Volunteer With Us

Do you want to experience a different side of Laos? Come and at the SAE LAO Project and work side by side with local people to make Laos a more sustainable place.

 

We welcome volunteers of all ages and nationalities. All that we ask is that you come with an open mind, a responsible attitude, a willingness to help and an eagerness to interact with people.  

 

By far the best part of volunteering with us are the insights you will get into Laos culture and the friendships you will form with our local staff and fellow volunteers. 

 

SAE LAO is not just a project, it’s a family.

 

SAE LAO Project scholarship programme Laos
SAE LAO Project Volunteer Laos
SAE LAO Project Organic Restaurant

We ask that you stay a minimum two weeks and contribute at least 5 hours work each day, although this depends on the season and the number of volunteers on site. If there is a lot of work to do, most volunteers are willing to do a little more. We are part of a community and all of us contribute to the daily upkeep of the site.

Most volunteers are asked to assist with teaching; this is the main afternoon activity. If you do not wish to assist with teaching, please let us know, as we rely on volunteers to keep our English classes going.


The rest of the time is free for you to explore the nearby villages and stunning natural surroundings or just to relax in our beautiful restaurant, reading a book in one of the hammocks or sitting with our kitchen staff as they shell peanuts. 

 

Things you might be involved with:

 

  • Planning lessons and teaching English to children (Most volunteers)
  • Helping with sustainable and traditional building
  • Weeding, planting and watering the garden
  • Working in the rice fields during the planting and harvest seasons
  • Helping in the restaurant
  • Designing and building furniture for the dorm and community centre
  • Helping with administration
  • Marketing and administration
  • Or involve yourself with your own project idea
  • Project upkeep; as part of a community we all partake in morning chores

 

Some projects you will contribute to during your stay are ongoing, so while you may not see something fully completed, we hope that you will be able to see how valuable your contribution has been. We ask that you are careful not to do any tasks that your travel insurance does not cover.

 

Please note that many activities and projects are weather/ season depending. If you contact us about volunteering we can give you more information on activities that will be undertaken at the time you are with us and also see where your personal interests and skills may be most beneficial. There may not always be English classes or traditional handicrafts, such as bamboo weaving, for example.

 

See the below calendar as a rough guide to what we do over the year!

    01         02         03         04         05          06    

   07     

    08         09     10 11 12
 Construction                      Construction

Farming (Peanuts & Rice)

    Farming (Rice)        
Teaching Holidays Teaching

Organic Gardening

Please note that this calendar is indicative and to be used as a guide only. Activities vary according to the weather conditions that year and projects being undertaken.


Long term volunteering

We are in need of volunteers with specialist skills or experience who are willing to commit 6 weeks or more to work with us and help turn out big ideas for SAE LAO into a reality.

 

We are currently looking for:

  • Accounting:  in order for SAE LAO to be continuously progressing, we need some one to assist with the projects accounting and budgeting, perhaps looking into fundraising opportunities or ways of increasing our incomes/decreasing our expenses as well.
  • Agricultural skills: there is so much more we want to do in our garden and on the farm.  Do you have skills you could share in permaculture design, ecological farming or soil improvement? Could you help us create a mushroom farm?
  • Other sustainable approaches: we want to learn more about solar energy, mobility concepts and waste water management. Can you help us turn ideas into live projects?
  • Construction (sustainable builders): since 2015 we have been working on new long term volunteer accommodation, in 2016 we will be building a new kitchen and will have other projects under way, all using natural and locally sourced material. Do you have time to get involved?
  • Fundraising, marketing or research: we rely on the income from our restaurant and the small fee that volunteers pay for our daily running costs.  We could be doing so much more.  Can you help us look for grants or sponsorship for specific projects? We would like to attract recent graduates looking to gain experience or people taking a career break. Do you know the best websites for us to be seen on? Could you help us benefit from more press coverage and create better marketing materials?
  • English Teachers: our classes are based on the EEFA syllabus. If you have knowledge that can help our education co-ordinator, your input would be greatly appreciated.
  • Volunteer Co-ordinator: our general co-ordinator currently organises the volunteers, giving out morning and afternoon tasks as well as being a point of contact for questions and organisation. If you are here for a month or more and would like to help out, please let us know!

 

SAE LAO is looking for long term volunteers to help with the running of the project. Ideally the project needs people who are able to commit to staying for at least a year in order to bring continuity to the project, preference will also be given to Lao PDR nationals to create a more sustainable project.

 

Why are we looking for Long-term volunteers?

The local people don’t yet have the skills to run the program long-term, although skills training is ongoing and the view is that we will not have any foreign coordinators in the future. We would like to help the community to gain access to new ideas and languages in order to develop and be able to access ideas on the internet that are only accessible in English.

 

If there are Lao PDR nationals interested in the post, we will give these applicants preference as it is easier for them to train our local staff.

 

Doesn’t this place have enough volunteers?

We have more volunteers than we know what to do with! Our volunteers bring our projects to life at SAE LAO, and we appreciate their hard work. We just need someone to give them guidance and to organize their ideas and inform them about the resources to make their ideas happen.

 

 

There are 2 full time positions that are currently available.

 

  • Agriculture Co-ordinator

This position is needed now!

SAE LAO currently has 3 organic gardens and is starting to slowly build up a food forest. Someone with experience in organic farming or permaculture, in particular, would be very well suited to SAE LAO. Some of our goals include bee farming and to start growing mushrooms, as honey and mushrooms are sought after commodities by the locals and volunteers. If anyone has any experience in mushroom farming or bee keeping, these would be very welcome skills, however, someone with experience in sustainable, organic farming techniques who would be interested in co-ordinating between the full time local gardener and volunteers, as well as extending the current remit would be a welcome addition to the SAE LAO family.

  • Accountant

This position is needed for January 2017!

Accounting for a project of this size is a full time position. With a chance to become involved with volunteer work and working as a team with the other co-ordinators this would not be an ordinary accounting position. The main goals of this position would be to budget and plan for the future, taking into account current funds and spending and looking at long term objectives with the team, helping to set realistic goals and financial plans. An essential part of the team, this role would not just be about accounting but also assisting in the overall management of the project.


Find more information on our conditions page and get some impressions about SAE LAO and volunteer life in our gallery