Volunteer Mae Chaem

Volunteer at EJSCP

You love elephants and it is easy to understand why. These big beautiful animals have personalities, they exhibit consideration, care and intelligence and they are just fun to be around. For decades, the lives of these magnificent creatures has constantly been under threat through human activity in the jungle. Massive changes have taken place in how we perceive elephants today and now there are organizations that are trying to improve the lives of elephants. If you want to do more than just donate money or supplies to the elephant conservation cause, there is another avenue for you.

The Mae Chaem Project

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary has set up a new project that will give people who do not live in Thailand, the opportunity to work with elephants on a daily basis. The Mae Chaem project at our Chiang Mai location is an attempt to take the conservation effort further along but giving responsibilities to regular people, who have a passion for elephants.

To qualify for the Mae Chaem Project, you must be at least 18 years of age and physically fit to do all the important tasks that elephant handlers are required to do. This will be the opposite of a desk job as you will be up early and doing a lot of physical tasks in the jungle. It is a great chance to get your hands dirty and live in a more natural setting.

Aside for energy, we need people who are great team players and committed to the cause. While some people might be inclined to treat it as such, this is not a vacation as the EJSCP staff will be counting on the volunteers to be responsible for some tasks. Our volunteers need to appreciate one and another and get along with the team.

Animal lovers and elephants lovers are especially welcome but if getting away to the jungle and doing a good deed is something you are looking for, we’d love to have you. Aside from direct exposure to the elephants, volunteers will be living among the Karen people, so the hectic city life will be far away and you will experience a truly Thai cultural immersion. 
The Karen Tribe

Mae Chaem is a somewhat isolated district but it is inhabited by a Karen tribe. The Karen are originally from Tibet and they have made their way to Thailand via Myanmar. The history of the tribe in this region goes back over a few centuries and they have always had a close relationship with the elephants here.

The EJSCP project is here to not only help the elephants but the people of this tribe. The EJSCP staff is working towards identifying what will help these folks live a better life and we will have the volunteers directly contribute to this project. There will also be a general cultural exchange between EJSCP volunteers and the Karen tribe present here.

What You Need to Know/Bring

The Mae Chaem Project is a going to take place in early December. The program is divided up into weeks with volunteer teams taking staying and volunteering in Mae Chaem for one week.

The volunteering fee is 14,500 Thai Baht. 60% of the volunteer fee goes into supporting the local community with school supplies, building materials and so on.

Essentials that you need to carry are clothes for a week-long stay, a sleeping bag, hat, sunscreen, sandals/flip flops, shoes, towel, toiletries, bug repellent, gardening gloves, long trousers and long sleeve shirts for cutting grass and elephant food and a rain jacket. Please do not bring short shorts, tank tops or revealing clothes as that is considered inappropriate clothing.
You absolutely need a valid passport for the duration of your stay, medical insurance (at least for you time at EJS), money for travel costs, a valid Thai visa and getting to Chiang Mai on the appointed date.

The Mae Chaem Project is scheduled to begin on the week of December 3 and end on February 3. Please write to us if you are definitely going to volunteer and once we have 5 volunteers for a particular week we will get back to you with a start date. Learn more about EJS Care Projects and come visit us to make the lives of elephants better!

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