Appeal for volunteers to dive in to help Thailand
Conservation efforts in Thailand need volunteers from the UK
While Thailand mops up after months of devastating flooding, groups of British volunteers are cleaning up the beaches and coral reefs and planting mangrove saplings along the south coast of the country, and more are needed to join this worthwhile conservation project.
Thailand is just one of the 26 countries serviced by Projects Abroad – the world’s largest commercial volunteer organisation – but currently one of the most ‘needy’ in respect of conservation activities.
Dr Peter Slowe, managing director of Projects Abroad, said the organisation’s Thailand operation offers particularly rewarding opportunities for volunteers of all ages, whether it is youngsters seeking a worthwhile ‘gap year’ experience, those on a career break, retirees wanting to make a difference, or those who just want to use their annual leave on a two-week volunteering escape to an exotic destination.
The Projects Abroad Thailand base has just moved into new premises – an eco-resort named ‘The Dawn of Happiness’ – where volunteers stay in simple bamboo bungalows in a tropical garden beside the beach at Ao Nammao on the Andaman Coast.
“One of the useful roles we fulfil around our base in Thailand is gathering data about beach cleanliness and removing rubbish – in the past three months our volunteers have removed a total of 1,8 tons of rubbish from the beaches along the coast of the Andaman sea – everything from plastic bags to car tyres.”
Dr Slowe said Projects Abroad also works with an international monitoring program to collect marine debris from dive sites and reefs around the coastal islands, such as the hugely popular holiday spot, Phi Phi. Taking part in this project involves learning to scuba dive, for those who are not already qualified, and Projects Abroad’s dive masters teach volunteers this skill in around two weeks.
Another conservation effort the organisation is undertaking in Thailand is regeneration of mangrove forests – to date volunteers have nurtured and planted out 741 saplings in the Krabi area; vital to maintain the eco-system of the coastline.
Since being founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has sent more than 28,000 volunteers to 26 different countries on five continents, at a rate of around 5,000 a year. The volunteers range in age from 16 to 75, who can choose from a variety of placements in diverse fields from conservation to human rights, archaeology to child care and even taking part in missions to rescue child slaves.
For more information on how to become a volunteer visit www.projects-abroad.org.za.
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