Are you interested in working on real charity projects that help to empower local communities? Are you ready to be immersed in a completely new culture, live in a local community and work alongside the villagers in a challenging environment? Then look no further, the Karen Hilltribes Trust offers the volunteering experience you are looking for!

We work alongside the Karen people to develop and run sustainable projects that help local communities build a better future for themselves. Volunteers bring valuable input and are central to our charity ethos.

Karen communities are situated in an unforgiving mountainous environment. The climate often destroys crops and villages are cut off during the rainy season. Despite this they have managed to maintain their rich culture and sense of community. To learn more about the Karen people and delve into their world follow the links below.

Seree is from the village of Bhan Kham Suk.  

He has lived here for his whole life, with his eight children and wife Mulu.

As we sit amongst three generations of his family, all of whom are busy skilfully crafting from the materials they have around them, we gain a sense of the community that exists here and in so many other Karen villages.


The roots of KHT can be traced back all the way to the 1980s.

In 1986 a very young Salahae (our current Karen Manager) met British born Jim Soutar when he was teaching in Mae Phon school, near Chiang Mai. Together they started working on projects to address the lack of clean water in Karen villages. With little support from the government, villages were forced to rely on contaminated river water for drinking, cooking and washing.

Many Thai Karen are settled in the northern province of Mae Hong Son, where 64% of the population live below the Global Poverty Line of $1.90 per day. We are changing this by focusing on three critical areas, all of which were chosen by the Karen: improving health, increasing access to education and securing livelihoods.