Volunteering in Myanmar (Burma) can be a great way to spend your gap year, summer vacation, or simply just a way to give back. Like in most parts of Southeast Asia, there is always a need for teachers, builders, and medical staff. There are also NGOs and orphanages in Myanmar that need help from volunteers.
Technically, entering into Myanmar on a tourist visa excludes you from doing any kind of paid work, but it’s possible to enter on a tourist visa and get the volunteer organization to help you obtain a visa that will allow you to stay longer than 28 days. If you volunteer abroad at a monastery, they may be able to send the needed letter that will help you get a Meditation Visa. Whatever the NGO you choose to work for, you will need to make sure that you’ve allowed enough time to prepare the necessary documents before you arrive in Myanmar.
Yangon is a very popular location for NGO and other non-profit organizations, but you can also find community projects in rural areas. Below is a list of NGOs that are offering programs in Myanmar. There are more organizations that are focused on helping Burmese refugees and migrants that have entered Thailand.
Schools in Myanmar
Aung Myay Thukha, Monastery Teaching School, Yangon
This is a school for orphans and disadvantaged children from grades 1 to 9. Assistant teachers are needed to teach the children how to use computers, and for other courses. They are also in need of skilled workers to help them renovate their school building.
Eden Center for Disabled Children, Yangon
This is a school that provides services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, and special education to disabled children. Contact them by email to see what opportunities are available.
International Buddhist Education Center, Sagaing Hills
This school has five departments: Teaching Buddhist Scripture, Monastic Education School for children unable to attend government school, Foreign Language, Computer Training, and Meditation. Contact them through their Facebook page or via email to see what opportunities are available.
Teach for Myanmar, Throughout Myanmar
This non-profit organization that needs volunteer teachers to work closely with communities to teach English and encourage further education. The programs are 10 week to a year long and volunteers must cover their own expenses. To apply, the application form on their website must be filled and sent along with a CV and references.
United Nation (UN) Volunteer Program, Varies
The UN program draws volunteers from over 160 countries and sends them throughout the world, so applying to this program is highly competitive. The program covers agriculture, heath and education, human rights promotion, community development, and vocational training, among others. If you’re interested, visit their website on more information on how to apply.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)
Child’s Dream, Throughout Myanmar
This NGO is dedicated to empowering marginalized children and youth in Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia. They work with communities to help teach things like basic healthcare to children, and also build schools, playgrounds, and boarding houses. They also support the Karen State Education Assistance Group (KSEAG) to help supply teachers and teaching materials. There are various projects that can be considered, visit their website for more information and how to apply.
KT Care Foundation, Throughout Myanmar
This non-profit organization provides emergency services, economic development services, and social/physical wellbeing services. Email your CV and areas of interest by email to apply for a position.
Resources to find more NGOs in Myanmar: