Opportunity in Mae Chan


DEPDC/GMS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization headquartered in Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand.  The organization works to prevent and to protect girls and boys from being trafficked into exploitative working conditions, the commercial sex industry in particular.  DEPDC/GMS provides crucial preventative measures such as education, vocational and life skills training, accommodation, protection, community outreach, and leadership development to at-risk youth in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.  The organization coordinates a multitude of programs and projects at distinct sites, located throughout Chiang Rai Province in the districts of Mae Sai, Chiang Khong, and Mae Chan. Each site functions differently but works toward the common goal of empowering youth to empower themselves and their peers and communities to combat human trafficking and exploitative child labor.  

In order to provide the organization with steady volunteer support, which is critical to the smooth functioning of all projects and the future of DEPDC/GMS, our International Department accepts applications on a rolling basis.

Position:  International Volunteer – Mae Chan

Location:  “Swimming Home” shelter for ethnic minority children and youth who are survivors of abuse and abandonment,

Mekong Regional Indigenous Child Rights Home (MRICRH) Program;

Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand

Need: 1 International Volunteer

Restrictions: 21 to 60 years old.  This volunteer works at a children’s shelter, often alone or with little supervision.

Commitment Six months minimum; a longer period strongly preferred.  Plus, if necessary, 30 to 40 hours of intensive Thai language lessons – 3 to 4 weeks – prior to arrival to Mae Chan.  Essentially, for those who do not already have a basic command of Thai, this is a minimum 7-month volunteer commitment.

Start Date:  As soon as possible – after review of application and assessment of fit for this challenging role and, if necessary, upon completion of Thai language lessons.

Benefits and Costs Volunteer does not receive a stipend nor is required to pay any fees.  S/he must fully fund her own: flights and visa(s); Thai language lessons and accommodations in Thailand if needed to develop language skills beforehand; accommodations, transportation, and necessities while working in Mae Chan. Program director can assist volunteer to find accommodation.

Visa(s): The organization can provide documentation support for the volunteer’s Thailand Visa application, though only for the Type O for Volunteering option.  However, Thailand’s immigration laws change frequently and typically without warning, and Thai embassies and consulates vary greatly in the types and lengths of visas that they offer.  While we can advise a volunteer about the types of visa that are generally available, it is up to the applicant to research the options available from a particular Thai embassy / consulate.

Experience & Background:  This challenging position requires experience working with at-risk children in a social work or counseling role. The ideal candidate has experience living and working in Thailand and has basic Thai language skills.  S/he needs to be flexible, able to work independently, and adaptable to Thai culture and communication style.

Duties (Monday to Friday) may include but are not limited to:

  • Provide personal care and emotional support for children at the shelter
  • Facilitate activities with the shelter residents and occasionally with children from outside the shelter
  • Occasionally teach English to shelter residents
  • Act as a mentor and a positive role model for the children
  • Research and pursue program funding opportunities
  • Write grant proposals and reports; write and/or translate project reports


Interested in applying?  We welcome sincere queries and talented, motivated applicants!  Please complete our International Volunteer Application Form and email it, along with a current CV and a recent passport photo scan, to the International Department at depdc.gms@gmail.com. The International Volunteer in charge of recruitment will contact the applicant by email once all required documents have been received.   

Please also have a look at our Omprakash website profile for more details about volunteering: reviews from past DEPDC/GMS-Omprakash volunteers and an overview of accommodation and cost of living information for this region. You can also look at our Facebook page and our GlobalGiving page.



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