DALAA (International Volunteers for Social Development Association)
Supannee Kaeovichit, Incoming coordinator
Baan Kok Riang village, Hatyai, Songkhla province
Remark for Period
3 months participation from 02/01, 05/01, 08/01 and 11/01 is possible.
Name and description of the local host
Our societies nowadays are so used to the convenient way of living and buying everything from the market without realizing that most of the food products sold in market heavily contained dangerous chemicals and pesticides, which would eventually lead to severe health problems. From this concern, Mr. Suthep (Loong Jaeng) and Mr. Kanong (Loong Sian), the main community members in Baan Kok Riang that took the initiative to turn their land properties covering approximately 1 hector of agriculture land and 3,200 sq. meters of the house compound into an experimenting space for non-chemical agriculture in this village. Since last 2 years, both have been laboriously growing variety of vegetables, rice and local seasonal fruits like pineapples, papayas, coconuts, etc. for their own consumption and this have helped generate motivations for the other villagers to follow in their footsteps.
The main purpose for this effort is to try to create a learning space functioning sort of as a working model for the surrounding community members and local Thai volunteers, especially for the new generation, to grow healthy organic non-chemically induced rice, vegetables, and fruits for their family’s daily consumption without harming the nature. Unfortunately, both of the project initiators started their own plans, without having much support from anyone else. Therefore, DaLaa saw this as a meaningful project for us and volunteers to be involved in, as well as taking the opportunity to learn about this highly sustainable self-reliant living, especially the most crucial during the initial time of the project when there are a lot of works to do and things to get improved around. Moreover, it’s very important to give them all the help and support that they need in bringing about the awareness and on the meantime build-up collaborations and train apprentices within their own and neighboring communities.
Aims and expected impact of the project
- Support the future “Baan Kok Riang Non-Chemical Agriculture Project”
- Learn from each other among volunteers themselves, and from volunteers to villagers vice versa through “learning by doing” concept
- Build good relationship between volunteers and local people
- Be a part of Baan Kok Riang community
- Let children be familiar with volunteers and learn in international/multi-cultural atmosphere
Main voluntary work
Considering that this is going to be the initial attempt of the long term project, the volunteers should be able to handle physical hard work, expecting that there will be some construction work involved. Everyday work will involve nurturing and watering vegetables, plants and fruit trees, collecting vegetables for your own consumption and growing seeds or nursing young plants. During the hot afternoon and at the end of the day, you may have your own free time, or you can take the opportunity together with our project hosts and coordinator to further learning the local language. Sometimes, Lung Jaeng may take volunteers to social events in the community, such as on important Buddhist holidays, weddings or funerals in order to get the volunteers to be involved in community events and to enhance the relationship with the locals.
Approximate working hours: Normally, in the morning, you will start work in the vegetable garden around 8 or 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. and again during 3 or 4 p.m. until 6.30 p.m. The work time can differ each day depending on heat, amount of work that has to be done as well as your own ability and endurance. The work schedule may be decided on daily basis depending on what has been done on the day before and the condition of weather. However, there’ll be few hours break during the hottest time of the day.
Type of building: Small wooden hut
- Sleeping: Sharing with other vols
- Meals: Cooked by vols. & locals
- How and how long to go to work: Bicycle or the host’s car, it takes about 10 minutes.
- Smoking: Only outside building
- Internet access: At home and at internet café in the village
Baan Kok Riang is a small village situated in the outskirt of Hat Yai. The population is mainly Buddhist. The main careers for the villagers are working in rubber plantation, and many young people mainly work in the city.
- Nearest international airport: Hatyai International Airport
- Transportation from the capital or other major city You can reach Hatyai through Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore by plane, night train and night bus. The price can be very different by plane (minimum 1200 Bahts), the sleeping train from Bangkok is 600 Bahts, the bus 800 Bahts; It may be the same price through Singapore and a bit cheaper from Kuala Lumpur. The project is 20km from the office.
You will have chances to visit local attractions, participating in local social events, and attending other activities organized by DaLaa if there is any when during the volunteers’ stay.
Qualification for volunteers
Required: Interests in agriculture activities and be ready to learn the local way of living and working, open-minded, flexible with spontaneous way of working. The willing to learn Thai language is a must for this project.
Attraction for volunteers
Experience with living with Thai community/ of growing their own food/ with Thai culture and language/ of doing activities with children
- Participation fee to the host NGO: 24,000 THB for 3 months (8,000 THB per month)
- 18,000 THB for 3 months (6,000 THB per month) for those coming from less expensive countries where the annual GDP per capita is less than 10,000 US$.
- On arrival training: 2 days on arrival introduction at DaLaa office in Hatyai
- Special care during Project: One DaLaa staff stays from Wed.-Sun. in the village. There’ll be also visits from other staff or Thai members regularly.
- Evaluation meeting: 1 day at DaLaa office or in the village, depending on your convenience
Open to Non-Asian if the places are not full at 2 months before the starting date.