Our work centers on rural homestays. We have selected thirty target schools in rural provinces to work with. These schools have agreed to provide food and accommodation to our volunteers in exchange for their teaching in the classroom 3-4 hours per day.
Though we teach very poor students in the most remote provinces of Thailand, our homestays are quite comfortable. Volunteers get a room in a house, a bed, bathroom, and three Thai meals a day. You will either live with a Thai family or have your own house in the community. Indeed, one reason Volunthai has been so successful is because the Thais take such good care of their guests.
Unlike other volunteer programs, Volunthai does not pay the schools or host families to take care of you. They’re doing it to help their students and because they trust us to choose attractive and likeable volunteers for them. It is important to understand that Volunthai isn’t a sophisticated international organization, but simply a close network of schools that we know personally and wish to help.
1999 - Michael graduates from university, travels to northeastern Thailand, does a rural homestay/teach project, goes to his first English Camp, and meets his future wife Thaneeya (“Ae”). They have the idea to set up Volunthai together and bring more volunteers to rural Thailand.
2000 - An article about Michael’s experiences is printed in the Washington Post (see: Volunthai in the News) and is sent to the American Ambassador’s residence in Bangkok.
2001 - Michael is invited to the Embassy, where he meets Thais and foreigners who support the idea of Volunthai. Ae and Michael start recruiting backpackers to help them run English Camps.
2002 - Ae and Michael receive a 6-month grant from Kenan Institute Asia to develop the Volunthai English Camp project.
2003 - After over 100 camps, Volunthai begins sending volunteers to rural schools for homestay/teach projects. A website is designed by the founder of The Library Project, Tom Stader, and volunteers start applying from overseas.
2006 - Michael and Ae get married and go to America for graduate school.
2007 - Ae’s family starts running the training and in-country coordination for Volunthai, while Ae continues to handle online recruitment from the States.