Now is the time to apply to join our Under 18 trip to Thailand in 2020!

Project & Pod News / 24 October 2019 Now is the time to apply to join our Under 18 trip to Thailand in 2020!

We are delighted to share this exciting opportunity, exclusively for 16 and 17 year olds! We are currently accepting applications to join our team in 2020 on a trip dedicated to young volunteers who are passionate about helping an active wildlife rescue centre in rural Thailand, caring for the 650+ animals currently living at the sanctuary.

Tropical animal sanctuary in Thailand

Volunteers departing from the UK will travel with their dedicated Pod Trip Leaders to Thailand. The group will be supported by their Leaders throughout the trip, who are committed to make their time away an unforgettable experience!

If you would like to work with an incredible range of animals, including rescued elephants, monkeys and bears to name a few, alongside a team of volunteers who share your love of animals – this is the perfect trip for you!

Volunteers joining the project work with bears and many other animals

Alex and Iona from the Pod Team led this year’s trip to the beautiful tropical sanctuary in Southern Thailand. 16 team members joined our Under 18 group and helped the team on the ground in Thailand to care for abused, neglected and injured animals. The work carried out by the group was vital in enabling the excellent care of animals at the centre to continue.

Volunteer caring for one of the many animals living at the sanctuary

During the trip, the group got to experience Thai culture and enjoy two well-earned rest days which included trips to a national park, bustling local night markets, a view point with the amazing sight of millions of bats flying out from a small cave on the mountainside and a relaxing stop at a spa resort!

However, don’t take our word for it! Some of our 2019 team have shared their experiences of joining the trip:

What it is like to join the trip – from the perspective of this year’s team!

Rosie: “The best experience of my life! Met so many amazing and like-minded people which will be friends for life. The days are filled with hard work but so worth it after hearing the horrible back stories of the animals as we made such a difference to their lives. The Thai people are so friendly and welcoming and the Centre began to feel like a home away from home. The Pod leaders are also extremely supportive and friendly and make sure you make the best of your trip with them! Go for it! It will definitely not be a decision you will regret.”

Emily: “I had a really good time meeting lots of new people and learning about the animals in the sanctuary. I felt well supported by POD but still felt I had enough freedom to explore new things for myself - it was a nice trip to bridge the gap to independence. The centre we stayed at was great as well and the vet tour and education session were two of my highlights from the trip. From the moment we landed I wanted to be back at the start doing it all over again and it will forever go down as two of the best weeks of my life!

Harvesting banana trees to feed the animals

Millie: “Absolutely amazing! It was an incredible experience which has enlightened me in so many ways. Alongside our fantastic group, the other volunteers at the centre were also great to work with and were very welcoming. The work itself was hard but the reward of watching the bears play in the cleanly scrubbed pool or the elephants walking around their poo free enclosures makes it worth it! The education about the treatment of animals in Thailand was heart-breaking to hear about but learning about the animal’s backgrounds only made you want work to harder. Altogether it has been a fantastic experience and has sparked my enthusiasm for volunteering and travelling!”

Marianne: “My two weeks of volunteering in Thailand this summer was one of the best experiences of my life. I met a lot of great people and being so close to the elephants and the other animals was unique. It was sometimes difficult working 6 days of the week and waking up early but at the end of the day it always felt really rewarding. Getting to experience this and visiting Thailand was amazing.”

Visiting nearby national park

What did you find most rewarding?

Lily: “Knowing we were helping the animals having a better quality of life and learning how much the centre did and learning the individual stories behind many of the animals, making it really personal and enabling you to understand why you were doing the work and how you were helping the animals.”

Libby: “During my stay there was such a large number of volunteers that the centre had enough people to completely refurbish one of the bear enclosures. Volunteers working on both elephants and on wildlife were all helping to mix concrete and lift things out and into the enclosure and it was really rewarding watching it be transformed. If there were less people it wouldn't have been possible so you knew you were making a difference.”

Cleaning the animals living space

What did you find the most challenging?

Rosie: “Definitely the humidity! You are constantly hot and sweaty, but it makes the cold shower all the better at the end of the day!”

Breanna: “Saying goodbye to everyone was definitely the hardest. Over the short time of two weeks everyone became very close so it was hard to say goodbye.”

Elephants living happily at the sanctuary

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?

Nicole: “Go for it, you will not regret it, guaranteed. It will make you grow as an individual as you will be able to embrace a different culture and appreciate all you have.”

Breanna: “If you are considering this placement my advice would be just to apply, you won’t regret it. As long as you make the most of it you will enjoy your time.”

Volunteers visit local Buddhist temple on day off

You can read more about what it is like to join this trip from past volunteers and parents’ perspectives here.

If you are interested in joining this trip in 2020 – we would love to hear from you! You can learn more about this fantastic trip here.

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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal