Hi! My friend and I are planning on traveling to SEA next summer from around mid May to whenever my bank account hits zero. We realize we're not going at a 'prime' time in the season, but are willing to make it work out since this is the only available time we have to travel.
We're both involved with wildlife conservation and were looking to check out some animal rehabilitation centers around the area. Our list of locations so far are: Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, Thai Islands, Thailand, India, Myanmar, back to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and circle back to Thailand (again!).
Unfortunately, my friend has less time to travel than I do, so we cannot stay on any project for a long period of time. A day or a few days would be ideal for us. We're both interested in working with elephants, but want to expand and work with all types of animals. Our issue is that we simply don't know what facilities out there treat their animals humanely and without any sort of exploitation. We have found a few places but it seems that all of them ask for a hefty sum. Does anyone know of good facilities that treat their animals well and do not require loads of money to volunteer?
#1 emiliaj has been a member since 22/7/2013. Posts: 7
I'm no expert on this, but I imagine you'll have a hard time finding a one or two day volunteer opportunity that doesn't require paying a decent amount of cash. In that short a time, it seems that the organization would be doing you more of a favor than the other way around. With that said, I know Elephant's World (elephantsworld.org) in Kanchanaburi is a very reputable organization doing great work for the animals. They offer volunteering and the website doesn't mention any minimum time limits.
You should check out Helpx.net, you can find all kinds of volunteer opportunities (some you pay for, some that are free and provide shelter and food in exchange for your help). I am going to be in India in February 2014 and I have searched for volunteer organizations that need help, some with children and some with animals. While I was looking I did come across a volunteer organization that rescued animals in India during the wet season. They would bring in the animals and care for them. This may be something you could do during the off season. Unfortunatly I don't have the organizations name but there are TONS on that website to volunteer to. Search that site and you can look at every country. Hope this helps!
We used http://globalhelpswap.com/ when we volunteered in Thailand.
Like helpx they have loads of free and low cost opportunities. Its free to join too, they just ask for a donation to verify your profile. Kind of like couchsurfing.
We love volunteering, it was the highlight of our trip.
#4 DylanCarvey has been a member since 29/5/2013. Posts: 4
This isn't exactly 'wildlife', but I would highly recommend Soi Dog - a fantastic organisation in Phuket, Thailand. They rescue street dogs and cats and rehome them locally and round the world. They are involved in spaying and neutering and vaccinating dogs & cats as well as working with the governments in SEA to prevent dogs being shipped to Vietnam for the meat trade (whether you agree with eating dogs or not they way they are treated is incredibly cruel).
SUCH a great hands-on charity that would appreciate any help, even if it's only for a few days. Plus you can be sure they aren't going to charge you for the privilege and your help will have a direct impact.
Whatever you choose I hope you have a great time!
Thank you, everyone, for all the great suggestions!!
#6 emiliaj has been a member since 22/7/2013. Posts: 7
I can recommend volunteering at Soi Dog Foundation on Phuket , Thailand.
It is a dog shelter for the street dogs in Phuket and is wonderfully run.
You can volunteer for 1 day or 1 month. Volunteering tasks tend to be walking the dogs, grooming the dogs, spending time cuddling and socialising the dogs, especially the shy ones so they will be ready for adoption.
The shelter is in Mai Khao and there are some cheap hotels near by (around $20 / night). Soi Dog also offer a free pick up and drop off service if you are staying near by.
I would highly recommend this to any animal lover.
More information should be available here http://www.soidog.org/en/volunteer/
Good luck with your trip.
#7 JoM85 has been a member since 13/11/2013. Posts: 7