Warm Heart is a great place to learn and grow up! It is not a place where you get cuddled but where real life shows its head and where you are prompted to action the minute you step down. This NGO is full of light and energy that is not so often seen in the humanitarian world. The commitment and dedication of the couple who lead is tremendous, and everyone who lives on the campus shows eternal gratefulness to them. As a volunteer, I had wonderful opportunities to create projects and campaigns which will help out further in strengthening Warm Heart’s funding and marketing strategy. I am also eternally grateful for my time spent there and I would recommend this experience to all people who are ready to learn more and grow further.
I was attracted to WH because of the same philosophy we are sharing, which is helping people to help themselves. I've been volunteering for several NGOs since the first year in college. But WH is truly one of a kind. What suprises me most is how much things they are doing, small as taking sick villagers to get treated, great as create jobs and sustain the community. No matter what kind of challenges they are facing, Michael and Evelind always stick to their promises to the people.
It is my pleasure to work with them for the the past three months, to learn how to live just as a basic human being.
My company Trade Monkey LLC has been working with Warm Heart's micro-enterprise program for over a year now, and with each order we are more and more impressed with the organization. As a business, they are very responsive, hard-working and punctual, not to mention the products they produce are top quality and beautiful. They are constantly working to provide fair-wage sustainable jobs for local people in their community, while taking environmental impact into consideration. It is always a pleasure to visit Warm Heart because of the infectious family vibe you get from being around Michael and Evelind and the countless children running around from the Warm Heart Children's Home. If you meet Michael and Evelind, you will be inspired by their lives completely devoted to giving to those less fortunate. All of us at Trade Monkey feel fortunate to have met them, and lucky to have the opportunity to work with them.
Where do I start? Warm Heart as an organization has taught me the difference between solving problems using a one-size-fits-all approach and designing specific community programs meant to address problems in the community based off what members of that community need. There is no doubt that Warm Heart's mission of listening first and taking strong action to make an impact is the best approach in a community like Phrao, ridden with problems in the structure of education, public health and sustainable agriculture. People in the community respond to this personal way of helping in an overwhelmingly positive way. I would see the affirmation everyday in the smiles and respect villagers would give us. At the local market, when I would be designated as the personal bag carrier for N'Pan and the ladies who feed and take care of about 40 children at Warm Heart, we would be greeted by so many people wanting to know what kinds of projects Warm Heart was involved with and how children who previously had no chance of attending school were liking their classes in 5th grade. I fell in love with the people of Phrao, all the children and the beautiful country. The sense of community within Warm Heart and Warm Heart's presence in Phrao as a place to solve problems is an electrifying combination that motivates and influences change. My days of beautiful scenic motorbike rides in the dense forest mountains and learning challenging games from strong-willed Thai children are over for now, but I hope anyone who wants to make an impact on a community in need and cultivate existing or unknown skills will team up with Warm Heart.
Since the first day when Evelind (the founder) picked me up from Chiang Mai (closest city), I never doubted that I had chosen the right organization to achieve one of my longstanding dreams – visiting Thailand and volunteering in a rural community.
Everything that I have encountered at Warm Heart has opened my eyes. Warm Heart is involved in so many ways in the community that it takes more than a single stay to understand. Only the founders know everything: taking care of around 40 kids with an assortment of problems, and helping disabled people and needy families is certainly not an easy task. Although WH has only been in existence for a few short years, already over 200 people depend on it directly.
The last but not the least, I will also never forget the many great moments that I shared with the amazing volunteers I met in my three-month stay.
Mauricio Villarreal - Lima, Peru (volunteer June - August 2014)
It has been nothing short of an honor to be able to volunteer with Warm Heart for the last three months.
Something about this organization moves me every day, whether it's the bottomless well of compassion displayed by the founders Michael and Evelind for the kids in the home and the community at large, or the way you are able to witness tangible and meaningful growth in the villages they work with. Warm Heart has a number of different development projects, all of them with both environmental and economic stability at their foundation. They are well-thought out, long term and effective, as well as participatory. In short, Warm Heart is everything a grassroots development NGO should be.
Perhaps the most affirming thing about working here is the way that everyone in the district knows about Warm Heart and flashes you a beaming smile when you tell them that you're volunteering for "un-jai" (the organization's name in Thai). On a more personal level, I've been moved to tears by the stories of some of the kids who have ended up in the children's home here. Warm Heart gives these kids a chance, and a safe place to grow - Somewhere free from neglect or abuse or poverty, where the only thing they need to focus on is their homework, and being a kid. The evidence is in the way that the grade point averages of Warm Heart kids skyrocket above their classmates, and the genuine smiles and shrieking laughter that I have the pleasure of witnessing every day that I'm here.
As a student of International Development Studies, I've learned a lot about everything that could go wrong in the "development game", everything that's bad about international volunteering and everything that non-profits need to be careful about. As a result, I expected to be very critical of my first experience with an international NGO - But Warm Heart has exceeded my expectations and proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be an overwhelmingly positive influence on this rural Thai district. It is the poster child of an ideal grassroots development NGO, responding to the unique problems faced by its community and launching proactive programs to help put Phrao on a sustainable and equitable development trajectory.
Without another thought, I would (and intend to) recommend Warm Heart to anyone thinking of getting involved in any way they can.
The kids at Warm Heart have changed my life forever. The week that I volunteered there was amazing. Warm Heart is doing great things to help the community around Phrao, Thailand. They go out of their way to help these people in need, and care about everything they are doing.
Warm Heart is doing amazing things for the community in Phrao, Thailand. Every time a community member is in need, Warm Heart figures out a way to help them. Countless people I met in Phrao said they owe their life to Warm Heart. I had such a wonderful time volunteering that I go back every year.
i had been volunteering there for 2 months Feb - March 2013, in recycled material project for fashion product design section. I had so much experience at WarmHeart more than I expected in so many aspects --- from working with all international volunteers communicating with English, experimenting and finding possibility of recycled local material to make them most valuable as far as I could do, sharing interests, helping and enjoyed the time with new volunteer friends, getting used to be happy with simple life and sustainability ....to having so much fun with the kids,staffs, Ajarn Shafer and Pa' Lin.
That was such a great great experience for me that makes me so inspiring. I really can't wait to go back to WarmHeart again :D
I volunteered for Warm Heart from February to September, 2013. With the help of the staff and volunteers, and the endless energy of the kids at our Children's Home, we were able to host and run several successful English camps, practice sustainable ways of living and farming, reforest impressive tracts of previously unhealthy land, and build a playground out of recycled tires. It was an amazing experience and one that benefitted everyone involved.
I gained far more from my experience at Warm Heart than I could have possibly contributed in the eight incredible months I spent volunteering there. My role was to be an RA in the older girls dorm, afternoon study buddy, health and horticulture specialist, and human jungle gym for the 37 kids that I lived with at the children's home at the time.
I still haven't fully recovered from leaving, as it is easy to become lost in society without having the fulfilling and rewarding experience of waking up to a true purpose and tangible set of goals every morning. I adore every single person that I encountered in my time there, every child that I was able to hold in my arms, each staff member, and most of all the incredible individuals who founded Warm Heart, Ajahn and P'Lin.
I cannot wait until the next opportunity that I can return.
I have been volunteering for Warm Heart Worldwide for three months now, planning to stay for another nine, and my time in Thailand could not possibly have been more fulfilling. As I live at the Children's Homes, I have been immersed in the daily ongoings of the Warm Heart family, eating meals with the kids and Thai staff, slowly learning the language with their help, becoming familiar with the range of cultures of the different hill tribes, and participating in as many projects and activities as possible. The exposure to the novelties of a lifestyle so different than that of the western world has been instrumental in my growth as a person and discovering where I would like to go from here. Then again, I don't think I will ever want to leave Thailand.
I came to Warm Heart to contribute to something I feel to be worthwhile while gaining real world experience in my chosen field (public health). I could not have chosen a more perfect place. The geographic location and campus are beautiful to the point of surreality and the local people, staff, other volunteers, and children ended up teaching me more than I ever could have anticipated, and about a lot more than just public health. That said, my work with the elderly and people with disabilities project and eye and ear project was totally eye-opening and I continue to draw from my experiences at Warm Heart (and will continue to do so for a very long time).
I found Warm Heart, Phrao, on the internet while looking of an organisation where I could volunteer in Sep 2013. It was one of the the best find I made. All the staff and volunteers at Warm Heart are warm - just like the founders Michael and Evelind. The various tasks that I did during my 2 months stay eg. helping build childrens' home, delivering food to flood victims in Ayutthaya, even being a stand-in driver, was satisfying. I They are doing a wonderful job in helping the community in Phrao. I salute Michael and Evelind and given an opportunity, I will return to Phrao again ... to have a drink with them !!!
i came as a group with other volunteers from goodwill globetrotting and we spent a week on site at WHW. it was one of the most fulfilling weeks of my life, working and living side-by-side with michael and evelind and the kids. the things they are doing to help not only the kids on site but also all of the villages around them are truly inspiring. i hope to be a part of WHW again as soon as possible.
My last experience with Warm Heart on location in Phrao was in 2012. Since then, I have continued to stay abreast of their activities, objectives and networking projects by continuing to edit a wide variety of documents and website postings.
Warm Heart’s cultural atmosphere seems to bring out the best in people. Creative potential blossoms working together sharing a common objective in a loving, supportive atmosphere that WH directors Michael Shafer and Evelind Schecter and staff create. Their attitude of "working together for good" brings people of vastly different backgrounds and talents into a network of possibilities to research and find self-sustainable solutions the local people can own. International volunteers bring a wide variety of innovative expertise to fuel solutions.
WH serves as a catalyst for multi-faceted solutions. For example: WH introduced hill villages to the concept of reforestation with native trees (preventing erosion and enabling water retention for the dry season) so they could grow a cash crop, coffee, and thereby increase their income. But the soils are depleted. So WH introduced the idea of using a clean-burning stove that runs on corn cobs and produces biochar, a natural fertilizer. The offshoot of this is less respiratory disease from using a clean-burning stove. Better nutrition for the villagers results as subsistence farmers use the biochar to enhance their kitchen gardens in addition to their cash crops.
Our family of three volunteered for Warm Heart in 2012. Our daughter was 10 at the time and it was a huge leap of faith to take her out of school for three months to live and learn in northern Thailand. Volunteering at Warm Heat was an incredible experience for us all. We lived in Phrao and commuted daily to the office, the Children's Home or other locations as needed. My husband Greg, along with another volunteer, helped set up a Quick Books accounting system for the scarf micro enterprise initiative. I helped with blog posts and images to document the scarf making process, from silk worm to finished textile. Our daughter soaked it all in and still keeps in touch with some of the children she met.
Making a difference on a budget! That's what Warm Heart excels at.
House, feed, cloth and educate a kid, plus provide medical care and computer classes! All on $100 USD a month! Pretty amazing!
Tackle disabilities in local villages by surveying all homes to determine needs and teaming up with another non-profit to provide wheel chairs and other assistance.
Help local farmers switch from corn, a low profit / heavy water usage crop, to coffee, a more environmentally friendly and profitable crop. And at the same time, convince locals to re-forest land that had been stripped years earlier.
If you are able, I highly recommend going to Phrao and seeing all the smiles on the kids living in the Warm Heart Children's Home! You will never forget!!
I am now both a donor and a volunteer for Warm Heart in northern Thailand. I started as a volunteer only, but appreciated/respected their work so much that I decided to donate monthly to their general fund and to also sponsor one of the kids. Everything they do has a 'long term' outlook and is intended to provide the local population with the tools required for them to be self-supporting in the future. And they never forget the local environment as they go about their business. In fact, improving and repairing the local environment is always part of their thoughts. If you are interested in helping out a small, underdeveloped community in Southeast Asia, I can't think of a better choice then Warm Heart Worldwide!!
It's in Phrao. Fun, delicious and challenging. I learned what is like to work in non-profit development, and carry those experiences into my work today. I miss the travel, my friends, riding my motorbike to work, and of course friday night Muay Thai in Chiang Mai!
I volunteered with Warm Heart while making a career transition from the corporate world to one focused on global health issues. It was also just before starting graduate school in international affairs, and was absolutely critical to my experience there. It has allowed me to try things, go places and learn things - and even open doors - that would not have been possible earlier. I was given free reign to manage a major project, but received the support that I needed. The program I research was just implemented, and now there is a resource for the disabled and the elderly in this area of great need. It was also personally very rewarding, and I made some of my dearest friends in only a few short months.
I worked with Warm Heart on three separate occasions. The last being for over three months. The organization has a way of finding your talents and using them. It meant that I was able to do what I loved and what I was good at doing. The organization focuses on sustainability for itself and the people it helps. It was great being able to see my time as an investment that would linger instead of a volunteer experience that just leaves you warm and fuzzy inside. The experience allowed me to see the cultural barriers, work through personality issue and remain in a family like atmosphere. There was never a dull moment!
I learned a great deal about poverty, sex industry, drug epidemics and human trafficking and how they play a role not only in Thailand but in the global community as well. The directors of warm heart are great teachers and they allowed me to see global issues on smaller scale. Perspective is certainly everything. I was also able to see a hands on approach to the issues of education through their Children's home. It was incredible to see kids from an impoverished tribe growing and flourishing with the Warm Heart family and staff.
The housing provided was great, the freedom to roam gave me a sense of adventure and the services I was able to work on all made the experience amazing. I'd go back in a warm heart beat!