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Volunteering for Mountain Projects with the Akha

Our chief work with the Akha is providing security for human rights, and repairing damage which has been done to the community. Communities with protected human rights flourish, communities without human rights drop into despair and exploitation. The Akha community is broadly and radically exploited by Thai society.

As a volunteer you will be working on a wide range of projects that help protect the Akha community, from documentation to education. We do not believe in "Development" which means to remove something from its protective envelope. Development, as often presented, means that the outside world gives communities roads and electric while taking the bulk of their resources and autonomy.


Please take time to view the Akha Project Info Video Volunteer Introduction Video


Volunteers:

Introduction:
Important: Conditions in the Akha villages are very difficult. It costs us money to have you in the village, to manage your time there, to arrange for your arrival, and to organize your effort. We need photo documentation and video documentation. That is why we charge a fee. Please consider this carefully. Our volunteer program is for those individuals who have the capacity and the will to contribute financially to the Akha Projects.

We have two categories for volunteers. Our first category is for short term people who come from within Thailand or other countries in the region.

Our second category is Long Term Volunteers for people who want to become deeply involved in the project three months or longer.

Short Term Volunteers
Short term volunteers come for seven days and occasionally longer.

Cost is $250 prepaid via PayPal, plus 280 baht per day to the host family. You provide transport to and from, and it is important that you know how to load your videos and photography to us via email or the web.

Duties:
In our remote location, very little gets achieved on good intentions, rather fuel, transport, repairs, computer equipment, photography, video and aid to the Akha community, which is the reason for our work, all takes money, so we request that ALL volunteers take part in responsibility to help raise funds.

We request to know what skill you can donate to the Akha community, and what skill you have at raising funds?

How much funding are you able to raise? Due to time and energy limits, we can only accept so many people.

For the short term volunteer position please contact us about what you are able to do, and for further instructions.

akhalife@gmail.com

Long Term Volunteer Information
We are in need of long term committed volunteers who can contribute time and energy to the Akha Projects and particularly who have some portion of their skill in the area of fundraising. This is essential and required.

It is very important that you the volunteer, understands the serious human rights situations that the Akha endure. The Akha have no protection of the most basic human rights. Poverty in the Akha community is extreme - conditions resemble genocide.

Our work is rapid intervention to protect the Akha when our help is requested, whatever you're immediate work you will not be able to miss recognizing these events.

We are not here for an Eco Tour though if you feel that you can cope with harsh conditions and still contribute to easing the Akha's plight then this work is for you.

We need volunteers for the following areas:

Fundraising
Observers
Researchers
Office Staff
Agricultural
Construction
Photography and Video

Fundraising
Fundraising requires that you help research grants, potential donors, make contacts with businesses, friends and families to raise funds for the Akha projects. We wish to deliver services into the Akha community, rather than just look on their misfortune. So fundraising is a crucial part that all volunteers work on.

Observers:
You do not need any experience for this type of work, you will stay in an Akha Village and be a neutral observer, you will be asked to document various human rights infringements by the authorities, and you will have a supervisor to advise you.

We will supply you with accommodation in the village; you can buy your food locally from a food vendor very inexpensively.

Researchers:
Working from within Thailand on Research on the Internet, on Field Investigations and Interviews.

This can be done from any Internet Cafe, Hotel or Guesthouse that has access to the Internet.

Office Staff:
You need to have some basic office and Internet experience; you will be working from our fundraising office in Chiang Rai.

You will be responding to various emails and telephone calls, sending out letters and general office admin.

You can stay in any of the many guesthouses in the town; the Fundraising manager will supervise you.

Agricultural:
You will be based in one of the Akha Villages and help the locals in the day to day farming and agricultural work.

You will need some farming and agricultural experience, but mainly be prepared to work hard and assist the Akha to farm.

You will be based in one of the local Villages, and can buy your food very cheaply nearby.

Construction:
You will be based near one of our many on-going projects in the Akha villages.

You will help with the completion and refurbishment of various projects, basic building and cement work experience is required, and we also need carpenters.

You will be based in the Village where the construction work is taking place; you again can buy your food nearby.

Photography and Video:
You will be travelling around the whole area helping the Director to document and photo various human rights issues, in order that they can be uploaded to our Website and documented.

You will be accommodated in one of the Akha villages as above and again you can buy your food locally. Important note about photo, video and journalistic documentation
If your intention for coming to the project is to be at the same time making a video, photographic or journalistic documentary for yourself, this opportunity is not for you, as we are not here to produce documentation for other people. These efforts are costly and take away from our short time that is already stretched to the limit. We are not a tour company either, nor an editing service. If you are interested to make documentation about the Akha people please look at our link under "News Coverage" for the rates there or check with a tour company and ask them how much they charge for all the services you require to finish your product.

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions:

How long can I stay?
The minimum stay is 7 days.

How much will it cost me?
There is a minimum fee of $350 for a 2-3 week stay. For stays of 1 month the fee is $450.

You will need to pay 50% deposit on booking, The balance payable when we meet you at Chiang Rai; the deposit is non-refundable if you make a no show.

What is the payment used for?
The Villages are a 2-hour drive away from Chiang Rai into the mountains, also for your accommodation in the Villages, qualifying of volunteers and any monies left goes towards project investments.

What happens when I get to Chiang Rai?
Our Supervisor will meet and greet you at the airport or bus station, you then will have to pay him the balance, he will then take you on a localization tour, he will then take you to the place you will be staying.

Will AHF cover my Medical costs?
No! You need to take out your own medical Insurance; AHF will not be responsible for any medical costs.

Do I get food included?
No! If you are staying in Chiang Rai you can buy your food, if you are staying within the villages you can buy your own food locally.

What do I do next?
If you wish to make a booking or discuss your work experience then you must email me and I will send you a confirmation email.

You will not be accepted unless you are sent a work experience confirmation email detailing collection times and receipt of your deposit.

I look forward to welcoming you to the project should you need any further information please contact me on my email or you can ring me on my mobile.

Best Wishes,

Matthew McDaniel

akhalife@gmail.com

The Akha Heritage Foundation
http://www.akha.org

Make a Donation
For more information regarding the volunteer opportunity contact us.


Copyright 1991 The Akha Heritage Foundation