WWOOF began in the early 1970s in the UK. Originally WWOOF allowed volunteers from the city to stay on organic farms and join in with the annual fall harvest which was and is very labor intensive.
Now there are a mosaic of different countires (over 100) and properties, farms, permaculture projects, spread throughout Thailand alone. These include organic farms, aquaculture, Eco-community, permaculture demonstration and education centers, farmers markets, community gardens, urban permaculture centers, self-sustainable living centers, Yoga and meditation centers, animal rescue and rehabilitation, solar energy, herbal and natural medicine farms, and others. Depending on the skills you wish to learn and experience you wish to have, you can choose the host that best suits your volunteer adventure.
Most all visitors to Thailand receive a 4 week tourist visa upon arrival at the airport (by air). WWOOFing is viewed as eco-tourism and you are a tourist and guest of your host while WWOOFing in Thailand. If you wish to stay longer you can apply for a 60 or 90 day visa before you leave. For more information go online to your local Thai Embassy or Consulate. Be aware that volunteering for periods longer than 4 weeks is viewed as “working” in Thailand and for this you will require a “work permit” which costs approx. $300 usd, takes 3 months to get and needs a invitation letter from the host, which WWOOF hosts do NOT supply.
- To enable people to learn first hand sustainable living, cultural experiences and organic growing techniques.
- To enable town-dwellers the experience of living and working on a rural farm and in a foreign country.
- To show alternative ways of life, culture, music, foods, cooking, families, sharing, art, mythology, philosophy, beliefs, superstitions, ways to be a human being.
- To improve communication within sustainable living, permaculture and the healthy food organic movement.
- To help develop confidence in becoming self-sufficient, become aware of the foundations of sustainability, ecosystems, bio-diversity and natures role in these.
- To meet and share with caring and interesting people, break the bonds of home culture, meet other volunteers from other countries, sometimes make life long friends, share stories and experience what being a member of a global community really feels like.
- and to discover why Thailand is known as the “Land of Smiles”.
WWOOF does not have too many hard and fast rules but there are some important things to be aware of.
WWOOF is a no/low fee exchange.
In return for 4-5 hours of a WWOOFers help on the organic property each day, hosts provide 3 adequate meals a day and clean, dry accommodation.
Outside of this we leave it up to WWOOFers and hosts to negotiate.
The main aim of WWOOF is to get people working together and learning from one another, to encourage organic and sustainable farming and sustainable living practices as well as cultural exchange.
The details of a WWOOF exchange, such as hours worked, days off, length of stay etc need to be discussed when the WWOOFer initially contacts the host. but generally it is for 4-5 hours help a day for 5-6 days a week. In the tropics it is best to start early and finish before mid-day during the hot season.
Each party needs to make their expectations clear and agree on the terms of stay before the WWOOFer arrives on the property. This avoids disappointment, embarrassment and uncomfortable situations arising. Good communications is important and avoids any surprises.
If you can chat on the phone or email once you arrive this helps get questions answered, reconfirm times of day arrival etc. The type of work, jobs to be done etc should be clear, this helps.
WWOOF is a 40 year old, voluntary cultural exchange organization, operating in over 100 countries world wide. Most hosts do not charge for a stay. But in developing countries, where wages are very low some hosts may ask for a small fee to cover the cost of your food and accommodation if they are full and the WWOOF position is taken. The average wage in developing countries is less than $1.00 an hour. It is often easier and cheaper to hire a local skilled and trained farm worker, than to train and supervise an unskilled person unfamiliar with the task to be done. But WWOOF hosts do this as a gesture of connection, contribution and goodwill and to make for a better world.
WWOOFers help hosts on their property for 4-5 hours each day and in exchange receive 3 meals and accommodation. The idea is that WWOOFers help hosts on their property, while living with the family and experiencing real rural life. New skills are shared and WWOOFers get the opportunity to learn about many areas of sustainable living as organics, aquaculture, permaculture, cooking (Thai style), yoga, meditation and also engage with the real Thailand outside and far from the normal tourist experience. WWOOFing can be and often is a life changing experience for many volunteers.
WWOOF provides the opportunity for you to live and experience life in Thailand on organic and Permaculture farms and projects. You learn organic farming, permaculture techniques and other methods of sustainable living, by helping on the farm and having ‘hands-on’ experience. Usually you live with the family and are expected to join in and cooperate with the day to day activities. The success of WWOOF depends on mutual cooperation and most all problems can be avoided by good communication.
WWOOF relies on the feedback from its members to improve. Any suggestions for improving or broadening is appreciated. If you have any further inquiries or any problems then please don’t hesitate to contact us on PermiesThai@gmail.com or 086 3043898
To arrange your stay email the host you wish to visit thru the website. It is important to make arrangements in advance, don’t just turn up at the door. During the initial email it is important to discuss details of the stay such duration and what chores there are. If you set a date to visit a host and then find you cannot make it, ALWAYS phone or email to let them know. If you fail to turn up, there will be concerns for your welfare, and sometimes the WWOOF office will be asked to locate you or contact the Thai tourist police to find you. Nobody really wants this, so be respectful.
This varies from farm to farm but is usually between 5 days and a few weeks . Many hosts have a trial period of a couple of nights and then longer if things go well. Most hosts do not allow stays of only 1 or 2 nights as it takes time to get to know you and the farm routines, as the first few days are getting to know each other and how the tasks are done. etc.
Login to your WWOOF profile at www.wwoofthailand.com then Search for the profile of the WWOOF host or volunteer you wish to give feedback. Scroll to the bottom of their profile and click on “Write Feedback” Read through the Code of Conduct. Write your feedback and click ‘save’. That’s it, done.
WWOOF Thailand reserves the right to edit feedback in situations where comments are defamatory, offensive or contain inappropriate language. Feedback needs to constructive and aimed at improving everyone’s experience. We provide impartiality to both hosts and WWOOFers, and do not intervene in the process of constructive feedback.
For any concerns email the WWOOF Thailand office at Permiesthai@gmail.com
If you come across feedback that is personally attacking or offensive, please email the WWOOF Thailand office at PermiesThai@gmail.com
Make contact 4-8 weeks before you arrive. Then “always” reconfirm agreed arrival dates a few days before you leave and plan arriving. During the busy season December to March some hosts can be booked up 1-2 months in advance. So book early for this time of year.
When you do have confirmed dates, “always reconfirm” before arriving so the host knows you are coming and when to expect you and/or when to pick you up from the bus.
If you change you mind, or something prevents you from arriving on tme ” ALWAYS” LET YOUR HOST KNOW.
Hosts care about their volunteers and also may have others wanting the date you booked, so be respectful please. In some cases Hosts will contact the WWOOF Thailand office and request we begin looking for you. You don’t want the Thai tourist police searching for you, because you simply forgot to email or call. To support you we have a country wide number 086 3043898 if you need us.
WWOOF Thailand keeps your membership number online we use the online version only for Hosts to verify your membership. Some other countries have a passbook.
The minimum age to go WWOOFing is 18 yrs. (unless accompanied by parents or a guardian). There is no maximum age limit. The important criteria are that you are willing and able to lend a helping hand to your host.
Yes you can WWOOF with you children and family. However there are fewer hosts who accept children as there are safety issues on the farm, lack of accommodation etc. You can do a search which will give you an idea of how many hosts are able to accommodate families and email us for a list. For more information please also check out The Green Compass article and for a list of family friendly farms contact the WWOOF Thailand coordinator.
Rice harvest season is October, November. The high season for travel is December to March. WWOOF Thailand operates year round as the weather is perfect most of the year. April is the hottest month.
Farming goes on year round, tree planting, soil maintenance, composting, building can be done year round.
WWOOF Membership is annual (when you first join membership lasts for 14 months). You can renew your membership at any time.
You can join by completing the JOIN application Form. Go to “Join” on the menu. Be sure you JOIN as a Volunteer and not as a HOST.
All WWOOF hosts make sure that volunteers do not use dangerous equipment. However on farms some animals behavior can be unpredictable so some common sense is needed which the host will make clear.
Travel in Thailand is like any other Asian country. Public transport is available for every region. WWOOF Thailand provides a 24x7x365 country wide phone number to support members in their travels. WWOOF Office is 086 3043898