Elephant's Caretaker Assistant

Agency
·
founded in 2011
Philip
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Coordinator | Philip
Coordinator | Philip
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Volunteer in the elephant sanctuary and help preserving these majestic giants
Help spreading awareness about the importance of elephants' survival
Learn everything you need to know about these captivating creatures
Execute basic duties like cleaning, bathing and feeding elephants
Discover Thailand's capital city Bangkok and explore all the contrasts
The perfect program if you wish to volunteer ethically with elephants, and wish to know more about them, the problems they face and want to be part of the solution. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples

If you wish to volunteer ethically with elephants, and wish to know more about them, the problems they face and you want to be part of the solution, the Thailand Elephant Project is the place to volunteer. The forested land around the rescue centre gives rescued elephants the chance to roam around in near natural surroundings. Large pieces of land have been purchased to make these forests and grasslands their home. The large elephant enclosures, up to 5 hectares each, with natural trees, lakes and grazing areas allow the elephants space to move around and socialise with other elephants. No elephant is ever chained up, day or night.

 

Thailand is home to both populations of wild and domesticated populations of the Asian elephant. The domestic population is sadly made up of animals that have been caught from the wild or bred in captivity. These animals have been trained/broken to live and work in the tourist or logging industry. Today, Thailand’s wild population elephant population is struggling for survival. The wild elephant population of Thailand is estimated at 2200 individuals, that live in open grasslands and dense rainforests spread over the country. Historically, domestic elephants have been used predominantly in the logging industry, ironically and unwillingly helping to destroy the very habitat they rely on to survive.

 

After the ban on logging in 1989, most of the logging elephants ended up being used within the tourist industry or have been used to make a living by begging on the streets of big cities. Walking day and night on these dirty and traffic-congested streets is detrimental to the elephant’s health, and unnatural. Street begging elephants often end up being involved in road traffic accidents, with fatalities commonly occurring for both the elephant and the mahout.

 

Unfortunately, in Thailand, there are currently no laws to prevent this abuse and mistreatment. Therefore there is an urgent need to help these animals. This is where our volunteers come in. This sanctuary has been created for elephants to retire and be given the respect these amazing creatures deserve. When volunteering with elephants, you will be taught everything you need to know about the care of these captivating creatures. You will work hands-on with the elephants, washing them, feeding them, cleaning and maintaining their enclosures, and going out to collect food for them.


When selecting travel insurance for your trip please ensure your policy covers you for working with elephants. Our PMGY Elephant Policy will provide you with this level of cover and is 50% more expensive than our standard policy. This can either be selected during the online application process or can be added at a later date.

Typical day

Typical duties for the volunteers include feeding the elephants, cleaning their enclosures, washing the elephants, walking the elephants to the forest, creating enrichments, maintaining enclosures, pools and mud baths, harvesting plant matter, including banana trees and grasses.

 

The working day starts at 6:30am at the Volunteer House. The Volunteer House is where all organisation and orientation of volunteers is based. Volunteers will normally finish work around 5pm, with several breaks throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and water and toilet breaks. Volunteers are expected to work 6 days a week with one day off. The work is very physically and mentally demanding but the end result is always well worth it.

 

Volunteers will be assigned to work groups each day by the volunteer coordinators, and work with team leaders who are longer-term experienced volunteers who assist and guide their teams throughout daily tasks. Each person has their own pace, their own strengths and weaknesses. You are kindly asked to respect that not everyone has the same abilities and may work at a different pace to yourself. Everyone is here to help the animals and makes their contribution in their own way.

 

All volunteers during their time will be asked to assist in additional tasks to help us run the Volunteer House such as House Duty and Doggie Duty. Typically, two people per day are chosen to help with each. House Duty involves ensuring all volunteer areas are kept tidy each day and some common housework is completed. Doggie Duty involves caring for some of the dogs that live at the volunteer house. This involves washings, feeding and walking the dogs.

Free-time activities

PMGY volunteers are based in the suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand’s bustling capital city. It’s a city of contrasts. Modern yet cultural, chaotic, traditional and bizarre – you will never get bored in Bangkok we can assure you of that!

Here air conditioned megamalls sit side-by-side with 200-year-old village homes; gold-spired Buddhist temples share space with neon-lit, bar lined strips; slow-moving traffic bypassed by long-tail boats plying the royal river; and streets lined with food carts are overlooked by restaurants on top of skyscrapers.

The great thing about Bangkok is although it is pretty vast, getting around is simple, fast and affordable with the BTS (inner city rail network). Which also means the great nightlife is easy to get to too whether its backpacker central on Koh San Road or catching some great live music at one of the cool bars near Victory Monument.

Swimming
Concert/
Music
Sightseeing
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Hiking
Museum/
Opera
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 06:30 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Plan My Gap Year
  • ACCOMMODATION (VOLUNTEER HOUSE)
  • MEALS (BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER) 
  • AIRPORT PICK UP (6AM-2PM)
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATION
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORT
    • 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SUPPORT 
    • DEDICATED PMGY TRAVEL MENTOR
    • EMAIL & TELEPHONE SUPPORT 
    • VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK 
    • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS 
    • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTION
    • REGULAR PROGRAMME INSPECTION
    • CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION
Airport Pickup at Suvarnabhumi Airport

6am - 2pm

Accommodation

Volunteers stay in European style, concrete and brick bungalows. Most accommodation is two or three people per room in single sex rooms, with the exceptions of couples, friends and families. Fresh linen is provided weekly during your stay. There are hot showers available in a communal bathroom area if needed during your stay.

 

Our cleaner cleans rooms weekly, and we ask all volunteers to look after their own space also, by keeping your personal area tidy. Keys for rooms are available by request and deposit. All rooms have electrical outlets for you to use. In Thailand, they use two fat pins, or two round pins, of 220v. There is a main Volunteer House where many volunteers hang out and socialise. It is also where all the volunteer work and life at the project is coordinated.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

All your meals are provided during your stay in Thailand. All meals are prepared by the local team. Meals are predominantly traditional and local Thai cuisine. There are western meals provide on a weekly basis.

Clean drinking water is also provided in a number of locations on-site for volunteers.

Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

 

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Bangkok. We assist you to find cheap flights to Thailand.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Thailand provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Thailand you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Thailand.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Every sunday

This program is paused due to COVID-19 and reopens December 2020. Apply Now!

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
1 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$789
2 weeks
$1,074
3 weeks
$1,344
4 weeks
$1,614
6 weeks
$2,184
8 weeks
$2,694
12 weeks (max. stay)
$3,714
Average fees
$549 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Plan My Gap Year will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Plan My Gap Year cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Plan My Gap Year.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Elephant's Caretaker Assistant

The perfect program if you wish to volunteer ethically with elephants, and wish to know more about them, the problems they face and want to be part of the solution.

$549/week

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