VOLUNTEER TEACHING & EDUCATION PROJECT IN THAILAND
INTRODUCTION THAILAND TEACHING AND EDUCATION
Many students in the Nan Province are children of seasonal farm workers who live with relatives during the off-season, or belong to a nearby Hill Tribe. These students struggle with transportation to schools and as a result have poor attendance and high drop-out rates. The schools themselves struggle with providing enough teachers, especially those who can teach English, which provides a foundation for more employment opportunities within Thailand. In these under resourced schools, KIVOLEX volunteers provide valuable language lessons and engaging activities for young students that drive attendance while promoting the importance of education to the broader community.
In schools with enormous class sizes and inadequately equipped classrooms, Thai students often don’t receive the individual attention they need to thrive. With international corporations flocking to Thailand, English is becoming an essential skill for the workplace, yet with no historical roots in the English language, the Thai education system is often unequipped to effectively teach English skills to students. The KIVOLEX Education & Literacy Project works to make learning fun and rewarding and helps to bring individualized attention to each classroom. By sharing your skills, you’ll bestow confidence on students and teachers alike and have a long-lasting impact on the future employment opportunities of these eager students
TEACHING AND EDUCATION VOLUNTEERING IN THAILAND
After fifty years of almost continuous economic growth in Thailand, it is now possible to reevaluate the developmental process of the education system. Until now, the structural indicators of education development that have been mainly used are the level and pace of the increases in public expenditure on education, the effect of increasing enrolment on social mobility, and the private and public distribution of investment in education. The impact of these factors undeniably offers a better understanding of the quantitative advances in education. However, the dynamics of the education system nowadays encounter structural limits related to both the integration of what is now widespread education within the social structures and Thailand’s contribution to globalization. As a result, the contribution of education to the growth regime is increasingly questioned.
Education was, and still is, at the heart of the debates concerning the dynamics of growth creation and distribution. Pioneering studies of the contribution of education to the Asian growth process have thus stressed the extremely rapid development of national education systems as well as the role of public spending. The idea of the good performances of Asian education systems was gradually disseminated and gained favor.
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.