Thank you for your interest in volunteering/interning with Step Ahead. There are many opportunities in which we welcome small teams of volunteers to work with us. However, we do not accept individual volunteers/interns- rather we ask you to recruit a friend to come and serve together with you. Also, volunteers must commit to stay a minimum of a month.
Step Ahead Micro Enterprise Development (MED) was founded by John and Kim Quinley in 2002 as a ministry of YWAM Relief and Development. Today its a registered foundation in Thailand, and a USA 501c3 non-profit. Originally, Step Ahead MED worked with poor Thai families living in the slums of Bangkok by giving micro loans to people in order for them to start their own self-sustaining small businesses. These loans, usually between $100 and $200, build personal responsibility and dignity and bring about big results by opening up economic opportunities. This provides means for more income for food, shelter, healthcare and education for these Thai families. In time, Step Ahead MED grew in vision to be Step Ahead Integrated Community Development and works across Thailand- from Bangkok’s largest slum, to rural Southern and Northeastern villages- strengthening at-risk families and poor communities.
Volunteer opportunities at Step Ahead Bangkok include:
• Teaching English to the Thai staff
• Helping to coordinate and participate in Step Ahead Kid’s Club and Basketball
• Giving seminars/workshops to our clients or staff (if you have background/experience in business, economics development, or leadership)
• Organizing children’s programs such as carnivals, after school English and activities
• Providing IT/technical support (website design, computer training)
Step Ahead Training Center in Khao Lak, South Thailand, was started in May 2005 after the December 26, 2004 Tsunami. Khao Lak, which has a thriving tourist industry alongside well-established local fishing businesses, was one of the areas worst hit by the tsunami. Many people in the area lost family and friends, homes and businesses. Step Ahead’s vision brought hope to people in this area by enabling them to develop their core employability skills in areas such as English, German, Hospitality and Computers. Currently, over 2000 people have received training in General and Hospitality English, Computers and German, as well as short courses, such as Italian cooking, hosted by teams of volunteers.
In addition to the training center, Step Ahead also has pre-school/child development centers in the region. The centers, started by Kim Quinley, began as child safe zones barely six weeks after the tsunami to protect children from potential trafficking. These centers helped establish the core of Step Ahead’s integrated community development work. Caring for the little ones, after all, is a primary concern for families, and strengthening families helps develop communities.
In addition to this, Step Ahead Khao Lak worked in local communities carrying out projects, which seek to empower people to be able to sustain themselves and their families. These projects have included the Thai Totes bag and purse making project, the Lamkaen Mushroom Farm, an orchid farm, and an eco-tourism home-stay project in a Moken (Sea Gypsy) community.
Volunteer opportunities at Step Ahead Khao Lak include:
• Teaching English, or German at Step Ahead (long-term opportunities for teaching in local hotels)
• Volunteering and teaching English in the child development centers (CDC)
• Organizing short-term courses in specialty areas, such a cooking class, children’s program etc.
• Partnering and volunteering in practical ways with local churches: teaching music, kid’s club, community health education, and an after school kid’s club
• Manual labor (seasonal/ depending on opportunities)
Thanks for now taking the time to fill out our application from below. We look forward to reading your application and are excited about the possibility of having you come work with us.
Step Ahead Leadership