With the population of the Asian elephant and their habitat declining, GVI has partnered up with local community members and mahouts (elephant keepers) to help conserve the population and promote sustainable eco-tourism.
The conservation focus of the internship will be built around reintroducing previously captive elephants into a protected forest with an overall goal of having semi-wild herds of elephants living in their natural habitat, supervised by their mahouts. With less than 1000 wild Asian elephants left in Thailand and around 3000 in captivity, our project is one of the very few viable alternatives to a future within tourist camps.
Please note, we operate serious projects and internship programs and as such we do not partake in riding elephants or having them demonstrate skills learnt from being trained.
In the community, by teaching English and promoting alternative income initiatives, you will be in the position to significantly improve the opportunities available to the local Karen community.
The GVI Leadership course focuses on developing your teamwork and leadership skills. The course will involve the participants watching presentations to learn theory or working on their assignments during the evenings or afternoons after having completed their field work. A mentor will be assigned to the intern and there will be weekly one-on-one meetings to provide feedback and weekly assessment on their progress. After successful completion of the internship and the final evaluation, a certificate and professional reference will be given to the qualifying participants.
How This Project Makes a Difference
Elephants can be very expensive to care for, and generally viewed as private property by locals used as a means of generating income, forced to make money through tourism because of a lack of viable alternatives.
However as an unregulated industry, elephant tourism can be an ugly business. Circus elephants, for example, are trained to perform stressful and unnatural “tricks” and are often pushed beyond their limits in order to draw larger crowds. Elephants require a very specific environment, socially, mentally and physically to be able to thrive. With a huge increase in the demand for tourist camps, elephants are deprived of the need of their self-medicating diet, highly migratory urges to move large distances, complex social interactions and brain stimulation. This can in turn lead to shocking health repercussions for the elephants.
On this project, while gaining valuable practical conservation experience, you will help provide an alternative future for these elephants that lets them exhibit natural social and foraging behaviour in a natural forest environment. The threats to the long term survival of the species are very real and circus camps do not represent a sustainable future.
Having a good understanding of English means the number and variety of opportunities available to the local community will be significantly increased. By teaching English on this project, you will not only be making a valuable and lasting contribution to the community, but upon completion of the programme, you will have gained sufficient experience to kick start your chosen field.
Phang Nga short, mid, and long-term objectives
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 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 visualize 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.
Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Phang Nga:
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 Nham 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, data collection, awareness raising and habitat restoration