in Bangkok and urban area. There are also wide spread of private clinics and
polyclinics in urban areas, most of them are owned and running out of hour by public
physicians. Since 1994, the numbers of hospitals and beds have been remarkably
increasing Bed to population ratio came up to 1:469 in 2004. While the doctor to bed
ratio has dropped from 1 : 15.3 in 1991 to 1 : 7 in 2004. Average bed occupancy ratio
was 73%, Number of health care personal i.e., Doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and nurses
has trended to gradually mount every year due to the strategy to increase emphasis on
training of qualified health care personnel in the national plans. Nevertheless the
distribution of health personnel still is one of major problems in Thailand. There was
significant different between Bangkok, the Capital of Thailand, and other provinces.
There are more doctors in Bangkok. The workload was lower for the doctors who worked
in other ministry hospitals or private hospitals rather than hospitals of the MoPH.
VOICE FROM THAILAND COMMUNITY
“By teaching English to our children, volunteers have helped us reach our educational goals for our students. They always have fun new ideas to share.”
“Since the volunteers have become the center of attention in the local community, they also draw positive attention to our center and have helped our community to become more aware of the work that we do with local children.”
“Being taught by English speaking volunteers has helped our students easily absorb proper pronunciation. This increases their chances of moving on to a good primary school to continue their education.”
CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN THAILAND
DISCOVER THAI BUDDHISM
An interest in Buddhism, the spiritual practice of about 95% of Thailand’s population, brings thousands of curious visitors to Thailand every year. With KIVOLEX, you’ll have a chance to not only visit multiple temples, but also create a Tung flag to present to the temple for good merit. You’ll hear monks chanting, learn the different styles of temples, and learn about the rich history of Buddhism and the influence it still has on the Thai culture today.
LEARN TO SPEAK THAI
KIVOLEX Thai language classes will focus on spoken Thai. Your KIVOLEX Thai language instructor will teach you what you need to know to shop northern Thailand’s famous markets, connect with the beneficiaries at your volunteer assignment, and communicate, in perfect Thai, just how spicy you like your tom yum soup.
PAY YOUR RESPECTS AT WAT PHUMIN
Marvel at Wat Phumin and soak in the beauty and culture that makes up Nan’s most famous temple. From the moment you step through the intricate doors designed by Lanna craftsmen, you’ll find that you’re never out of eyesight of one of the four Buddha statues that adorn the center of the room. You’ll immediately notice Pu Man, one of Thailand’s most famous wall murals, that depicts the life, attire, and traditions that make the Nan Province so unique
TASTE THAI STREET FOOD
Thailand is famous for an abundance of night markets in every city, featuring diverse street food, lines of stalls with Thai souvenirs, and dance and music performances. Following a dinner out, join our team in exploring the sights, sounds, and smells of Nan Province’s nightlife.
EXPLORE THE NAN RIVER
Winding through the fertile lands of the Nan Basin, the Nan River has long been an important element of daily Thai life for the people of this province, supporting rice farming, fishing, and transportation. As you tour the Nan River, you might even come across houseboats and river houses, an important aspect of regional living for the Phitsanulok people.
COOK THAI CUISINE
Learn how to make traditional pad thai, a staple of Thai cuisine, with our KIVOLEX cook at the Home-Base kitchen. Follow along with your English recipe handout, and of course, you’ll have a chance to dig in to an authentic Thai meal after all that hard work. Pass the Sriracha sauce, please!
DISCOVER THAI DRESSMAKING
Meet with local seamstresses to learn how a beautiful dress is made from beginning to end. As you visit museum displaying the original Nan Province dress wear and participate in the preparation of cotton for sewing, using old fashioned tools such as a cotton weaving wheel and loom, you will walk away with a new appreciation for the effort, attention to detail, and love required to make each piece of this beautiful clothing.
CREATE THAI POTTERY AND BASKETS
Work alongside local people engaged in Thai pottery and weaving who have passed down these skills for generations. You will have a chance to create your own pottery and weave your own baskets or dream catchers, believed to keep away evil spirits and provide safety to your home.
FREE TIME IN THAILAND
MEET THE HILL TRIBES
With the population of the Nan Province including members of several hill tribes, such as the Mien and Hmong people, you will have the unique opportunity to learn about the colorful fabrics and traditions of a population with a distinct culture and history. Try your hand at creating these textiles, and get to know the personal stories of the women of northern Thailand.
Hike the waterfalls and enjoy the beautiful blue-washed walls of Chefchaouen. This small city winds its way up the mountains of the Rif range and is rich with Berber culture and famous for its stunning blue-washed architecture; a definite must-see. Snap some photos as you weave your way through the azure architecture and around the local waterfall. Take a hike around the Rif mountains and end your day back in the medina – city center – with a warm cup of mint tea.
TREK THE RICE TERRACES
Thailand is one of the world’s top exporter of rice, and northern Thailand is particularly known for it’s rice production. Enjoy stunning views as you trek through the beautiful countryside of the Nan Province and experience agricultural life in the Thai rice terraces.
EXPLORE CHIANG RAI
If you’re planning a trip to Chiang Mai, don’t forget to visit its more rural neighbor, Chiang Rai. See how the hill tribes of Chiang Rai have preserved their heritage and way of life. Make your way up north to the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet. Stand atop a rocky cliff face for a view across the Mekong River valley to Laos, and take a moment to appreciate the region’s incredible natural beauty as well as its complex history.
TAKE A DIP IN PHUKET
If you’ve ever fantasized about your ideal island paradise, chances are, you’ll find it in Phuket. You’ll have a busy schedule visiting Phuket’s Buddhist and Taoist temples and the nearly 8-foot tall Big Buddha. Set aside time to visit the outlying islands like Koh Phi Phi where you can sip banana shakes swinging in a shaded hammock, or leap off of one of Koh Phi Phi’s 70-foot-tall limestone cliffs into the turquoise bay below.
SWIM IN KO CHANG
Vacation like a local with a trip down to Ko Chang and its neighboring islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Enjoy beaches less-traveled, hike to the tops of spectacular waterfalls, and splash around in natural pools. Give your legs a rest with an elephant ride through the island’s jungles; wear your swimsuit under your clothes so you can recline on the elephant’s back while it bathes itself in rivers, but watch out for its trunk or you might get a shower too!
HOME BASE ACCOMMODATIONIN THAILAND
The Nan Province home-base is located in one of the most beautiful and genuine communities in Thailand. Surrounded by plenty of outdoor space and greenery that characterizes this agricultural area volunteers can unwind in authentic Thai living areas or retreat to a cozy bedroom at the end of a rewarding work day. With shops only a 5 minute walk away, and the town center 10 minutes away, you’ll have access to local amenities and soak up the unique cultures of the Nan Province. If you’re looking for city life, the town of Nan offers vibrant night markets, unique street food stalls, and a seemingly unlimited number of coffee shops.
In the Home-Base, you’ll be treated to delicious Thai meals, lovingly prepared by the KIVOLEX cook Jiew. Put your own twist on our Pad Thai during a KIVOLEX cooking lesson as you embrace the Thai way of “Mai-Pen-Rai” (meaning, anything is fine).
WORDS FROM OUR REPRESENTATIVE IN THAILAND
I draw my inspiration from his Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej who upholds the principle of giving the needy a tool to catch fish, rather than handing out fish as their food. This is exactly what KIVOLEX aims to do. Instead of simply giving away money, we provide volunteer services to the Thai communities who need it most.
After spending a summer abroad in Florida, I realized just how much knowing English can help open ones’ world. I wanted to find a way to give this opportunity to others in Thailand. I joined KIVOLEX in 2008, after graduating from college. In 2015 I took an opportunity to work for the U.S. Embassy, but ultimately decided to return to my KIVOLEX family in 2018. I love working for KIVOLEX because I get to see just how much the volunteer work both impacts the volunteers’ hearts and improves the education of the Thai children we serve. I am inspired by volunteers who chose to give up their time back home to come and support our communities in Thailand.