Really amazing volunteer experience which helped me to find a dream job in Asia. I will always remember Warm Heart Foundation and especially Evelind Schecter who has really impressive dedication to the foundation. I am proud that I could be part of the Warm Heart family and my volunteering was really unforgettable. I would recommend to everyone to undertake volunteering at this foundation.
Vaclav, 28, Czech Republic
I thought that the experience was very beneficial for my education, personal growth and preparation for my future career. I was able to practice the skills I have learned in college, learn about a new culture, make many new friends, and gain confidence as a future nurse and as a world traveler. I thoroughly enjoyed serving the community there, experiencing the day-to-day implications of a long-term community development project. Those that we visited weekly and biweekly seemed to really appreciate our support and care. I also loved being able to use my skills to assess the health of children at Warm Heart, which I believe will make a significant impact to them and the staff. I love how this experience put me (with my short-term availability) in the context of a bigger picture, and allowed me to actually make a difference with an organization that is doing so much long-term development in a community. It is clear that Warm Heart is very intentional about that. I could not be more excited that I worked with an organization like that, where I felt that my unique skills were needed and my time and energy was not wasted. I enjoyed every second of my time there and I was able to serve, travel, explore and experience so much in Thailand because of this assignment. I can never thank Evelind and Michael enough for allowing me to work with them and for everything that they are doing for this community.
It's rare to find two people as passionate and caring as Evelind Schecter and Michael D. Shafer. Many non profits work remotely from the US to support causes in other countries but Evelind and Michael gave up their successful careers in the US and moved to Phrao, Thailand to truly make a difference in the lives of many. The work can be frustrating at times due to the language and cultural differences between Thais and foreigners and the politics involved to get things done but when you see how happy the children that Warm Heart cares for and the difference they make in the lives of many locals, it's all worth it. Being a volunteer has it's challenges with Warm Heart taking on so many different responsibilities that every day is a new day. So if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and roll with the punches, Warm Heart will be an eye-opening and rewarding experience. You will live like a local and experience true Thai hospitality and culture.
Being at Warm Heart I have been inspired and touched by the passion and care that the Founders, Staff and Volunteers have for not only improving the lives of Phrao's community members but everyone they interact with.
Whether it be helping a child with homework, celebrating a young woman's (who is living with HIV) birthday, or bringing books to a home bound woman's house, every moment is seen as an opportunity to make life a little brighter.
You quickly see how these simple, compassionate acts create ripples of goodwill that lifts up the community, instantly feel a strong bond with the people, and more deeply appreciate the magnitude of Gandhi's famous quote "Be the change you wish to see in the world.
I am participating in this organization as a volunteer, especially in Public Health part. The first thing I felt was that this organization is well known to local people and they didn't hesitate to express how grateful they fell about this organization. Moreover, the way of this organization's doing was also adequate, I think, because they are not trying to help people in need directly like charity, but trying to support them with more proper ways such as giving them a job or micro-finance, so that they can get financial independence. Now, I'm in charge of canvasing uncovered areas to find out somebody to help, I hope we could help them too in a proper way.
I am Vaclav from the Czech Republic and I am a volunteer at Warm Heart. Volunteering at Warm Heart surpassed my expectations because when I joined this organisation, I expected that it would be another internship with stereotypical tasks. But at Warm Heart I work on very diverse projects - such as agriculture, public health, education or finance. I have received a good coaching from my supervisors, I can get profound knowledge and skills in these areas.
I was lucky to find Warm Heart. This organization was a great place to have my first international volunteer experience. They are doing great work in northern Thailand, help take care of all your visa arrangements and have good living spaces.
When I first heard about Warm Heart I was most impressed with the fact that they stand by their children's education as far as the children want to go. Besides the 60 + they currently have in various grade levels, they are helping three in college, and several in Trade schools. They are making such a difference in the lives of children who were doomed to a life of poverty without their help.
The second thing that impressed me was the quality of the volunteers that come and help at Warm Heart. Dedicated people whose help clearly makes a difference in the success of the program.
As a grassroots organization they have been able to involve the community, working together to solve problems to alleviate the pervasive poverty that has in the past kept these people down.
I have personally contributed to several projects, and know that my money has been well spent.
Working with Warm Heart was an unforgettable experience. On arriving in rural Thailand you are welcomed into very unique situation by extremely inspiring people. Living in close quarters with Michael and Evelind (the founders) and their extended family in the Children's Home you quickly feel like a part of the Warm Heart family and the wider community. Michael and Evelind are unwaveringly passionate about their work in the community and there is so much scope to make a difference by helping on one of their many projects. The most useful volunteers will have a skill and knowledge base already as Warm Heart relies so heavily on volunteers and the input they can offer. I was the videographer and multimedia volunteer for over 3 months and found the role not only immensely rewarding but also had many opportunities to enhance my skills and challenge myself while feeling like I was providing really useful resources for their website, marketing and fundraising. I would recommend volunteering at Warm Heart to anyone that wants to experience living in another culture, make a real difference in the community and intimately learn about the inner workings of a small grassroots non-profit.
As a volunteer with Warm Heart's public health program, I was thoroughly impressed by the positive impact Warm Heart generates on the community level. Originally, Warm Heart was founded as a children's home to allow Hill Tribe children to attend school. Since then, it has expanded to include micro-enterprise, public health, and environmental programs, the latter of which has recently been awarded a grant from the U.S. Consulate.
Many of the children at Warm Heart come from communities that do not speak Thai, and therefore are behind in school from a very young age. Warm Heart gives local children the ability to learn Thai and therefore go to high school.
In my time traveling around Phrao and Chiang Mai province, the majority of people I met had only wonderful things to say about Warm Heart and how the organization has positively affected the lives of friends and family members.
I was thoroughly impressed by the tangible and measurable changes in the Phrao community as a result of Warm Heart's influence. Warm Heart is an NGO with real integrity, and any donations or time, money, or other resources are guaranteed to go toward improving the lives of local Thai people in Phrao.
After only one month, I´m sure I made the right choice by coming to Warm Heart. As my time here functions as an internship in my masters degree, it was important for me that I chose an organization that can offer a variety of projects to work on,and off course an organization that have a good working and social environment. Warm Heart has everything! The projects you work on really challenge you and you learn to think in new ways. After a long day of work, you have other volunteers you can explore this beautiful country with!
I´m actually being part of this amazing experience, working as Environment Project Manager.
As in any other job there are good days and bad days, but then you see the results and everything is worth it!
Helping communities develop in a more sustainable way is good in many levels; local, for they can grow better and more. Regional, for they live and grow healthier without all the pesticides and smoke. Worldwide, because we are all part of the same big house; The Earth and every little step forward can help make the difference in the future.
I also enjoy the quiet environment and, avobe all, food is great! Get ready for some real spicy things!
Hello! My name is Laura Fernndez and I am from the Dominican Republic. I came here, leaving my corporate job, because I believe social causes are my real passion. I will be here for 6 months, until the end of this year, and so far everything has been wonderful, the relationship with the other volunteers, the staff, the locals and the kids are really great and playful.
This is my first trip to Asia and so far my favorite thing is food! I've wanting to eat everything here. The landscapes are also very calm, very appropiate to have some alone time, meditate and think a little bit about important things in your life. Since we are living in the country side there is not too much going on, so we have time to hang around together, play cards, watch movies and laugh a lot.
At Warm Heart I am working as an operations program manager, reviewing major processes such as volunteer recruitment, financial reports and other areas and now I have been doing some tasks related to volunteer's coordinator. The work is very challenging, I want to do so many things, hope at least to achieve my mayor goal.
Come to Warm Heart, there is a lot to see, learn and love!
I am a current Board Member and former student of one of the founders of Warm Heart. Warm Heart is a wonderful organization that truly listens to the community it serves. The founders are two of the most hardworking, intelligent and dedicated social entrepreneurs I know. It's a privilege to serve on the Board.
I was a volunteer during the summer of 2014, working on after-school mathematics with high school students and helping out with the Biochar/green initiatives on site. I learned so much in my ten weeks there. Most of all, i was continually impressed with Warm Heart's complete dedication to the local community in Phrao, even despite limited resources. Evelind, Michael, and PJ are ambitious and passionate about the work they do, and it has a clear impact on the lives around them-- everyone from the kids who grow up there, the Thai staff who live and work there, and community member who depend on Warm Heart for daily basic necessities. I can't wait to see how Warm Heart grows in the future -- best wishes to everyone back in Phrao!
I'm a new resident of Chiang Mai, and was recently introduced to Warm Heart through a new friend. After just a little exploration of their programs I couldn't have been more delighted to make a small donation to support their wonderful work.
The Warm Heart programs are innovative, sensitive, and truly reflect the needs that the community of Phrao have identified as most important. After a visit to their center in Phrao I was struck by the skill and dedication of their staff, and the wonderful quality volunteers who do so much to support the work.
The kids that live in their Children's homes are absolutely joyful, reflecting the kind spirit and loving environment the homes provide. The campus is vibrant with activity, gardens, friendly people and animals.
There are many organizations doing great work, but I've seen no foundation where a donor's investment is more leveraged to support great benefit for the community. Warm Heart is not only completely sincere in their desire to help the people of Phrao, they are also extremely skillful in their projects design and execution. What a powerful combination. Bravo.
Warm Heart World wide - They're doing it right!
Warm Heart is truly amazing. I volunteered there for half a year, 2013. My project was marketing local handcrafts. I felt so passionated about this project as it's very entrepreneurial, and the people I worked with are smart. After I finish the volunteering, thanks to the rewarding experience, I landed a job working as a fundraiser for Teach For China(the same network with Teach For America）. WH is also like home to me. The people I met there keep inspiring me. I'm pretty sure I'll go back again in near future.
I have been volunteering for Warm Heart from June to Dec, 2013. It provides great opportunity to be enterpreneurial. Thanks to nice scarf and recyecled fashion, i can get involved in pre-sale, sale, and after sale.
Here not only do I get to be creative – copywriting, compiling a catalogue, I have also developed skills in doing market research and sales in Chiang Mai, establish CRM system, craft social media campaign for online store and recruitment, areas that I´d never worked in before.
The experience is so fullfilling!
I was a volunteer working on the reforestation project a year ago for Warm Heart. I stayed three months and that was too short. I've learnt so much when I was there. I've learnt professional and personal skills, I have met extraordinary people, and spent unforgettable moments.
I won't say it was easy everyday, but in the end this is the kind of experience were you only remember the good moments. Michael and Evelind are really good teachers and good persons, and it was a pleasure to work with the others, the thai staff, the kids and the villagers I've met during my work.
I hope I'll go back there one day soon !!
I am the Chairman of one and on the Boards of two other organizations focused on global poverty alleviation and economic development with my emphasis being on India and the MENAT region. We have known Professor Michael Shafer and his wife for many years, and have followed closely their remarkable progress in the Hill Tribes region of northern Thailand. We recently spent a week with Michael introducing him to 5 major players in this space in the Washington area. All were amazed at the accomplishments of Warm Hearts, and the the results of their "bottom up" investigation into the causes of poverty in the region, and their development of effective tools to address these causes. Most important is that these tools and programs are planned for adoption and implementation by the local population themselves, and can be sustained without continued outside intervention. All 5 of the NGOs to which we introduced Michael and Evilind Shafer have committed to assist in the growth of Warm Hearts with various support initiatives. We hope for more Michael and Evelind Shafers!!!
We have followed Warm Hearts progress since its beginnings six years ago. The founders, Michael Shafer and Evelind Shecter, chose a neglected rural area of Thailand to rebuild into a sustainable community through working cooperatively with villagers to identify their community needs, prioritize them, and then tackle problems with cross-cutting solutions. They have created effective programs for children's education, all stages of life health care, microenterprises for women without regular income, and agricultural initiatives to rebuild the soil and increase harvest yield. By approaching local problems with a broader vision of world issues, they have been able to leverage basic technology, such as their biochar process, into a potential instrument to reduce global climate change by improving soil on a field-by-field basis.
With more money and support, Warm Hearts is poised to increase its reach and to have its model practices imitated in many other rural communities of developing countries. Their recent foray to Washington, DC, introduced them to major foundations and larger non-profits that recognize the value of their persoanl dedication and concept f bottoms-up community development.