Explore two stunning countries to their fullest! Explore the amazing natural beauty that both countries have to offer, immersing yourself in the intricacies of the various cultures and all while contributing to long-term childcare projects.
On this multi country project you will volunteer primary with children in local schools, providing much needed assistance to the teachers, helping the children with their English language ability and taking part in a range of other educational activities and games with the students.
In Thailand, you will be working in the idyllic province of Phang Nga. Surrounded by white sand beaches and a tropical jungle, you will spend your days contributing to the local community by assisting teachers in local schools and helping the children develop their English language skills.
In Fiji, you will have the chance to experience island life while surrounded by some of world’s most beautiful natural scenery! Your time here will be spent volunteering in an understaffed local school where you will help children develop their language skills and give them the individual attention they need to thrive.
Both our childcare projects in these regions aim to improve the resources at the local schools in order to give the children a chance at a better education and thus improving their future prospects.
Please note travel between Thailand and Fiji is not included, but please speak to your Country Expert who will be able to advise you on your options and costs involved.
Explore two amazing countries; immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of the local communities; tantalise your taste buds with exotic cuisine; enjoy the breath-taking tropical scenery; relax on pristine beaches; hike up to hidden waterfalls; island hopping; taking part in one of the many optional side trips; teaching children and seeing them progress, making a long-term impact on their futures and making a lasting contribution to the community
"Volunteering with the GVI team has been a great way to learn more about the incredible work that GVI guys are doing every day. It is a wonderful way to stay connected and learn about ongoing social and environmental projects and helping GVI amplify the work done by change-makers internationally"
These updates cover all programs in this location
From Monday to Friday, you will spend the majority of your time teaching English classes and assisting local teachers, playing games and leading educational activities designed to improve the children’s conversational English. Although rewarding, days can long and tiring as you keep up with the children’s energy and enthusiasm.
Accommodation on base is small but comfortable with shared facilities and enough space for people to relax together or in private. There will be access to cold running water, electricity and an internet connection. While on project you will also receive simple yet delicious Thai meals cooked locally.
On weekends, you are free to explore the nearby area, relax on the pristine beaches or venture further out. Explore Khao Sok National Park; Phuket Island; kayak around Cheow Larn; visit the amazing limestone rock formations or take part in the other numerous side trips that the region offers!
If you would prefer to stay in private accommodation while on this project, this location does offer upgrades. Contact us for more information, or mention to your Country Expert who will be able to assist you.
Your day will start with a morning assembly, followed by a teachers’ meeting where you will discuss the plan for the day with the faculty staff. For the remainder of the school day you will be focused on teaching, organising and running activities and providing assistance to other teachers.
Accommodation will be basic dormitory style with a communal kitchen, work area and living space. After a long day of hard work, the team will gather back at the base to eat, share stories and prepare for the next day’s activities.
On weekends you will be spoilt for choice in this beautiful exotic location. Snorkelling, scuba diving, hiking and island hopping are just some of your options to explore!
What's Not Included
Our project aims vary between countries, but are all focused around building a better future for these children, while highlighting the importance in preserving and appreciating their fascinating cultures.
In the Phang Nga community where you will be teaching your presence will be invaluable. Thai classrooms are often overcrowded and teachers need additional assistance to ease their workload, give the children some extra attention and more exposure to spoken English. While volunteering here, you may find yourself teaching with fellow volunteers, assisting local teachers, teaching your own classes and practising English with the wider community.
Our goal in Fiji is to help the local children develop the necessary skills to improve their future opportunities. Through our local partners, community and the local council, we have been specifically requested to provide assistance with English language teaching, mathematics, sports education and arts. Local teachers are often under-resourced and there is an immediate need to provide them with assistance and additional English language resources.
How this project makes a difference
In Thailand, GVI works directly with local schools to provide hardworking English teachers for the Thai children. As a result of an increase in tourism to the area, English teachers are in great demand. Most well-paying jobs are in the tourism industry and require conversational English skills. By providing these kids with an English education, we are able to give them the opportunity to improve their futures and break the cycle of poverty.
In Fiji, locally trained teachers are in need of assistance to provide the necessary levels of education to enable local children to have access to greater future educational and career opportunities. Our teaching and childcare projects help to provide additional resources to the teachers and children in need. Having a basic understanding of English helps to provide a link between different ethnic communities in the region, as well as increasing the chances of employment.
What's Not Included
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on the programme.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Thailand and Fiji!
Optional Side Trips
Explore the amazing Khao Sok National Park, including the stunning Cheow Larn Lake and 740km² of rainforest and which is home to elephants, leopards, tigers, deer, monkeys, lizards, birds, and the Rafflesia – the largest flowers in the world, 90cm across with a unique aroma… of rotting flesh! Take a day trip for a quick sample of the park’s delights or stay overnight and discover even more – perhaps in one of the jungle tree houses, or even on a bungalow that floats on the lake. Trek through the jungle, kayak around Cheow Larn lake visiting spectacular limestone caves, swim in idyllic waterfalls or just relax and see what you can spot!
Phuket Island, about 90mins south of Khao Lak and renowned for its colourful nightlife is also a great stop-off for divers and snorkelers, but if you’re not the diving type you can explore Phang Nga Bay 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. Phuket is also very popular with surfers, playing host to annual surfing competitions, though there is a great ‘secret spot’ near Khao Lak… if you’re interested GVI staff will show you the way!
Neighbouring Krabi 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 Khoranee National Park to the shopping and late night bars of Ao Nang to the chilled out beaches of Koh Lanta Island to the parties of Phi, where ‘The Beach’ was filmed – the options are truly endless!
Fiji is a beautiful and exotic destination where you will find picturesque white sand beaches, world class dive sites, and Fiji’s famous culture of hospitality and warmth. As an island nation, many of your potential activities are water based! Starting locally, just a short boat ride away you can visit the famous pod of dolphins that reside all year round on Moon Reef or hike into forests and swim in hidden waterfalls or visit one of Fiji’s famous island resorts.
In the water, for those that are not dive qualified you could enrol in a scuba diving course and dive the various dive sites in the region, home to abundant marine life, colourful corals and steep drop-offs. Get lucky with your dive, and visibility can exceed a massive 40m.
Fiji’s capital city, Suva, is only a few hours from all our project sites, known for its relaxed atmosphere, energetic nightlife, large farmers market and atmospheric port. Here you can visit the Fiji Museum, where you can find ancient tribal artefacts, one of the best exhibitions on tribal art in the Pacific, or read up on Fiji’s cannibal past. The old historical capital of Fiji, Levuka, which makes for an interesting day trip, is accessible by ferry and small boat and located on the nearby Ovalau Island.
Further Travelling Opportunities
Thailand is a country with a whole range of fantastic places that you could visit. If you have the time and budget, you could consider going to see the following; the waterfalls of the picturesque Khao Yai National Park, the mountain town of Chiang Mai, the local tribes of Nam Province, the beaches of Ko Tao and Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park, the golden kingdom of Ayuthaya, the temples and nightlife of Bangkok and many more…
A little further afield, the possibilities just keep on coming. Explore the town of Nadi with its bustling market, nearby hot springs at Sabeto or get a feel for the local atmosphere at a rugby match. From Pacific Harbour, join a river safari into the heart of Fiji or dive with bull sharks in Bega Lagoon, one of the world’s most famous shark dives.
Either before or after your program you could try island hopping around the 20 volcanic islands of the Yasawa group. These remote islands are characterized by white beaches, crystal blue lagoon and dramatic rugged hills, some with summits 600 meters above sea level.
Staying on dry land, you might consider a trip to the Sigatoka National Park where you’ll find a miniature desert of rolling sand dunes or a more relaxing option would be the Coral Coast and the Kula Eco Park, Fiji’s only wildlife park.
Meet Molly, our hard working country director for both Thailand and Laos. Over seeing operations in two countries is no easy task but Molly is more than capable.
She started volunteering and travelling at a young age, working in soup kitchens, with AmeriCorps, at animal shelters, as a Big Sister with Big Brother Big Sisters of America and as a Guardian ad Litem. She studied family development and psychology and loves to dance.
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 Thailand. GVI has hubs all around the world and she has been lucky enough to visit the hubs in Nepal, Thailand, Laos and the office in South Africa.
Conservation project coordinator
Meet Katie, our brilliant conservation project coordinator in Phang Nga, Thailand. She is experienced in environmental education, working within zoos and outreach programmes in the UK, teaching a huge range, from pre-school children through to university students.
From a young age she travelled to many unique and culturally diverse places with her family.
During her short term internship with GVI, at Jalova Biological Research Station, she developed and advanced her surveying, research and project development skills whilst working in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.
Her must bring travel item is her trusty camera; "There is not a day that goes by where I don't encounter a moment that I want to capture, especially when exploring the worlds natural beauty."
Meet Dora, our insightful base manager in Phang Nga, Thailand. She has spent much of her life traveling, studying and volunteering all over the world. She grew up in China but felt the need to explore the world. She's lived in many different countries such as Egypt, Japan and the Phillippines,saying that she's not one to stay in one place for very long. She's also explored most of Europe an the west of the USA.
She has a BA in international relations focusing on the continents of Africa and Asia. She's also a certified, open water NAU diver.
Her favourite thing about working for GVI is how every day is different and how meeting so many new people has taught her so much about herself. She's a real life traveller and we're lucky to have her on board.
Meet Karissa, our vibrant country expert for our Cape Town and Thailand, Phang Nga, hubs. She loves travelling and has had her fair share of travelling too. Her first solo travel was to New Zealand to work as an Au Pair, followed by Fiji for over a year. She then travelled to Thailand, where she met her South African partner and worked as an English Teacher at a public High School.
Karissa is TEFL qualified and has first-hand experience of working abroad. What first attracted her to join GVI? “The amazing volunteer projects and stunning locations across the world.”
She moved to Cape Town in November 2015 from her home country, the USA, and is loving every minute of being able to call South Africa her new home!
Caroline Van Der Does De Willebois
Service Learning Manager Thailand
A conservationist and adventurer at heart with a passion for sustainable development and marine conservation. Caroline has a Master's degree in International Development and past experience working with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, educational marine conservation with the Marine Megafauna Foundation in Mozambique, and dive instructing in Thailand.
Caroline believes that GVI's combination of conservation and community development projects helps us to reach a true and sustainable impact in the field.
Her travels have taken her all over the world, but she is grateful to have returned to Thailand to join the GVI family and support and train others to have the best possible Service Learning experience!
Assistant Director of Programs
Meet Jill, our Assistant Director of Programs and line manager for Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Australia and Kenya programs. ‘Manow’ (lime), as she’s locally known in Thailand where she's based, taught English, environmental education and art in the USA and Thailand before joining us to set up a TEFL and Community Development Expedition. “I haven’t looked back since!”
When Jill isn’t working, she likes reading or doing just about anything energetic. “I devour books, love cooking and enjoy finding some time to get some exercise – yoga, dancing and aerobics are some of my faves.”
What does Jill like most about her job? “It’s great to see volunteers rising above the cultural and language barriers between themselves and the communities. That, and every day is completely different, which is the way I like it- it keeps me from getting bored.” Being ‘allergic’ to being bored has led to Manow doing some pretty amazing things. “I once ended up spending a week living in a cave with some Buddhist monks while I helped them build a small adobe monk hut.”