Thailand elephant volunteering project

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01273 823 700

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2017: 7 Sep, 17 Sep, 21 Sep, 5 Oct, 19 Oct, 2 Nov, 16 Nov, 7 Dec
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Thailand elephant volunteering project

Environment

This Project helps to provide a safe working and living environment for the elephants, their mahouts and families. By giving volunteers the chance to get up close to these intelligent creatures the project generates extra income for the camp and the mahouts so that they are not forced to overwork their elephants, as they may have to do at other camps in Thailand.

The extra income raised by the project also helps to provide food, better living conditions for the elephants and medical assistance. The project also aims to re-educate mahouts that may have been trained to mistreat their elephants and raise their awareness of the expectations that western visitors have for animal welfare, and provide education for tourists, locals and children about the importance of the Thai domestic elephant and the problems they are currently facing.

All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation. They are also briefed on how to dispose of waste properly and where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles as these are not easy to dispose of environmentally.

Community

Working closely with the mahouts, this project is aiming to give purpose and income back to their community, encouraging them away from street begging and other forms of circus entertainments for tourists. All volunteers live on site, with members of the local community employed to feed them and clean the accommodation. An education centre has been built in conjunction with the local community, to help awareness for the plight of the Asian elephant, and why this project is so important. Having volunteers here directly benefits local shops and tourism concerns run by locals.

Our volunteer placements in Thailand are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this. But we make sure that local people benefit too by choosing projects that bring tangible improvements to their lives. Our local partners are leaders in sustainable tourism. All activities and itineraries are designed in collaboration with the villagers themselves, based around the principles of community-based tourism. We are committed to providing local people with a complimentary source of income while still continuing their traditional way of life.

Cultural sensitivity

We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in rural Thailand.

We send restricted numbers of people at any one time, which minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination. Our participants become fully immersed and integrated into the community.

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