The Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities – Nong Khai is the sister school of the successful vocational school in the resort town of Pattaya.

For twenty five years the Pattaya School has, according to a United Nations report, become one of the best schools of its type in South East Asia. Since it first opened its doors, more than three thousand young adults have successfully graduated, have found suitable employment, and are now leading independent lives.

The Nong Khai campus provides similar courses to the Pattaya School: Computer Programming and Computer Business. Both courses have a strong emphasis on the English language. There is also an elementary course in Thai for those young adults who have little or no previous education.

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The school first opened in Nong Khai in 2009. In the early days of the school, rooms were borrowed from a local monastery. Classrooms were dark, accommodations were crowded, and the cooking and bathing facilities were less than basic. 

However, in May 2014 a brand new building opened in the center of the city and additional building will be completed over the coming years.

Volunteering in Nong Khai

Volunteers are needed at the school to teach daily English classes to the students at various levels, from basic to advanced.

Volunteers are expected to commit to a full school term: 26th April – 1st October or 26th October – 1st April.

The new school year in the Thai school calendar starts on the first Monday in May with the second term starting on the first Monday in November. Training and orientation sessions will be given prior to the start of each term.

Learning English will give our students, who all have a physical disability, a skill that makes them more marketable as valued employees.  Prospective employers in Thailand see having English skills as a positive factor—particularly in the ASEAN Economic Community.

Volunteers would be expected to teach 200 minutes (each lesson lasts 50 minutes) of English, Monday to Friday.  This could be 100 minute classes or 50 minute classes depending on the program. 

NK-StudentVolunteers would also be expected to take an hour or two each day working on lessons.  This would include writing a lesson plan each week for each different class taught as well as preparing learning activities to fill the time with English speaking and listening.  Students with more advanced skills or after their first term would also be expected to work on writing and reading for comprehension particularly as those apply to their future employment.  Volunteers are provided with guidance and materials.

Volunteers should not come to Thailand with the goal of learning the Thai language.  Teachers must use class time so that students increase their English skills.  Unlike English learners in the UK, the USA, Australia, and other English speaking countries, our students do not leave class and enter an English-speaking environment.  Therefore, even time with students outside of class should be in English. 

NK-VolunteerUntil housing in completed on the campus, volunteers at this time receive free housing at a nearby extended-stay hotel.  This is literally across the road from the school and includes a bedroom, bathroom, and living room along with a small back patio.

Since meals are eaten with the students, this allows for more interactions with the students while using their new English skills. This will also help build their confidence.  Volunteers are also expected to participate in special activities that occur throughout the term.  These could include meeting with local dignitaries, having a meal with students at a restaurant, accepting a shipment of wheelchairs, attending a fair for people with disabilities in the community, watching a sporting event, or participating in a holiday. As a volunteer you will be an integral part of the school.

If you feel you can commit to the time and want to have a truly rewarding experience, please feel free to contact Michael Konst, the RVSD-NK volunteer coordinator, at volunteer-nk@fr-ray.org

Nong Khai is a small city located on the Mekong River in the Northeastern part of Thailand.  Most locals speak both Thai and Isaan, with many speaking some Laos, as the country of Laos is just across the Mekong Rover.

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There is adequate shopping for foreigners and a nice promenade along the river with restaurants serving some of the best food in Thailand and shops where the prices are less than those in Bangkok and Pattaya.  The nearest airport is in Udon Thani about 45 minutes away.  Nong Khai can also be reached by bus or train from Bangkok. 

For more information see the following:
http://www.travelfish.org/location/thailand/northeast_thailand/nong_khai/nong_khai
http://isan.sawadee.com/nongkhai/
http://www.tripsthailand.com/nongkhai.php


We never turn a needy child away