Volunteering in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia

Ashlee Rehbein Start Date: Jun 17, 2018 - End Date: Nov 3, 2018
  • Thailand
  • Laos
  • Cambodia

My Travel Story

by: Ashlee Rehbein Start Date: Jun 17, 2018 - End Date: Nov 3, 2018
Hello Everyone!

I have noticed people are asking for donations to non-profits on their behalf for their birthdays.  I am asking for you to consider donating instead to the non-profit, donate it towards someone you know who is directly going to be contributing hands on. Even as little as $10.

Why should you donate?
If you're asking yourself, why I am asking for donations to help fund this.  I understand that and sometimes I cringe at other people doing the same.  The only difference I can offer up, is I am asking for support to physically make a difference. Below is the description of the projects and the cost breakdown. (plus, its tax deductible!).   

There are four projects I am looking into and below are the details.

If you donated to my last trip to working with Refugees, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I used those funds to bring educational material, arts and crafts, and clothing to the camp. I also hope to return in 2019/2020 to see how the camp and town is improving. (fingers crossed)

With Much Love, Respect and Gratitude,

Ashlee <3

"The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion." Paulo Coelho

"Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result.  Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change." Jesse Jackson

"We make a living  by what we get. We make a life by what we give". Winston Churchill

“At the end of the day, it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished. It's about what you've done with those accomplishments. Its about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given back" Denzel

Volunteers are just ordinary people with extraordinary hearts.  They offer the gift of their time to teach, to listen, to help, to inspire, to build, to grow, to learn.  They expect no pay, yet value of their work knows no limit.. They’ve known the unexpected joy of a simple hug.  They’ve planted tiny seeds of love in countless lives. Volunteers are just ordinary people who reach out and take a hand and together make a difference that lasts a lifetime.

Surin, Thailand. Elephant Sanctuary. 1 week. $818

This essential project works directly with elephants that are at-risk of abuse or neglect, working directly with their owners to provide the care and funds required to adequately care for them. Located approximately 60kms north of Surin city lies a very rural and very traditional Thai farming community and one of the most beautiful and genuine areas of Thailand. For centuries, the locals here have used the indigenous elephants as beast of burden, and up until the mid-1980’s local elephants here were still used for logging. Now however logging is an illegal process, meaning that the elephants have literally been made redundant. In order to pay for an elephants care, many of their owners (known as ‘Mahouts’) began to walk their elephants through the streets of the big cities, selling photo opportunities to tourists. This is obviously a hugely dangerous activity, plus takes elephants out of their natural environment to walk hot, dusty roads and breathe poisoned air. Our partner organization in Thailand has created an innovative initiative where they have promised to support the Mahouts and the elephants by supplying physical labor and finance if they promise not to tout their elephants to tourists. In addition to covering the costs of accommodation and food, program fees on this project are used to ensure the elephants remain in a healthy, natural environment, receive the right healthcare and enjoy a regular healthy diet. This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live and work with real Thai Mahouts. Volunteers will spend three nights and four days each week learning how to work with, train, feed and wash the elephants. Volunteers on this program will gain great experience on animal welfare and know that they are truly helping animals in need.

Goals of this Project:

Provide essential care to at-risk elephants in Thailand
Stop the abuse of elephants by halting their use as tourist attractions
Create a safer society for native Asian elephants to live
Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike.

Koh Samui, Thailand.  School Building Program. 1 week. $818

To learn, children need a safe and solid environment with the right facilities and resources. Schools in Thailand are severely under-resourced and volunteers are desperately sought to help maintain existing facilities and to build additional ones. The maintenance of the buildings, classrooms, tables, chairs, canteen, bathrooms, playgrounds and buildings are often overlooked at schools in Thailand, simply because there just isn’t enough money to go around. Classrooms don’t have enough tables or chairs for the students, and blackboards are worn out and can’t be used. Windows, doors and mosquito screens are missing, and playgrounds are a health and safety nightmare. It doesn’t take much to brighten up a classroom, replace a broken door hinge, construct a new blackboard or remove rusty nails from a child’s swing, but schools need to prioritize their spending. This is where volunteers step in, assisting with these jobs which make a world of difference to children at school. This program offers true support to schools by supplying them with an international volunteer labor force that allows them to repair and maintain school facilities that they would otherwise be unable to afford. 

Goals of this Project:

Provide free volunteer labor to maintain school facilities in under-resourced schools in Koh Samui
Improve the future prospects of the children by supplying them with safe spaces to learn and play
Expose the locals to new and innovative ideas and a different way of doing things
Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both students and international volunteers alike.
Luang Prabang, Laos.  Teaching English Program. 1 week. $528

This exciting project was created with the goal of helping to improve the English-speaking abilities of the residents of Luang Prabang. As is common in many of the worlds' poorer communities, an ability to speak English unlocks a new world of possibilities for children and opens up many professional opportunities for the working-age, often within the service and tourism industries which is a growing market in Laos. Teaching volunteers on this program will be given the opportunity to be part of a number of special projects and teach in a range of diverse environments, making their volunteer experience both interesting and dynamic. Volunteers will find themselves working in the Santiphab secondary school library, teaching Buddhist monks, the disabled and those affected by land mines and at an English Learning Centre. This varied project aims to improve the lives of others by imparting the skills of language. 

Goals of this Project:

Provide free English language classes to the people of Luang Prabang
Improve the future prospects of some of Laos most disadvantaged and impoverished people, and help them to break the poverty cycle,
Expose non-English speakers to native English speakers in order to improve pronunciation and conversational skills,
Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both residents and international volunteers alike.

Siam Reap, Cambodia. Construction Program. 1 week.  $658

 This essential construction program was created to help impoverished families into safe and sanitary homes. Housing is a fundamental human right under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and everyone should have a safe, secure and habitable home. Unfortunately in the poorest areas of Siam Reap, many people do not have adequate housing. This program matches willing volunteers with local staff to create a project team to work on a one week house build that will be productive, safe, challenging, fun, and most importantly, will drastically improve the lives of impoverished families. No prior building experience is necessary – just lots of enthusiasm and a willingness to get stuck in to help improve the lives of others. Volunteers can expect to get their hands dirty – and paint, hammer, saw, clean, build, demolish – it’s all there waiting for some amazing volunteers to help! The families and the entire community are genuinely thankful of all of the support volunteers can give them.

Goals of this Project:

Provide low-cost, quality housing to impoverished families 
Provide safe, healthy homes to enable families to live happier, healthier lives
Improve the future prospects of some of Siam Reap’s most impoverished people, and help them to break the poverty cycle
Expose volunteers and locals to new cultures


  • Thailand
  • Laos
  • Cambodia


  • Teaching English In Laos

    Teaching English in Laos
    Volunteer Project Photo
  • Building Homes In Cambodia

    Building homes in Cambodia
    Volunteer Project Photo