Volunteer in Laos, empower and educate women

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Volunteer in Laos, empower and educate women

Environment

Our programs are designed to immerse you in a different culture, where you work and live with the local population. On the women's empowerment program, you will be part of a cultural exchange and you will not only take part in a rewarding volunteering project to give back to the local community, you will also gain a unique insight into Lao culture.

Before you travel to Laos, you will receive a lots of information with advice and tips. This information includes a section on how to best protect the local environment when you travel. We advise participants to take care with water, which is scarce in many of our destinations. Some key recommendations include avoiding unnecessary washing which wastes water and advising that volunteers use antibacterial hand gel where they can. We encourage travellers to be mindful of waste and to reduce litter by taking a reusable bottle for drinking water.

As volunteer will be living in a UNESCO World Heritage sites the city has its own set of rules to ensure that the city is preserved. This is addressed in the orientation and in-country briefing. We encourage all volunteers to make a positive contribution to the local community while abroad and to think carefully about their impact. Food served on the trip is generally locally sourced and we place an emphasis on seasonal produce with zero transport miles.

Our company is environmentally aware and we promote the use of recycled paper and fair trade products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas, electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid.

Community

Meeting local needs
Due to gender inequality and poverty in rural areas, many women in Laos do not have access to good education and varied job prospects. This project, in Luang Prabang, gives local women access to English-speaking volunteers so that they can practise their English. The project also promotes health, IT and life skill lessons that help to give women skills that are transferable to jobs.

The projects helps to promote local economy. The volunteer scheme provides work for local staff at the accommodation. All food provided you eat will be locally-sources and you are encouraged to use local shops, restaurants and leisure facilities. You will not be taking jobs away from local people. The project employs local staff where possible, but relies on volunteers to support them. The curfew in the town is met and understood by our company and is passed on to volunteers.

Consistent teaching and shared resources is actively promoted on the project. All teaching materials and notes, which are made by volunteers ,are passed onto the next volunteer to ensure that lesson planning is systematic and logical. This enables actual progress of what is taught rather than volunteers teaching the same thing repetitively.

All our volunteers are fully trained on arrival and team teach so are never unsupervised with women who are at high risk of exploitation. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Volunteers are required to have a referee and a background check.

Cultural sensitivity
Before departure, we highlight the importance of showing respect for local customs and religion. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in Laos. Our policy is to send people to the developing world in small groups or individually. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination and helps them to integrate into the local community.

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