We’re mobilizing our community to volunteer. One simple way to do that is to by informing people so they can participate. What pathways exist in your community? Create them or share what’s out there!
Often doing something heroic comes with it’s share of obstacles. This is the case when it comes to volunteering in Bangkok, where it’s usually easier to remain over entertained and under challenged. Information about opportunities is hard to find, with tips and guidelines even more scarce. While there is a real need, busy organizations can’t answer the flurry of email inquiries or they don’t have staff who can communicate in English. Many businesses are offering foreigners chances to volunteer for high fees. This is unappealing and unaffordable for many. To offer an alternative to this, I am now coordinating a project to have volunteers teach in a nearby slum (in addition to sending people to the Bangkok Refugee Center). Also, I’m teaming up with Lindy from Real Volunteer Thailand to freely share information on organizations, guidelines, and ways to contribute. For example, Lindy recently told me about a special place she visited for people suffering with AIDS. Here’s what she said about Baan Gerda:
A recent visit to an AIDS village in Lopburi was nothing short of incredible. Baan Gerda was founded in 2001 by Karl and Thasanee Morsback as a hospice for HIV and AIDS orphans to give them comfort in their last days, but with the introduction of new anti-virals it has morphed into a community where children and foster parents live independently in a loving and secure environment. Their motto is that they give these children a life worth living and that was particularly evident when visiting the village. These children are not only living but they are truly thriving. It is a testament to the resilience and determination they have to live
If you have a special skill that you’d like to share with the kids you can contact them to arrange a visit. In the past they have had professional photographers who did a one day workshop with the older children to teach them basic photography and music composer Bruce Gaston who teaches them various musical skills. Share your knowledge with these bright and enthusiastic children.
In you’d like to find out more about their organization or make a donation to help keep the village up and running you can visit their site Baan Gerda.