To begin with, although this page is underneath the ‘Activities and Adventures’ section, this doesn’t mean that you should view ‘volunteering’ as just another thing to do in South East Asia. Before you decide that you want to be a volunteer you must think carefully about what you can offer, how long you are willing to commit and also do your research thoroughly on the kind of organization that you want to get involved with.

Before you start, we advise that you read this:

Responsible Volunteering: 15 Points to Consider

To begin with, you will need to think about the type of volunteering you would like to take part in. Are you particularly good with children? Do you want to get your hands dirty with some conservation work? Or do you see yourself as an English teacher?

The following charities and NGO’s have been recommended to S.E.A Backpacker:

Volunteering with children and education-based

  • ConCERT Cambodia – “Connecting Communities, Environment & Responsible Tourism” – is a not for profit social organisation based in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
  • WLS International – (World Language Studies – Volunteering Abroad in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, China, India, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • PURE! Volunteer – PURE! focuses on increasing opportunities for children, adolescents and mothers in Cambodia, Bali and Indoneisa by providing free education and training. PURE! also advises on responsible travel and volunteering.
  • Interweave Cambodia – International Work Exchange And Volunteer Experiences, is a non-profit organisation which promotes cross-cultural understanding and awareness through volunteer programmes in Cambodia.
  • Globalteer – A UK based Charity providing overseas volunteer placements in orphanages, schools and community projects in Asia and South America.
  • OBT – a non-governmental organization that operates in Chiro village, 5km from Kampong Cham that is run only by Cambodian staff. OBT enables underprivileged young Cambodians from the countryside to achieve free English and Hospitality courses, in order to facilitate their future employment and to give them the chance to go on to higher education. They offer home-stays and volunteering – www.obtcambodia.wordpress.com
  • Sambhali Trust is a non-profit, grass-roots, charitable organisation whose focus is the development and empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan. The goals of the Sambhali Women Empowerment Policy are to bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of women. The objectives include: creating a suitable environment for the development of women through the implementation of positive economic and social policies; helping asset-less and marginalized women become economically self-reliant; offering access to health care, quality education, employment, equal compensation and social security.
  • International NGO – AHHA Education Currently looking for interns in Thailand (Buriram province) and volunteers who can teach english in Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, India and Thailand. Check out more info on their website and Facebook.
  • Sawah Bali – An opportunity to learn sustainable farming in a small Balinese village, the aim of this NGO is to conserve and sustain a working landscape in Bali and to restructure agricultural production to secure greater economic equality and wellness for farmers. The NGO is looking for volunteers and charges $375 / month fee to cover accommodation and our administration.

Organized Group Volunteering & Travel

You may wish to book a group trip which incorporates both travel and volunteering. We work with the organization, The Bamboo Project, who have several well-run and worthy projects that you can get involved in from teaching English, building classrooms, helping cats and dogs and more! Check out the projects here.

Samui-3Beach and Build, Koh Samui

Volunteering with animals

  • Volunteer Cat & Dog Rescue – Organised project with ‘Teh Bamboo Project’ – Help to look after the stray cat and dog population of Koh Samui, Thailand.

Conservation work

  • Rak Tamachat Natural Living Farm, Sikhiu, Thailand- Live with nature, not against it, help us to develop natural sustainable ways of life, and share with others.
  • Koh Samui – Beach and Build – Help to brighten up the classroom environment for an underfunded government school in Koh Samui, Thailand. Organised project with ‘The Bamboo Project’.

Medical work

  • The AIPNO is an Indian based volunteering company looking for those interested in helping with a rural medical mission. To contact the AIPNO President Dr. Jaya Shah directly, email jayashahmd@sbcglobal.net.
  • Lao Friends Hospital for Children – Opened Feb 2015, is in great need of volunteers and applications are accepted on a rolling and continual basis throughout the year. Currently seeking Nurses and Doctors, as well as Sterilization, Radiology, and Laboratory Technicians. Additionally, all trained medical professionals and individuals interested in volunteering are welcome to send their resume at any time. For more information check out their page here.
  • Angkor Hospital for Children – Looking for volunteer doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatric residents, medical students, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, laboratory scientists, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists, and other medical professionals. Due to the growing popularity of AHC’s volunteer program it is advisable to apply as early as possible. See more info here.


Other Resources

  • Help Exchange – HelpX is an online listing of farmstays, hotels and even sailing boats who invite volunteers to stay in exchange for food and accommodation.
  • Nerdy Nomad  – A.K.A. Kirsty Henderson is a traveller turned volunteer who has worked in disaster zones all over the world. You can purchase her e-book ‘The Underground Guide to International Volunteering’ on her blog and read about her experiences.
  • Workaway – A site set up to promote fair exchange between budget travellers, language learners or culture seekers and families, individuals or organizations who are looking for help with a range of activities.