Volunteer in Laos, no experience required
Volunteer in Laos with Let Laos Learn, Laos' most transparent organization to volunteer, Let Laos Learn is approved as INGO by the local authorities. Volunteers are based in the breathtaking surroundings of Vang Vieng between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. You can choose from different volunteer projects. All projects are initiated and funded by Let Laos Learn without any intermediate organization or providers being involved. Prepare yourself for a genuine non-profit experience with an amazing positive impact.
✔ Projects run all year around
✔ You choose, when and how long you will cooperate in our programs
✔ Stay in our own comfortable volunteer house
✔ Spend your weekends in a stunning environment with other volunteers
✔ Small scale organization (max 8 volunteers)
✔ Genuine non-profit recognized by local authorities
✔ Different projects within the same organization
✔ All projects sponsored and facilitated by LLL
Housing & meals
✔ Direct volunteering - We are not an intermediate organization, you volunteer directly at our own initiated and supported projects.
✔ Affordable - Thanks to volunteering directly at our projects and renting our own volunteer house we are able to keep housing costs low.
✔ Great support - Our volunteer coordinator has over 10 years of volunteering experience in Laos and even speaks Lao.
✔ Experience - We hosted over 350 volunteers.
✔ Impact - We provided school infrastructure in which over 1200 children already attented classes, come and see them with your own eyes.
✔ Make new friends - Our volunteers come from all over the world, this is your change to expand your network and make friends for life.
✔ Experience a new culture - With LLL we find it very important to teach our volunteers about the Lao culture, our team takes you to weddings, village festivities, ...
✔ INGO - We are recognized by the local authorities, this proves our commitment towards the local people and gives us the opportunity to provide long term visas.
When you apply, you can choose which project you prefer. All tasks are within the same location, it is a "team" in which you as a volunteer are part to accomplish something great. Therefore, we hope that you will be flexible in order to achieve this goal. We try to take your wishes into account, but in Laos everything can suddenly change (e.g.: spontaneous local celebrations, holiday, ...). Our local team and ourselves usually don’t have the power to control this, so we might ask you to change your focus.
Please note that the descriptions below are only meant to be a broad overview of the work. Remember, volunteers work where circumstances can change suddenly. Flexible, open minded and fast switching are crucial features of a good volunteer abroad. It is the role of each volunteer to adapt to their project and not the other way around. We expect volunteers to contribute where necessary, even if that means being involved in activities that they did not expect. Being able to adapt is challenging, but it also makes volunteering abroad so special.
We expect our volunteers to be able to work independently. Remember that you cannot always rely on the local people every second of the day. You go to Laos to help them, it's not the other way around.
While there are significant efforts to improve the quality of education in Laos, serious problems persist, including an insufficient number of qualified (and motivated) teachers, deficient school infrastructure and low student enrollment. These problems are visible in Vang Vieng, a small community where the growing tourist market is demanding skills such as English speaking ability. The failure to communicate with foreign travelers is the most significant obstacle for locals in search of decent jobs in the tourism sector.
The education project connects resource-poor schools and our own training center in Vang Vieng with volunteers so that the students can obtain valuable English language skills. Additionally, volunteers bring new ideas and perspectives that promote cross-cultural understanding.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers work three to five hours a day teaching English to children between 5 and 17. Many of the classes are overcrowded, and it is not uncommon for 40 students to be in a class. As the level of English of some teachers can be very low, volunteers should expect a high level of independence in designing classes and leading them. Volunteers teach together or, if needed, on their own. Volunteers sometimes also have the opportunity to give private English lessons to local teenagers and adults looking to pass university exams or just want to improve their English.
Minimum time commitment: 1 week.
Project schedule: The project runs year-round.
Requirements to participate:
Social Media Strategist & Content Editor/Blogger
We’re looking for a creative, organized, and experienced Content Editor/Blogger Social Media Specialist who can create original, engaging content to help expand our visibility through our website and blog, as well as, continue to build & execute the brand’s Social Media strategy.
This exciting role will act as a brand representative through interacting and engaging with potential and current volunteers.
We would like to write about volunteering in Laos, about our activities, our goals and our struggles in Laos.
Organization and the ability to understand the context is highly important to facilitating and scheduling an integrated social calendar.
Our ideal writer will have a way with words with a witty sense of humor coupled with some technical (SEO) and project management skills. You will be responsible for the web content management.
In this role you will…
Minimum time commitment: 3 weeks.
Project schedule: The project runs year-round (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and let you start another day of the week – contact us to request an exception).
Requirements to participate:
-At least an advance level of English.
-The creativity and initiative to work with limited resources & limited or no budget.
School construction & renovation
Donations and fundraising are used for building and renovating schools. Tasks can include painting, plastering, painting, concrete preparation and pouring, ceiling, ...
We cannot guarantee that you can contribute to a project, because 1) you work alongside the local people who spontaneous work at their school without any detailed plan, 2) whether enough funds are available during your presence. Why not looking for fund by yourself and expand this project in the field? Aside from working in the field, you also create awareness in your network.
Minimum time commitment: 1 week.
Project schedule: runs year-round
Contact us regarding the latest known schedule to see where you can help.
Housing & meals
You live in a cozy and comfortable house in Vang Vieng. You stay in a single or shared room with maximum 1 other volunteer. Each room has their own private bathroom with showers and flush toilets downstairs. Bed sheets and towels are provided. All rooms have fans, windows and electricity plugs. There is a phone for emergencies and free WIFI. The living room, which is on the first floor, is a popular spot where volunteers eat, relax and socialize. Purified water, is available at no charge in the kitchen. The house is a 3-minute walk from the town center, and there you can find many conveniences like banks, bars, coffee shops and restaurants.
Lao cuisine is unique and very tasty, and you can expect to eat very well during their stay. Every day, you will be served breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cook at the Volunteer House prepares a wide range of dishes for the volunteers.
You live in a stunning semi-rural location. Distinctive karst hills impressively rise from lush green forests crisscrossed by rivers and streams. There are caves and rice paddies to explore. Nearby lagoons and a waterfall offer great opportunities for refreshing dips. You can partake in many outdoor activities, including cave exploring, hiking, kayaking and rock climbing. You can also experience a typical tourist activity in Vang Vieng: lazily inner-tubing down the river and making stops at the small villages along the shore. In town you can enjoy a fun and laid-back scene. There are bars and restaurants serving Lao and international foods, and you can stroll past Buddhist temples, colorful textile shops and open-air markets to mingle with locals. Besides all of this our team will take you to local weddings, festivities, .....
Guidance & preparation
Do not underestimate the cost of hosting someone who does not know local culture and daily customs. It would not be honest to ask underpriviliged to bear these costs. Should there be enough budgets to bear these costs, we would spend this on a local employee(s). We are very proud on our transparent system. You can read more on our transparency page
Sometimes we are asked why you have to pay for voluntary work. It's not for the work you pay, but for the expenses related to your housing.
Housing & Meals
These costs, which you pay on site, are related to your stay in Laos such as your accommodation and meals. By paying locally, you are also sure that your contribution will end in Laos and will not stay behind at various “stations”. If you are a group consisting of more than 5 participants, please contact us first, there might be other conditions. Housing is affordable because we rent a house with a few rooms and a fully equipped kitchen. Here our local team organizes their "homestay". The cost in the homestay is only $120 USD a week, which is only 17 USD a day. Furthermore, you will also receive numerous additional benefits when volunteering.
What is included?
If you are not a member yet you have to include your membership fee. You can look at this as a donation to run our volunteer platform because all donations and budgets that we fundraise are directly used to support school construction. Therefore we ask everyone who participates in one of our volunteering activities to provide a donation as a social contribution to cover all annual costs related to our volunteering operations because looking for volunteers costs money. We only ask a social contribution/donation of €90 EURO per person. This is a one-time fee, charged at first participation in one of our programs. You will automatically be included in our register and may participate in our programs unlimited in the future. Upon payment of your social contribution you also get acces to our secured volunteerpage with all kinds of information such as how to find us etc... You also receive your own LLL T-shirt upon arrival by your first participation.
Other possible costs
Guidance & preparation
As soon as you applied and you are accepted to volunteer we start with your preparation. You already can read a lot on this website, besides this we also prepare you through other channels. Once in the field you also can rely on our local team in Vang Vieng. You are not first volunteer that they will welcome and hopefully you also will not be the last volunteer.
Volunteering abroad will have an impact on you but also on the local community. We think it's very important, that you as a volunteer are aware about what to expect. So you can start prepared with your volunteering experience. When you are accepted as a volunteer and you confirmed from your side, you will receive the access codes for or secured volunteer page. At this page you can read all information which is important for your preparation. Such as information about your project, accommodation, How to apply for your visa, a packing list, a complete chapter about cultural differences and much more ….
In case you still have questions you can always contact one of our personal mentors. These are senior volunteers and already have a lot of experience in our projects. Some of them even speak Lao.
On your first day in Vang Vieng, you will have an orientation led by a member of our local team. The orientation is casual and relaxed, and designed to make you feel comfortable in your new home and prepared for your work. The orientation will go over the following:
Life in the field
We encourage you to ask many questions and never hesitate to communicate your thoughts.
Please, do not be shy!
Vang Vieng has a tropical climate with an annual recurring monsoon. The weather is hot and humid throughout the year. With temperatures between 13°C (winter nights) and 40°C in summer. The monsoon runs from June to October. Keep in mind that it may occasionally rain during the other months. The wettest months are August and September. No matter what time of year you go, take long pants and a sweater for the cooler nights. During the "dry" months, take a light raincoat with you for the exceptional showers.
How to reach us
You are responsible for arriving to Vang Vieng on your own. The main airport in Laos is in Vientiane, the capital, and most volunteers enter Laos through the airport there, which is called Wattay International Airport.
There are different options to look for reasonable tickets. The easiest is book a fight to Vientiane but remember that you most likely always have a transfer in one of the neighboring countries (e.g. Bangkok-Thailand). A good platform to compare is google flights but also have a look at the website from some airlines.
The day of arrival you will be welcomed by our team that also will guide you during your placement while volunteering abroad.
You can find all detailed information regarding flights but also addresses at our secured volunteer page, which you have access to when you are accepted as a volunteer in Laos. We do not share detailed information about our projects in advance. We take our work very seriously and our projects are not a tourist attraction. Besides this is also sorry annoying for our local team and volunteers when suddenly somebody shows up to have a look at our projects.
Prior to arriving in Laos, we strongly suggest that you visit your physician or a travel health clinic to ensure you are in good enough health for your placement and to obtain any immunizations you require. You should also visit the website of the World Health Organization (www.who.int) as health conditions in the world are constantly changing.
Travel medical insurance
We require that you have travel medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, throughout your placement. We do not include it because there are many different plans available and you know best what is right for you. Before your departure we will ask you for general information about your policy, but it is your sole responsibility to determine its adequacy and any associated details like coverage levels and deductibles.
If you are coming from a country that is considered to have a risk of yellow fever then you must present an International Certificate of Vaccination (Yellow Card) to show proof of yellow fever immunization. Most of the countries requiring yellow fever immunization are in Africa and South America, although regardless of where you are coming from you should consult your country’s Lao embassy for the latest information.
Additionally, you should see your physician or a travel health clinic prior to arriving in Laos as most doctors recommend at least a few precautionary vaccinations before arriving, including:
There is a risk of malaria in the area, particularly during the rainy season, so you should consult a medical professional to obtain the necessary medication, typically prophylactic malaria pills.
There is no typical day or script to follow – every day will be different and full of surprises. That is the beauty, but also challenge, of international volunteering. We expect you to understand this and be flexible, open and proactive at all times.
The projects run Monday through Saturday and Sunday are usually free days. Depending on your project, you will work some combination of different hours during.
There are always new initiatives being launched and other volunteers looking for a helping hand. The projects are very dynamic and responsive to the community’s needs, and we encourage you to be flexible and willing to help wherever there is need. It is very likely that you will have the opportunity to work across multiple projects. Remember, the more you put into your experience, the more you will get out of it.
Our team speaks English but learning a few basic concepts in Laotian is always easy at work, but also in dealing with the population. But do it in your own time. We have a digital course with audio on our secured volunteer page, there are volunteers who manage to speak Laos in a matter of months. You have access to these files when you are confirmed as a volunteer.
A good volunteer mindset
During your daily life in Vang Vieng
As a LLL Volunteer you are representing LLL and our local partners. If at any point before, during or after your LLL experience we feel you are not abiding by our expectations and/or not acting legally, we reserve the right to remove you from our programs immediately.
You can start all year around from 1 week up to a couple of months. If you decide to volunteer for a shorter term then we advise you to arrive on a Sunday so you can start working on Monday. This way you will gain the most out of your experience. This also benefits the community most.
Still having questions?
Send us an email or write us on our Facebook page.
You can also connect with other volunteers in our Facebook group
WHAT OUR VOLUNTEERS SAY