March 18, 2010 6:56 PM PDT
Hi everyone. It looks like I will be coming to Isara from Australia to volunteer for 2-3 months in early May. I would like to spend some of my time at a local primary school. How should I go about organising this?
March 19, 2010 7:59 AM PDT
Hi Amy! ;D
The next school term starts in mid-May. We were going to invite you to help teach at a primary school nearby, so you'll definitely be able to do that!
Thanks for registering and posting in our forum. Have a nice weekend!
March 19, 2010 10:25 AM PDT
Hi everyone, just thought I'd post a link to this very useful and (I'm pretty sure) up to date website which has details of train times, routes and fares within Thailand for getting from Bangkok to Nong Khai..The site also covers numerous other countries and cities in the world!
March 19, 2010 2:46 PM PDT
Wow That website helped a lot :) Thanks Jenia!
March 20, 2010 6:57 PM PDT
Oh great, thanks Kirk. I am glad I won't have to do the organising all on my own!
March 21, 2010 1:30 AM PDT
Looks like I'l be coming through in July, I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on things i shouldnt miss out on while I'm there?
March 23, 2010 11:01 AM PDT
I'm curious to whether you might have use for volunteer resources other than teaching english? That's what I gather from the information on the webpage, but the forums seems to mainly focus on teaching. Or have I merely been skimming through the topics too swiftly, perhaps?
Anyhow, I'd love to stop by for some refurnishing, carpenting, painting or any handyman stuff there is to be done, if any.
I'm also thinking along the lines of bringing a computer I no longer have much use of, onto which I could install basically any application of interest and/or teach photo/video editing and music composition.
Laeo phop gan mai ;-)
March 23, 2010 6:57 PM PDT
Hi Kriss! Thanks for posting and for wanting to help. We could definitely use some of your skills around here.
Are you in Thailand now?
I'll get back with you via e-mail and see what we can arrange.
March 24, 2010 2:33 AM PDT
Unfortunately I'm not in LOS atm, I'm planning for a longer duration of stay beginning this fall. Right now I'm in the process of saving money. When that little fund of mine reaches it's set amount I'm off. As soon as possible, but likely sometime in September.
Looking forward to your email!
March 24, 2010 5:22 PM PDT
I'm volunteering this July I was just wondering if anyone else is and if they wanted to get in touch to discuss anything? xxxx
March 25, 2010 4:36 AM PDT
This is so amazingly cool that we have volunteers now who can actually seek each other out by date range! :o I've been quietly watching these floodgates open and cheer at the steady stream of such high energy hearts finding their way to our ILC and the children and the amazing second home of mine, Nong Khai.
I truly do appreciate all of you! ;D
March 25, 2010 6:31 AM PDT
So I applied this week to take part in the Isara program. However I feel uneasy about my chances due to my age. Being just 18 years old, I am often looked down upon by my elders. They say I am too young to do something meaningful or that nobody will take an 18-year-old seriously....I have such a passion to show them that the young people of America can truly make a difference in the lives of others. Hopefully this post meets the eyes and ears of understanding audiences. To those who are older, please, please don't underestimate the passions and hearts of those who are young. We DO care about the world.
March 25, 2010 7:23 PM PDT
I believe you! ;D Actually, our first volunteer was 18 (or 19) when she first came over.
There is no problem with your age, at all, and we definitely love your enthusiasm and passion to help others. Your date of arrival (June) is going to be pretty busy but I'm sure we can make room for you. We've got some more landscaping to do today, and an English Camp this weekend, so I'll send you an e-mail next Monday or Tuesday at the earliest. Until then think keep reading/posting in our forum.
Thanks for wanting to volunteer!!
March 29, 2010 11:35 AM PDT
Originally David and I were planning on coming in early June, but it looks like mid July would work out best for our current jobs. Will you guys be packed with volunteers in July or is it possible to switch things around? We intend on staying at a nearby hostel and helping out around Isara daily during the week for about two weeks. Do you think this is feasible- or is early June the only time this could work? Thanks!
March 31, 2010 8:53 AM PDT
July might actually work better. Let me check the schedule again and I'll send you an e-mail.
Thanks for the update, Katherine. ;D
April 12, 2010 12:38 AM PDT
I'm Scott and have recently become very interested in volunteering with Isara. I am looking to join a program that will actually make a significant difference in someone's life or home. I just don't like the idea that simply because of where you are born geographically(something which you have no control over), you are immediately be put at a disadvantage in life. I am very fortunate to have lived in Los Angeles my entire life. I want to know that I at least tried to help something or someone other than myself at some point in my life. I am a 22 year old theatre major in Valenica, Ca and am looking for a little direction. I don't know what kind of entertainment you have set up, but maybe I could help develop something? I would be just as happy teaching English, helping develop the learning center, or aiding whatever areas require assistance. If I were to volunteer this summer or fall, I would like to stay for at least 4 weeks. What is the typical length of stay with Isara? Also, what would you say separates you from other volunteer programs other than expenses?
Thank you and I eagerly await your response.
April 12, 2010 1:25 AM PDT
Hey Scott! Thanks for wanting to help and for posting your questions in our forum.
One month is usually the typical length of stay. But we've had volunteers stay as long as 6 months and as short as 2-3 days. We definitely suggest staying at least a month so that volunteers have a chance to learn more about the culture, people, language, and issues. It also takes a while to develop your own way of teaching that works for you.
If by "other volunteer programs" you mean the for-profit ones. I'd say our purpose for being here is what really separates us from the pay-to-volunteer programs. We do all of this because we are truly passionate about wanting to help. We didn't start as a volunteer program. We actually started as a charity and then, later on, decided to open our doors to volunteers. We are based on charity and that is where our heart is. Even if we don't have any volunteers or any sponsors, Ming and I are still going to be here teaching and putting helmets on people's heads.
Our volunteer program wasn't built to benefit the volunteer (unlike most other programs). It was built to benefit the community. When we think of new projects we don't ever think, "We should do that project because foreigners would love to do that." or "Let's do a sea turtle project because volunteers would love to do that!" We think about what is needed in the local community and then invite others to help. That's it. So our volunteer's purpose for being here is what really makes us different.
Sorry for the long response but I love talking about how different we are. lol ;D
Have you filled out an online application yet? If not, please do so. You sound like just the kind of volunteer we're looking for.
Thanks again for wanting to help!
April 13, 2010 11:57 AM PDT
That lengthy response is exactly what I am looking for :) I'm going to fill out an application in the coming days. I am in a play currently and life has been so hectic! Also, would it be more beneficial for the program if I were to come in the summer or fall?
April 23, 2010 12:50 PM PDT
I would LOVE to volunteer with Isara. It sounds amaaaaazng! I've just finished university and am a free agent looking to volunteer. I completed the online application form about a month ago and heard nothing back. Should I take this as a rejection??
April 23, 2010 1:18 PM PDT
More likely, just take it as Kirk being up to his eyeballs in projects. ;D
April 23, 2010 10:29 PM PDT
Scott - The fall would be a better time since June and July are pretty full right now.
Grace - I'm really sorry for not responding sooner. Unfortunately we've only been able to respond to about half the applications we receive. (Any one want to volunteer to help us take care of applications? :) )
Most volunteers are wanting to come in June and July so if there's any way you can arrive later than that, we should be able to provide you with a place to stay and a place to teach.
Thanks for wanting to help! ;D
April 26, 2010 2:25 PM PDT
Yay! Thanks Kirk! I am super excited now about coming!!
April 28, 2010 2:50 AM PDT
My name is Ana and in Mid June I'll be coming to Isara for 1 month, and I was who will start volunteering around that time, too?
I am very excited. But since I will be arriving from Romania in Bangkok, I am also just a little bit concerned about these riots I keep hearing about on the news. I don't really believe that the the present situation would have any effect on my traveling, or that I would have problems because I'm a foreigner or that I would be caught in the middle but I'm curios about the opinion of those of you who are already there.
See you soon!
April 28, 2010 9:36 PM PDT
Hi kubus09. :)
I can't be sure of the conditions in Bangkok but, I will tell you, things here in Nong Khai are the same as always. Nice and quiet.
We've had a few volunteers recently go through Bangkok, on their way to/from Nong Khai, and none of them had any problems. I think the protests are very isolated and have not effected transportation too much.
Hope this helps.