Environmental conservation activities in the Isan Region of Northeastern
Roi-Et March 16 - March 30, 2014
Volunteer project: Roi-Et is one of
the provinces in the North East of Thailand, known between Thais as
Isan. The Isan is also one of the regions of Thailand where traditions
are preserved and respected. The Isan culture is influenced by Laos and
Lao culture. This influence is represented in their special cooking,
handicrafts, music and dance and in the typical Muay Thai Boxing.
The Bo Pan Khan site dates back to the bronze era, when it was a main economic centre of the region due to the rock salt that could be found in the soil. Nowadays, the site is virtually abandoned despite efforts of the Thai government in the 90's to attract local tourists. Bo Pan Khan is surrounded by water, which is now filled with riverweed.
In this project, the volunteers will be involved in
the environmental conservation of the Bo Pan Khan area, will help
promote organic farming and will help raise awareness among the
community about recycling. The specific projects are:
- The volunteers will work at Bo Pan Khan to help cutting the riverweed. Then they will turn the riverweed into fertilizer. Other activities are: cleaning around the area and planting trees or flowers in the garden. This project is running during summer, from November to May, and planting trees or flowers would be better done during raining reason.
- The volunteers will work at the temple to help with organic farming work, such as planting cucumbers, tomatoes, long beans, morning glory, etc. They'll be using fertilizer that was made from riverweed. They will also help to water the plants after planting. This project is running during raining season, from June to October.
- The volunteers will work in the village on a recycling bank project. At first, the group will help build the recycling bank where they can separate garbage and may help to repair the incinerator. Then the group will campaign about separating the garbage. They will also help recycling garbage by being creative, e.g. making a fish from plastic bottle or paper, making a small flower from a straw, making an apron from a milk box. The volunteers may also help making recycle bins.
Study theme: The volunteers will learn about the culture of rural Thailand in general and the traditions and specificity of the Isan region. Thai language lessons will also be given to the volunteers.
Leisure time: Leisure time will be organised by the volunteers with the support of the group leader. The closest city is far but accessible. The region isn’t very tourist attractive as such but the nature is of extraordinary beauty: rice fields, small temples and natural parks are all over the region.
Accommodation: The volunteers will be hosted in a traditional Isan house in the community and have access to the same basic conditions as any villager. Sleeping bag is required.
Location: The Denrat sub-district area is about 8 km far from Nong Hi, 25 km far from Panomprai city and 95 km from Roi–Et city, in the Isan region, North east of Thailand.
Terminal: Roi Et Bus Station; Train and national airport: Ubon Ratchatani
Age range: 18 and over
Extra fee: 100 Euro
The extra fee is intended to support the hosting organization who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival on the project.
Cadip volunteer project review:
"First of all it was an incredible experience and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to do something meaningful and enjoyable. The Akha people are very intriguing and very kind. We spent our time in two different villages where we were treated with great respect and cared for as honorary guests. Nevertheless the conditions were very simple, and I would not recommend this workcamp to anyone requiring "western" standard facilities or food. We ate many traditional Akha dishes which consisted of various vegetables and meats (both cooked and uncooked for the daring). We were lucky to take part in a festival that was occurring at one of the villages called the "swing festival". To prepare for this we helped the villagers collect trees from the jungle and then build a giant swing that we could all use, it was a lot of fun. Other projects we worked on included building a house and clearing a long road of foliage. The mountains surrounding Chiang Rai are beautiful, and our camp leader was very catering to all of our touristic needs (sightseeing and what not). The greatest aspect of the camp was living among the Akha people, sleeping and eating in their homes, and taking part in their customs and traditions."
Cadip volunteer 2006
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