As a volunteer, you’ll form life-long friendships while inspiring our girls to believe in themselves and chase their dreams.
Become a mentor and a friend.
All of our volunteers work directly with our girls on a daily basis. Volunteers lead English classes, run empowerment and self-esteem workshops, facilitate book clubs and art projects, and teach our girls that they are beautiful, intelligent, and unique individuals deserving of love and respect.
Volunteers are leaders at COSA, modeling healthy friendships and relationships to our girls, listening to their troubles and giving them advice, teaching them to follow their passions and not to be discouraged by setbacks.
As a volunteer, you will spend the vast majority of your time working closely with our girls and collaborating with fellow volunteers to develop projects and workshops. You will work as part of a team, creating new projects and sustaining existing programs that focus on helping our girls grow and develop into confident and socially-aware young women and future leaders.
A day in the life.
At the core of the volunteer is experience is teamwork and collaboration. You’ll participate in regular team meetings lead by our Program Director, where you’ll discuss all current projects as a group, pitch in to help each other out, and share ideas and advice.
We have a number of regular, volunteer-run weekend programs, but there is also room for the development of new workshops and activities. What you choose to work on while you’re here will determine what kind of impact you have on COSA, and we encourage you to pursue areas you are interested in and passionate about.
The girls attend school until late afternoon, so during weekdays you’ll work in pairs or small groups with other volunteers. You will live and work closely with the rest of our volunteer team, forging unique and extraordinarily special friendships.
When the girls return home from school on weekdays, you’ll spend time with them playing, talking, helping with homework, and showing them they are loved and cared for. Weekends are when you’ll spend the most time with the girls, running English classes in addition to a number of other programs.
Your home at COSA.
Volunteers live dormitory-style in a comfortable and clean house. We live as a family with the girls at the shelter, sharing facilities, a dining area, and outdoor spaces. The volunteer house has a private bathroom with a Western toilet, hot shower, and kitchen area with a toaster, coffeemaker, sink, and full-size refrigerator. The house is co-ed and is shared by all COSA volunteers.
Volunteers, girls, and staff all eat lunch and dinner together in our communal kitchen area. This is an important part of life at the shelter, and gives us all an opportunity to spend time together and get to know each other.
Special Projects: Short-term doesn’t mean low-impact.
A lot can be accomplished in six weeks. We encourage all our volunteers to take on a project throughout the duration of their stay. Each project idea is unique to the individual. In July 2014, we had a volunteer contribute her film-making skills by collecting footage of our girls to create a promotional video; while in August another volunteer established a sex-ed program for the girls to raise their awareness about choice, protection, and STI’s.
We also welcome individuals and groups to develop and take on special projects that will educate and entertain our girls for shorter periods of time or help develop the shelter and facilities. In the past we have welcomed a group of Australian men who built us a garage, five Chinese girls who stayed for 10 days and taught the girls calligraphy, a group of Australian women who funded and helped build a community shop, and a large group of 25 University students from the USA who came for only four days but planned a multitude of activities, including English lessons, dance workshops and yoga. They even managed to fit in the time to build the girls a playground!
In essence, short term does not mean low-impact; in fact, these projects have left lasting impressions on the girls and have had a permanent effect on the shelter.
If you’re interested in organizing and booking a special project, get in contact with us!
COSA is entirely funded by donations, including a weekly fee that is paid by all volunteers for the duration of their placement with us. This fee covers the entirety of your living expenses while you are at COSA, including:
• Dormitory- style accommodation
• Three meals a day including lunch and dinner prepared by our cook
• Drinking water
• Room cleaning
• Utilities (hot water shower, western toilet, washing machine and dryer, electric)
• Wireless internet access
• Pick-up and drop-off from Chiang Mai upon arrival and departure
• Transportation to and from the bus stop to enter Chiang Mai on days off
• Weekly supermarket trip
Your contribution to COSA also serves as a small donation that enables us to continue our work in trafficking prevention.
Pricing is variable depending on the length of your volunteer commitment. If you are interested in joining our volunteer team, please fill out our online application or contact us if you have specific price-related questions.