Why Volunteer With Us?

Why volunteer with the Karen Hilltribes Trust?

Who are we?

The Karen Hilltribes Trust is a charity dedicated to working with the Karen people to help them build a better future for themselves. We take a community-led approach to ensure that our projects result in positive and sustainable change that help the Karen people empower themselves and improve their daily lives.

Why are we different?

Our volunteers are vital to help KHT to achieve its aims, but our volunteering programmes are only a part of our work in Thailand. We support the Karen community in projects that lead to self-help and sustainability whilst still retaining their identity and culture. Our three key aims are based on the expressed needs and wishes of the Karen people in Thailand. This ensures that all projects are suitable for the local communities and each one is designed, installed and maintained by people living in the Mae Hong Son region of northwest Thailand. Our staff in Thailand are all Karen and we also require the full support of the local people in each village in order to finish any major construction.

By volunteering with us, you will be helping the Karen people to empower themselves. Over 500 KHT past and present volunteers make a real difference in these remote villages and you will get to see the true impact you had during your stay.

“KHT really do make a difference, as we saw on the faces of the 800 strong Karen people in Ban Pang Tong who now have enough clean, safe water to live on. Incredible.”
Louise, Water Project - 2016

Are you ready for an adventure?

When volunteering with us, you will be completely immersed in Karen culture. You will get the unique opportunity to live amongst Karen communities, discover their local foods and learn about their lives. It will be a challenging experience during which you will get to learn to stand on your own feet. We have been sending out volunteers for more than 17 years, and we can assure you that if you are adventurous, motivated and keen to make a difference, it will be a journey you will never forget!

“Outside the working hours, we began to become part of the village life.”
James and Julie, Water Project - 2012


Find out more about our projects  and our  volunteering opportunities   today.

Why Volunteer?


Make a difference

You’ll be working with communities that are in real need of your services. You’ll be delivering teaching or sanitation projects that have a real impact on the local people and a transformative effect on the community. Your volunteering commitment makes change possible.




You will experience a life changing place and a culture that only few people are ever exposed to. The varied nature of our programmes ensures a true adventure feel.



Improved CV

By participating in voluntary international development work in a remote region, you will add huge credibility to you CV and employment or training prospects in this area.



Learn a new language

You will be exposed on a daily basis to the Thai language and Karen dialects. There is no better way to learn a language than being totally immersed in it.




Learn and develop skills and talents

... some of which you will be surprised you ever had. 



Make new life-long friendships

The close knit environment you will be living and working in, will develop many social relationships that will endure.



Be part of a community

You will be living amongst local families and participate in their daily activites, having the chance to be completely immersed in Karen culture and become part of their community.




Learn a new perspective

The Karen live in remote villages and have very different traditions and ways of life. This volunteering experience will enhance your understanding of new cultures and you will get to learn a new perspective of the world.