Volunteers work 6 days a week. There are two volunteer coordinators present to facilitate to the needs of the volunteers, as well as to organize the daily schedule. Working hours are generally from 06:30 to 17:00 depending upon the job the volunteers are on for the day. There are breaks for breakfast and lunch. Although every working day is different, with different tasks to carry out, there are several jobs which need to be done daily.
06:30-08:00 Preparation of food for the animals and feeding them, assisting with cleaning the enclosures
09:00-12:00 Scrubbing pools, water rounds, the big enclosure must be done before lunch at 12:00, and any other projects that need doing around the centre (maintenance work, painting, digging, etc). Any food enrichments must also be prepared in the morning to be able to service them between 11:00-14:00.
13:00-17:00 In the afternoon period, all other jobs should be done. These jobs are afternoon feeding and water rounds, bathe and scrub the elephants and tidy up the center. Feeding usually takes place between 14:00-16:00, sweeping at 16:30 and cleaning the center at 16:45.
17:00-18:00 Personal time (usually used for showering!)
18:00-19:00 Dinner. Dishes cleaned by kitchen staff. Volunteers are responsible for cleaning the tables and washing the food trays - this duty will be assigned on the Rota Board along with feeding the dogs.
19:00 onwards Personal time to socialize with other volunteers, walk into the village (must be in groups of two or more), or take a taxi to Hua Hin or Cha Am. We encourage volunteers to keep the noise down after 22:00 to avoid disturbing the wildlife.
The types and variety of duties will depend largely on the duration of stay of each volunteer, and number and skills of volunteers participating. Some of the work is also seasonal and dependent upon available resources on-site at the time.
Although the work with these domesticated elephants is hands-on, we do not support the riding of elephants. Many of our rescued elephants have endured decades of backbreaking work carrying tourists in elephant camps and ‘attractions’, and the Elephant Refuge and Education Center is their sanctuary, somewhere they no longer have to ‘perform’ or be treated unnaturally.