Join this short term but vital construction project in Laos, and travel to the protected world heritage site of Luang Prabang, a fascinating town packed with culture and surrounded by stunning mountains and waterfalls.
Your project focus is always based on what the need within the community is, and predominantly concentrates on construction and/or renovation of educational facilities. Your work could involve refurbishment of classrooms, maintenance work at our temple schools – making bricks, laying cement, digging wells.
Despite being a short term project, your contribution can make a very real difference to the lives of many children and families, as well as the wider community.
Volunteers will have time off at weekends to explore the region and so can take a scenic boat trip up the Mekong to the Pak Ou Caves, watch the sunset from atop Mount Phu Si, swim in the Kuang Si Waterfalls, marvel at the many temples, trek, raft or take an elephant tour. This is the perfect way to explore one of the countries in Asia least tarnished by tourism.
We are always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to join our team. This project offers qualifying and high-performing volunteers the chance to stay on the project for a longer duration on a GVI Scholarship free of charge and as part of the staff team in the field. If you would like to work towards a field career and make the very most of your time abroad, you might want to work towards a place on a GVI Scholarship. Successful scholars may find themselves offered full time employment with GVI, and many of our current staff have come through this route. Contact us for more information!
Please note, the awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of GVI and may be offered immediately after the completion of your program or at a later date.
GVI is real volunteering
Our projects are constantly evolving according to the needs on the ground at any given time. All the information displayed here will give you an overall feel for the project, but you should be prepared for any changes in the field when you travel. An evolving project means that we can constantly meet the needs and requirements of our partners, who dictate the work that we do. The way it should be.
The majority of your time you will become fully immersed in the project at hand. With early starts, your days can be long and the weather hot, which you should prepare for. Much of the day will be spent digging, planting, brick laying and other physical activities related to the project.
After a hard days’ work, your evenings are free to relax with and get to know your fellow volunteers. You will also have the opportunity to further explore the region around Luang Prabang on your weekends off to experience more of this amazing country and its culture.
Accommodation can vary depending on the project site. If based in town, you will have a private but basic room in a conveniently located guest house.
Laos ranks as one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, where its people often live without clean water, sufficient nourishment or basic sanitation facilities, all basic human needs and rights which we can often take for granted.
As such the country relies on external aid and many people and whole communities are denied the assistance they require and deserve.
This program aims to ensure that the communities with which GVI work have access to basic resources aimed to improve their overall health and living standards.
How this project makes a difference:
This project focuses on fulfilling improving the overall facilities within the schools/temples where GVI work. With your help and contribution we can successfully look to improve these conditions of the people of Luang Prabang.This program aims to ensure that the communities with which GVI work have access to basic resources aimed to improve their overall health, living and education facilities’ standards.
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 program.
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 Luang Prabang field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Laos!
Optional Side Trips
On your weekends or while off project, the following short trips are popular with our volunteers and should definitely be checked out! Swim in the crystal clear water of the Kuang Si waterfall, enjoy the cascades and walk to the top of the falls to enjoy the beautiful view of the course of the water below. There is also a protected bear camp at the falls that is well worth a visit; take a ride on the Mekong River to visit the historical Pak Ou Caves that hold thousands of Buddha images. Visit the “Jar Maker” and weaving villages on your way back to watch the weavers at work; a short ride out of town, you can kayak on the Nam Khan River, discovering village life, beautiful countryside and lush green mountains along the way; take a guided city tour through Luang Prabang with an experienced English speaking guide, visiting the Royal Palace Museum and the beautiful temples of Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai; discover the Tad Sae waterfall, a multi-level limestone formation that creates numerous cascading pools; cycle through the Luang Prabang valley and experience the daily life of the local people, passing temple ruins and handicraft villages.
Further Travelling Opportunities
If you have the time and budget, there are a number of opportunities for exploring Laos further. These could include visiting the World Heritage-listed ancient temple of Wat Phu Champasak, the nature reserve of Nam Ha Npa, the elephants and villages of Hongsa, the dramatic Mekong River, the travellers’ adventure hotspot of Vang Vieng, and many more.
Even further afield, the likes of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all border Laos and are a travellers dream with an endless list of possibilities and activities. You’ll be left wondering why you didn’t stay for longer!
Build Your Program
- Pre-departure support and discounted services
- 24-hour emergency phone
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- Arrival orientation
- Long term experienced staff
- Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
- All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
- Welcome meeting
- Location orientation
- All necessary project training by experienced staff
- All necessary project equipment and materials
- 24-hour in-country support
- Your own private room
- Food allowance
What's Not Included
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal kit
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Extra local excursions
- International and domestic airport taxes