Explore the protected world heritage site of Luang Prabang, a town in Laos recognized for its breathtaking views of mountains and waterfalls, while working on a crucial construction program.
The focus of the program is always dependent on the community’s most urgent needs, so you may find yourself building rain-water collection tanks and filtration systems or perhaps sanitation facilities to raise hygiene standards
While you may only be on the program a short time, do not be fooled. The contribution you provide will leave both long-term and very positive effects on the children and their families, not to mention to the wider community.
Volunteers will have time off at weekends to explore the region and so can take a scenic boat trip up the Mekong to the Pak Ou Caves, watch the sunset from atop Mount Phu Si, swim in the Kuang Si Waterfalls, marvel at the many temples, trek, raft or take an elephant tour. This is the perfect way to explore one of the countries in Asia least tarnished by tourism.
We are always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to join our team. This program offers qualifying and high-performing volunteers the chance to stay on the program for a longer duration on a GVI Scholarship free of charge and as part of the staff team in the field. If you would like to work towards a field career and make the very most of your time abroad, you might want to work towards a place on a GVI Scholarship. Successful scholars may find themselves offered full time employment with GVI, and many of our current staff have come through this route. Contact us for more information!
Please note, the awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of GVI and may be offered immediately after the completion of your program or at a later date.
For most of your time on site you will find yourself completely immersed in the task at hand. You should expect days to start early and last into the evenings with a considerably warm temperature. You will be very active on the project whether it be by digging, planting, brick-laying or other related tasks.
Once the day comes to an end you are free to spend time with your fellow volunteers and relax. You can also take the opportunity to discover areas outside of Luang Prabang on weekends to gain a wider perspective of this beautiful country and of the people who live there.
Accommodation can vary depending on the project site. If based in town, you will have a private but basic room in a conveniently located guest house.
Laos is estimated at one of the most impoverished countries in Southeast Asia, with much of the population living without access to potable water, proper nutrition or even basic sanitation facilities – all of which many of us take for granted as basic human needs and rights.
Because of its situation Laos relies heavily on international aid, and even then you will find people and whole towns that operate without the assistance they need to take a step up and out to healthier lives.
The ultimate aim of this program is to ensure that the communities where GVI operates have access to the essential and necessary resources that will enable them to improve their overall quality of life.
How this project makes a difference:
This program focuses on fulfilling the basic needs for Lao people. With your help and contribution we can successfully look to improve these conditions and the overall lives and health of the people of Luang Prabang and traditional rural communities.
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Luang Prabang field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Laos!
Optional Side Trips
On your weekends or while off project, the following short trips are popular with our volunteers and should definitely be checked out! Swim in the crystal clear water of the Kuang Si waterfall, enjoy the cascades and walk to the top of the falls to enjoy the beautiful view of the course of the water below. There is also a protected bear camp at the falls that is well worth a visit; take a ride on the Mekong River to visit the historical Pak Ou Caves that hold thousands of Buddha images. Visit the “Jar Maker” and weaving villages on your way back to watch the weavers at work; a short ride out of town, you can kayak on the Nam Khan River, discovering village life, beautiful countryside and lush green mountains along the way; take a guided city tour through Luang Prabang with an experienced English speaking guide, visiting the Royal Palace Museum and the beautiful temples of Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai; discover the Tad Sae waterfall, a multi-level limestone formation that creates numerous cascading pools; cycle through the Luang Prabang valley and experience the daily life of the local people, passing temple ruins and handicraft villages.
Further Travelling Opportunities
If you have the time and budget, there are a number of opportunities for exploring Laos further. These could include visiting the World Heritage-listed ancient temple of Wat Phu Champasak, the nature reserve of Nam Ha Npa, the elephants and villages of Hongsa, the dramatic Mekong River, the travellers’ adventure hotspot of Vang Vieng, and many more.
Even further afield, the likes of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all border Laos and are a travellers dream with an endless list of possibilities and activities. You’ll be left wondering why you didn’t stay for longer!
Build Your Program
- Pre-departure support and discounted services
- 24-hour emergency phone
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- Arrival orientation
- Long term experienced staff
- Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
- All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
- Welcome meeting
- Location orientation
- All necessary project training by experienced staff
- All necessary project equipment and materials
- 24-hour in-country support
- Your own private room
- Food allowance
What's Not Included
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal kit
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Extra local excursions
- International and domestic airport taxes