Water Volunteer

Volunteer on a water project to help provide water, sanitation and hygiene to a rural Karen community!

Why Volunteer?

Gaining access to safe, clean water is still a problem in about 40% of the mountainous region of the Mae Hong Son Province. Drinking dirty, diseased water leads to a cycle of poverty and sickness.

You can be part of changing this today!

Each year, we give the opportunity to 12 volunteers to travel to Thailand and take part in one of our water and sanitation projects. Volunteers live and work alongside a Karen community, helping to construct a clean water system that will benefit the whole village.

“It was so gratifying and invigorating to actually contribute to a community in Thailand, as opposed to just observing or passively experiencing something, as I would have normally as a tourist.” – Josh, Water Project – 2013

What does the project involve?

What does the project involve?

Over three weeks volunteers will help to build a gravity-fed clean water system for the community. Volunteers will be trained and guided by our local Karen team. A typical day involves digging trenches, laying pipes, building tanks and much more. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to get involved with other parts of our WASH projects including hygiene education demonstrations.

At the end of the three weeks, you will be able to witness the difference that you have made by seeing the delight of the villagers when they turn on the taps!

To read more our WASH projects to transform community health, click the link below

Improving Health
Life on the water project

Life on the water project

At the start of the project the water volunteer team will meet at KHT’s office in Khun Yuam. Here they’ll meet the staff and team, learn more about the local area and culture, and more about the projects. After a few days acclimatising to life in Mae Hong Son, volunteers will travel to the Karen community they’ll be living and working with. Once in the village, volunteers will be staying with families so they can truly experience Karen culture and life.

After the project is complete, our Karen team will lead the volunteers on an exciting forest trek through the mountains, camping and visiting villages KHT has helped in the past. Volunteers have a final few days in Khun Yuam before travelling around Thailand or returning home.

Click the link below to read what previous KHT volunteers thought about their experience.

Volunteer Stories
Who can take part?

Who can take part?

Anyone over 18 years old at the time of travel can volunteer with KHT on a water project.

Groups typically are made up of volunteers aged 18-25 but it’s open to all ages either travelling solo or part of a small group. Either way our volunteers always have an amazing experience  and create friends for life.

Please be aware that work on the project will often be tough and you may experience challenges you have not faced before. However, don’t let this put you off, if you are self-motivated and capable of coping in a challenging environment then this is the perfect opportunity to be a part of changing hundreds of lives!

Project Dates

Project Dates

Our next project will take place in July 2023!

All volunteers will therefore need to be available for the duration of July as the project takes four weeks to complete. Volunteers are free to extend their trip to travel independently before or after the project.

Please note these are approximate dates and may be subject to minor changes.

Due to the effects of COVID-19, KHT cannot promise that the next volunteer trip will go ahead. But don’t let this put you off, our team will work closely with you to make sure the process is as smooth as possible.

“It was beautiful, looking out over the incredible mountainous scenery, half jungle, half farmland.”​ 

– Louise, Water Project – 2016
Does it cost anything?

Does it cost anything?

After you have been accepted on to the project you will need to pay a £200 deposit to secure your place, please remember spaces are limited and are on a first come first served basis!

This £200 non-refundable deposit will cover your in-country volunteer costs. You can see a breakdown of whats included below!

We also ask that you sign a fundraising pledge to fundraise £800 for the Karen Hilltribes Trust. This pledge ensures you can be part of making a contribution to building sustainable futures for the Karen. As a small charity, we promise that money raised by our volunteers is spent on charitable activities which improve the lives of the Karen people in Thailand. The pledge is due one month before your project start date.

The help and support of our fundraising team makes achieving the fundraising target a very achievable task. We are with you every step of the way!

What's included in the deposit?

What’s included in the deposit?

Items covered by the deposit:

  • Return bus transfer from Chiang Mai to Khun Yuam (KHT’s HQ)
  • All of your accommodation and meals for the duration of the project (from arrival in Khun Yuam to departure in Chiang Mai)
  • Volunteer information pack
  • KHT t-shirt
  • Forest trek, led by a Karen guide, to celebrate completion of the water project
  • Administrative costs in the UK and Thailand
  • Support from dedicated staff both in the UK and Thailand

Our team will also be on hand advise and help you arrange the items not included by the deposit like flights, insurance and visas.