Rural Community Development & Buddhist Experience

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founded in 2011
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Coordinator | Carly
Coordinator | Carly
​Explore the best-kept secret in Southeast Asia, meditate with monks, build sustainable infrastructure, trek through the jungle, and immerse yourself in Laos culture! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
While GIVE’s Laos Volunteer Program is the perfect extension to our Thailand trip, it also stands alone as an off-the-beaten-path adventure into the rugged mountainous territory of this fascinating country. Your Laos volunteer opportunities will involve supporting remote villages on a variety of eco-friendly infrastructure and wildlife conservation projects. You’ll also have the opportunity to meditate with monks in a monastery, summit craggy limestone peaks, explore hidden waterfalls and zipline through the jungle canopy. Come see for yourself why Laos is the best-kept secret in Southeast Asia!

Sustainable Infrastructure:
GIVE is working in conjunction with community leaders to identify and implement infrastructure projects that increase access to education, healthcare and potable drinking water in our host community of Sop Chem.  Since 2016, we’ve implemented a fresh water system that provides sufficient access to all 56 families in the community and constructed a primary school building that provides each grade level with a private classroom.  Both of these structures were built using thousands of repurposed plastic bottles packed with sand and non-biodegradable waste as eco-bricks. GIVE will continue working on eco-friendly projects that emphasize existing strengths within the community and inspire its members to take action.

  • 300+ villagers with access to fresh, clean drinking water
  • 60+ students with a productive learning environment
  • 25,000+ plastic bottles repurposed as eco-bricks for construction of the water tank and primary school building.
Wildlife Conservation:
GIVE has partnered with Free the Bears since 2015, an Australian NGO that has established wildlife sanctuaries throughout SE Asia to protect Asiatic Black Bears from the bile farming industry. Bile farming is a barbaric practice where bears are poached from the wild and kept in coffin-sized cages while dirty catheters extract bile from their gall bladders to be used in traditional medicines. We are currently working together to construct the Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary, a 60+ acre sanctuary that will ultimately house more than 150 bears and a variety of other primates, birds and mammals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in Asia.

  • 60+ Asiatic Black Bears already rescued from the bile farming industry.
  • Dozens of other primates, mammals and birds rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.
  • 60+ acres of land housing rescued animals at the Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary.

Typical day

After breakfast, we’ll begin work on our eco-friendly construction projects around 9:00 am. Volunteer until lunchtime and then break for a couple hours before returning to the project site for the rest of the afternoon. In the late afternoon, we wrap up volunteer work and head out on a variety of adventure and cultural immersion activities before dinner – fishing or swimming in the river, playing sports, practicing yoga and meditation on the beach, exploring nearby caves, learning to make native crafts, tubing downstream, or just relaxing and watching village life unfold. On the final night in Sop Chem, locals will hold a traditional Baci Ceremony, wishing us good fortune and safe travels on all future journeys.

Free-time activities

GIVE’s Laos Experience takes you well off the beaten path to remote villages, mountaintop vistas, idyllic waterfalls and elaborate temples. "Work hard, play hard" is our motto and Laos offers you the adventure of a lifetime! A little reward is certainly due after all your hard work so join us inner-tubing down the mighty Nam Ou River, practicing yoga on a beach surrounded by limestone cliffs, play volleyball with the locals, and learn how to weave local handicrafts from the women of Sop Chem.

Water Sports


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)
Required Documents
Copy of Passport, Copy of Travel Visa, Flight Itinerary, International Travel Insurance and Signed Registration Form and Signed Release Liability Form
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
We do not require that our volunteers come with any specific set of skills - all are welcome! Our GIVE Guides will provide all necessary instructions and orientations.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 - 16:30

What's Included

Services by GIVE Volunteers


  • All accommodations within your host country, which have basic amenities and security
  • All adventure activities except where indicated in program details
  • All ground transportation within your host country
  • All meals throughout your stay 
  • All volunteer projects and materials
  • Drinking water 24/7



  • Flights to and from your host country with all other associated air taxes, ticket fees, and any country entry and departure taxes
  • International Medical/Travel Insurance
  • Passport and Visa (specific to your host country)
  • Spending money (approximately $150-300)

Airport Pickup at Luang Prabang International Airport

You are responsible for booking your own flights to and from Laos. GIVE arranges group itineraries with dedicated flight agents so you can book all your flights with ease. ​Our group flight itineraries allow for smooth travel to your host country with your fellow volunteers, and your guides will be there to greet you when you arrive!

Special Booking Circumstances

GIVE volunteers have a spark for adventure, so we understand if you'd like to arrive early or extend your flights to continue traveling. We also know that some volunteers prefer to book with miles. If you'd like to book your flights outside of our booking agents, then we require you to email us your preferred itinerary prior to booking for approval. Note that if you arrive or depart outside of our suggested itinerary times, you will be responsible for your own airport transportation and any additional accommodation fees outside of your GIVE excursion dates. 


Your accommodations are bungalow style on the Nam Ou river in the small village of Sop Chem. You will have on other roommate in a bungalow that fits 10 each with its own bathroom.

Guesthouse Bungalow
Food & Beverages

GIVE provides 3-meals per day aside from arrival and departure day. All of your meals are delicious homemade meals from our accommodations staff. The food is true to Lao Culture and can accommodate most dietary restrictions. Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Lactose Free, Diabetic all welcome! Upon registration for your program you will have the opportunity to notify GIVE of your dietary needs.

Internet Access
Limited 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 Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) in Luang Prabang. We assist you to find cheap flights to Laos.
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 Laos provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Laos you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Laos.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Join us on our two week volunteer trips offered May - August each year OR join us on your winter break for one of our December - January excursions! Spaces are limited and trips are first come first served. Dates are listed below and include the optional week-long Elephant Experience Add-on:


2019 Laos Dates:

May 9 - May 22nd  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though May 29th)

May 18 – May 31st  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though June 7th)

May 27 – June 9th  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though June 16th)

June 5 – June 18th  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though June 25th)

June 14 – June 27th  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though July 4th)

June 23 – July 6th  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though July 13th)

July 2 – July 15th  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though July 22nd)

July 11 – July 24th  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though July 31st)

July 20 – August 2nd  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though August 9th)

July 29 – August 11th  (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though August 18th)

August 7 – August 20th (Add Elephant Experience and extend your trip though August 27th)

Extend Your Trip!

Extend your trip by adding Thailand's Ethical Elephant Experience. It takes you through Northern Thailand to trek with elephants in the jungle, play with baby elephants, visit an ethical elephant sanctuary, and support an elephant nursery and veterinary hospital! We only work with individuals that love and respect these creatures, which ensures that you have an unforgettable and ethical elephant experience. By joining GIVE’s Thailand Elephant Experience, you’ll give local experts the resources they need to promote Asian elephant welfare and conservation!

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 6 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,995
4 weeks
$ 3,490
6 weeks (max. stay)
$ 3,795
Average fees
$ 815 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. GIVE Volunteers 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 GIVE Volunteers 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 GIVE Volunteers 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 GIVE Volunteers.

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  Asia South-Eastern Asia Laos   Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang

Rural Community Development & Buddhist Experience

​Explore the best-kept secret in Southeast Asia, meditate with monks, build sustainable infrastructure, trek through the jungle, and immerse yourself in Laos culture!


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