Women's Empowerment Initiative

founded in 1998
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Coordinator | Bella
Coordinator | Bella
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Contribute to the promotion of education in Laos.
Immerse yourself in the diversity of Laos culture, including language, spirituality, and cooking.
Go on a Mekong river cruise to the Pak Ou sacred caves or visit the cascading turquoise pools of the Kuang Si Waterfalls.
Learn about Theravada Buddhist practices.
Further the objectives of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, #5, Gender Equality.
Travel to city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and contribute to sustainable women’s empowerment initiatives in the local community. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Contribute to sustainable women’s empowerment initiatives in Laos by supporting English education for girls and women. Promote United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs): #4 Quality Education, #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth and #5 Gender Equality. When women have better access to education, they are able to gain more employment opportunities, which not only benefits themselves and their families, but contributes to overall economic growth. 

All our projects are based on the needs of the local community, this allows us to ensure that we are truly contributing to long-term local capacity building in line with sustainable development best practices. However, it also means that we require volunteers to be flexible as exact project details change over time, depending on the objectives of the community. You might conduct practical and conversational English classes with large groups or one-on-one lessons, for students of different ages and levels, or health and life skills workshops. This program allows you to not only immerse yourself in the diverse cultures of Laos, including Theravada Buddhism, but also how concepts of gender function in this Southeast Asian society and how it is evolving over time. 

Increasing Employability: Pre Departure Program Training:

Our programs are not only life-changing experiences but are also designed to help participants increase their employability. We have developed a curriculum to be completed prior to arrival in the country in order to ensure that more time is dedicated to program work once you commence your volunteer program. 

Eight weeks prior to your start date, you will complete the following online courses in preparation for your in-country program:


In order to obtain a certificate for the Community Development course which is endorsed by the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, you will need to complete quizzes & assignments and will be given 4 weeks post program to submit your work. 

If you are looking to travel in less than 8 weeks from now, you will still complete the course however this will be done in country and all content will need to be downloaded before arrival. 

Health & Hygiene:

The work we contribute to across the globe remains important and new measures allow our participants to continue to join our programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. Changes to our existing protocols have been made by our health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities. Please inquire for more information on the protocols. 

Typical day

Project work continues from Monday to Friday at local educational centers around town. You might conduct practical and conversational English classes with large groups or one-on-one lessons, for students of different ages and levels, or health and life skills workshops. 
  • You will teach or hold workshops anywhere between 2 - 4 hours per day in addition to lesson or workshop planning time. 
  • Morning classes usually run from 8am - 11am, followed by a break then possibly an afternoon class, and usually evening classes until 8:00 or 8:30pm. 
  • Volunteers will participate in several hours of lesson planning daily. 
  • The work schedule is slightly flexible and can change at short notice. 

    During the weekends you will have free time to relax with fellow volunteers and interns at the base in Luang Prabang or explore the surrounding area. You might visit the many Buddhist temples in the city, go on a Mekong river cruise or swim in the Kuang Si Waterfalls. 

    Free-time activities

    In your free time learn more about the many cultures of Laos, by taking additional language lessons, exploring nearby temples, or visiting a rice farm. Bond with new friends while visiting the beautiful Si Kuang falls or taking a river cruise down to the historic Pak Ou Caves, filled with thousands of images of the Buddha. 

    You will be based a short walk from the centre of the ancient city of Luang Prabang. Travelling around the local area is easy and is best done by foot or bike. Bicycles are available locally for rent or sale but are up to you to arrange. In your down time you will be free to travel in the local area and can expect weekends off. In this time you could visit nearby caves, local handicraft villages, waterfalls, or go for boat rides on the Mekong River. Tour companies are plentiful in Luang Prabang and weekend trips are easy to arrange in country. Staff can point you towards reliable companies. Before and after your program you could explore Laos culture and countryside. Visit the modern day capital of Vientiane, or go tubing and trekking in Vang Vieng.

    There is much to see and do in the area, so why not visit the local landmarks during your free time? Nong Khiaw’s dramatic viewpoint, Vang Vien’s limestone caves or the Kuang Si waterfall - the possibilities are endless! 

    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 (intermediate level)
    Criminal Background Check
    Education Requirements
    at High School level
    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 and Friday

    What's Included

    Services by GVI


    • 24-hour emergency phone
    • 24-hour in-country support
    • A safe, shared room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
    • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
    • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
    • All necessary project equipment and materials
    All necessary project training by experienced staff 
    provided online 8 weeks prior to arrival in country:
      • PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION (1 - 5 hours)
      • PROGRAM SPECIFIC TRAINING (1 - 5 hours)
      • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COURSE (10 - 15 hours)
      • LEADERSHIP COURSE (10 - 15 hours)
      • CAREERS COURSE (10 - 15 hours)
    • Communal local meals
    • Location orientation
    • Long term experienced staff
    • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
    • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language and culture
    • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
    • The rare opportunity to work closely with the women and girls of Laos
    • Welcome meeting


    • Additional drinks and gratuities
    • Extra local excursions
    • Flights
    • International and domestic airport taxes
    • Medical and travel insurance
    • Personal items and toiletries
    • Police or background check
    • Visa costs (where necessary)

    Airport Pickup at Luang Prabang International Airport
    We will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a staff t-shirt, holding a sign and wearing a friendly smile! This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team. 

    Live with other participants from around the world in the ancient city of Luang Prabang, among Buddhist temples, rolling hills, and the mighty Mekong river. The GVI base is situated at a quaint guesthouse, with an outdoor space where participants can relax and take in the tranquil atmosphere of the capital of Laos. There are 2 volunteers per room with attached bathroom. The bathrooms have running hot and cold water available for showering and western style toilets. Rooms get cleaned once per week and there is a laundry service available at an extra cost. Each room has a TV and a Fan with free Wi-Fi. The Room also have air conditioning that can be used at a extra cost of 30,000 Lao Kip per day paid directly to the guesthouse.It is a 5 minute walk to main office/teaching location and a 30 minute walk into town. Upgraded accommodation is available at an additional cost.
    Bedroom (Double)
    Food & Beverages
    Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at one of two local restaurants on base. Cuisine includes both traditional Laos dishes and Western meals. Eggs, pancakes, toast with butter and jam, and a range of southeast Asian fruits are common for breakfast, and or lunch and dinner, participants can choose from a range of dishes.
    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 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

    Due to the current situation you have the flexibility of changing the destination and start dates for this program at no extra cost. 

    • 23 Jan 2021
    • 06 Feb 2021
    • 20 Feb 2021
    • 06 Mar 2021
    • 20 Mar 2021
    • 03 Apr 2021
    • 17 Apr 2021
    • 01 May 2021
    • 15 May 2021
    • 29 May 2021
    • 12 Jun 2021
    • 26 Jun 2021
    • 10 Jul 2021
    • 24 Jul 2021
    • 07 Aug 2021
    • 21 Aug 2021
    • 04 Sep 2021
    • 18 Sep 2021
    • 02 Oct 2021
    • 16 Oct 2021
    • 30 Oct 2021
    • 13 Nov 2021
    • 27 Nov 2021
    • 11 Dec 2021
    • 25 Dec 2021

    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    4 - 12 weeks

    Program fees

    Costs: Prices in USD
    4 weeks (min. stay)
    6 weeks
    8 weeks
    10 weeks
    12 weeks (max. stay)
    Average fees
    $571 /week

    The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. GVI 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 GVI 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 GVI 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 GVI.

    What are people saying about Volunteer World?

    Women's Empowerment Initiative

    Travel to city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and contribute to sustainable women’s empowerment initiatives in the local community.


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