Student Blog: Volunteering in Thailand – Jess Penny

Throughout April 2018, cohort 4 student Jess Penny volunteered in Thailand where she undertook some renovation work. Read below to hear more about Jess’ experience:

‘Travelling this year took me to Thailand where I partly volunteered in a local village as part of a bigger project to renovate the area. After a day of trekking through the rainforest to get to the rural village of Tieng Ku tu, Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi province, our aim was to build a separate sleeping area for the Buddhist Monks. Up until this point, the Monks (both young and old) slept in the same small cramped sleeping arrangements, which posed obvious problems in terms of hygiene and privacy. The Monks and the surrounding accommodation (including the temple) are especially important to the locals as they provide a religious space, 2 meals a day (breakfast and lunch) as well as a limited education and home to some of children in the local village.

The work was mainly manual labour based; clearing the area of rubber trees in order to be built on, transporting soil, filling in and creating foundations, cement making/mixing, floor and brick laying, building external walls, and painting and cutting to size the corrugated metal which was used for the roofing. Working alongside a Thai local contractor, our daily work started at 8 am until 11 am and then again from 2-5 pm (thereby missing the mid-day heat, which rose to 48 degrees Celsius on some days). Unfortunately, due to time restraints we were unable to compete the project/building, however the images below show my team’s progress.’