Volunteers work 6 days a week. There are two volunteer coordinators present to facilitate to the needs of the volunteers, as well as to organize the daily schedule. Working hours are generally from 06:30 to 17:00 depending upon the job the volunteers are on for the day. There are breaks for breakfast and lunch. Although every working day is different, with different tasks to carry out, there are several jobs which need to be done daily.
Volunteers go on banana harvests every other day. For example: Monday - Harvest, Tuesday - no Harvest, Wednesday - Harvest, etc. Volunteers should be prepared for hard physical work.
06:30-08:00 Volunteers on the ER project will make banana balls, feed them to the elephants, clean the general area and get the fruit ready to be used later in the day.
09:00-12:00 Elephant volunteers will help with scrubbing water tubs, salad bowls, composting the enclosures and other tasks that are required to be done for the day.
13:00-17:00 In the afternoon period, the volunteers will ibe involved in enrichment making, cleaning the food preparartion areas, making banana balls and feeding the elephants. Some volunteers may have the opportunity to walk an elephant if needed as part of it's physical rehabilitation but this is not guaranteed.
17:00-18:00 Personal time (usually used for showering!)
19:00 onwards Personal time to socialize with other volunteers, walk into the village (must be in groups of two or more), or take a taxi to Hua Hin or Cha Am. We encourage volunteers to keep the noise down after 22:00 to avoid disturbing the wildlife.
The types and variety of duties will depend largely on the duration of stay of each volunteer, and number and skills of volunteers participating. Some of the work is also seasonal and dependent upon available resources on-site at the time.
Although the work with these domesticated elephants is hands-on, we do not support the riding of elephants. Many of our rescued elephants have endured decades of backbreaking work carrying tourists in elephant camps and ‘attractions’, and the Elephant Refuge and Education Center is their sanctuary, somewhere they no longer have to ‘perform’ or be treated unnaturally.