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Reduction of plastic waste in Yangon

Volunteering
 
As a volunteer with the organisation Thant in Myanmar, you can support the organisation's efforts against the growing waste problem, contributing your time and skills in communications, marketing, waste management, graphic design, photography and sustainable tourism!
 

What is your placement organisation doing?

 
In Myanmar, waste management exists only to a small scale in urban centers. In rural areas, garbage is often not collected, but typically ends up in the environment. Myanmar's largest river, the Irrawaddy, washes 200 tons of plastic waste into the sea every day, making it one of the dirtiest rivers in the world. Although the reduction of plastic waste is the obvious answer to modern overconsumption, it often seems uncomfortable to consumers at first glance.
 
By tackling the root of the problem, Thant Myanmar is committed to reducing the use of disposable plastics by promoting sustainable, alternative materials that might not only look better than plastics, but might instead even be more practical and durable alternatives to plastic.
 
In its campaigning and environmental education work, Thant Myanmar starting point are alternatives to everyday plastic products such as plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic straws. The goal is to make plastic products a less attractive choice and to raise awareness about the environmental problems associated with plastic waste.
 
Goal and activities include:
 
  • Raising awareness of shopkeepers and their customers to reduce the use of plastic bags
  • Introduction of drinking water dispensers in hotels, businesses and with tour operators to avoid plastic bottles
  • Raising awareness of restaurant staff to get rid of plastic straws
  • Training hotels, businesses and NGOs on how to reduce their plastic consumption and support alternative materials
  • Support of village communities in waste management and waste prevention
 
Thant Myanmar's work has been successful: So far, through events, posters, mass media and social media campaigns, more than 5,000 organizations, businesses, restaurants, hotels and countless individuals have been mobilized to reduce their plastic waste and introduce a more sustainable waste management in Myanmar.
 

How can you get involved?

 
As a volunteer, you can support the organisation in various ways, including communications and marketing, graphic design, photography and film, event and campaign management, waste prevention, waste management and sustainable tourism.
 
We are looking for volunteers with a professional background (students or graduates or having practical work experience) in the areas mentioned above, but also committed individuals without any specialist experience.
 
  • Communication & Marketing (duration 3-12 months): experience required
  • Graphic design (duration 3-6 months): experience required
  • Event and Campaign Management (Duration: 6-12 months): previous experience preferred but not essential
  • Waste management (duration 3-12 months): experience required
  • Photography and film (duration 3-12 months): previous experience preferred, but not essential
  • Sustainable tourism (duration 6-12 months): experience required
  • Waste management (duration 3-12 months): experience required
  • Waste prevention (duration of use at least 3 months): Pedagogical background with professional experience of advantage; Development of educational materials on waste prevention.
 

Your Impact: This is your contribution

 
Thant Myanmar's team consists of volunteers working together to avoid plastic waste. With your commitment, you are making an important contribution to raising awareness about the problem of waste, helping the local team to work towards a sustainable, clean and garbage-free Myanmar!
 
Please bring your own laptop.
Info Box
General
Location: Yangon, Myanmar
Availability: all year, flexible start date
Minimum Duration: 3 months
Maximum Duration: 12 months
Language Requirements: English
Accommodation: Hostel
Internship
Supervision Possible: No
Qualification of Supervisor: -
Minimum Qualification Of Intern: -
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: See text, depending on activity
Further Contribution To Project: None
Expectations: Professional attitude, Do you have the "right" attitude?
 
 

Accommodation in Myanmar

 
We will arrange accommodation for you in Myanmar that fits your budget and requirements. We cooperate with various hostels, guesthouses and B&Bs of good value in all Myanmar and also within Yangon, and we have a suitable option for every request! When we select an accommodation we pay special attention to the location, so your workplace will be easily accessible by public transport. You can choose between several price- and room categories.
 
For lunch and dinner there will be plenty great restaurants and food stalls to go to nearby. You can also prepare small snacks in your accommodation.
 
Simply tell us your choice of accommodation. We will then provide you with a suitable option! Please see examples of accommodation options in the image gallery.
 
 
 
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Most popular! - Room in a Dormitory: This is our budget choice that will save you money! There are dormitories with 4, 6, 10 or 12 people per room. The costs are between 6-12 USD/night/person. The shared bathroom is usually on the same floor. Usually, a simple, local breakfast is included in the price of your accommodation.

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Single room: If you want a bit more privacy we are happy to organize accommodation in a single room. The costs are between 20-30 USD/night. Single rooms usually also feature a private bathroom.
 
Double/Twin room: If you are traveling together with a friend or as a couple, you can of course also share a room together. The costs are then 10-15 USD/night/person.
 
Usually, a simple, local breakfast is included in the price of your accommodation.
 
 
 

I. World Unite! Service Package

Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
  up to 31 Days
32-60 Days
61-90 Days
91-180 Days
181 Days or longer
 wu servicepackage en
1 Person
450 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 800 EUR 1200 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
400 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 1000 EUR
 
Convert rates to USD, GBP, CAD, AUD and other currencies
 

The World Unite! Service Package includes:

 
  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Preparation Session via Skype; together with further participants
  • Arrangements of necessary documents for your visa application, but not the official government fees for them (See costs below)
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Rangun International Airport (RGN) on arrival and departure from/to Yangon
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in Yangon
  • Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • 50 USD Contribution to your project
  • Local SIM Card with 10.000 MMK air time
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
  • Costs for 10 seedlings of indigenous trees that we plant on the slopes of Kilimanjaro
 

The Rates do NOT include:

 
  • Accommodation and Meals (see below)
  • Travel to/from Myanmar (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Official fee for Visa (see below)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
  • Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.
 

II. Accommodation Costs

 
In Yangon:
 
Accommodation at Guesthouse, Hostel or Bed&Breakfast, incl. simple, local breakfast. You can choose between the following options:
 
Dorm Room bed (4-share to 12-share): 6-12 USD/Person/Night
Single Room: 20-30 USD/Night
Double/Twin Room (only available in case of 2 persons booking together): 10-15 USD/Person/Night
 
Farm-stay near Hmwabi:
 
200 USD/month/person on full board
 
At the Buddhist meditation centre Thabarwa:
 
No costs for dorm room accommodation including 2 simple meals per day!
 
Tourismus and Hotel internships:
 
With tour operators and hotels in Yangon that don't provide accommodation: See rates above ("Yangon"). Hotels in the rural area usually provide accommodation free of charge.
 

Overview of other costs:

 
  • Around 80-140 USD/Month for self-catering (lunch and dinner at affordable yet good restaurants)
  • Visa 70 USD per 70 days
  • Small local expenses (e.g. Internet, local transport): around 30-50 USD/Month (Estimate)
  • Insurances around 30-50 USD/Month

 

How do I pay?

 
Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer, credit card or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR / 250 USD when the invoice is issued. One months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package.
 
The payment modalities for rent and possible further costs (e.g. internship supervision fees, as stated in info box of the respective project description) depend on your host country and placement. We will inform you beforehand. In many cases these costs are paid on site, but for some countries and placements they need to be paid partially or fully in advance.
 
 
 

Other Projects That Might Interest You:

 
 
These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more!
 

Travel Health Insurance

 
We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, work and travel, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
 
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.
 
 
 
 
 

Getting to Yangon

 
Karte Myanmar
 
You will book your flight to Yangon Airport (also: Rangoon; RGN). Please remember to share your flight details with us so we can pick you up at the airport and bring you to your accommodation in Yangon.
 
Even if your workplace is not in Yangon, you will spend your first few days there to acclimatize (we will organize a good accommodation for you in Yangon). In Yangon you will participate in an introduction and orientation program by your local coordinator and get to know the other participants of our program. After that you will travel by bus or airplane to your actual workplace. Buses go from Yangon to almost all corners of the country and cost around 20 USD per route (e.g. to Mandalay, a ride of 10-12 hours), domestic flights are around 50-90 USD per route and only take around 1-2 hours.
 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 
Are there fixed start dates for the project, which I must adhere to?
No, you can arrive at any date and you can hence, plan your trip according to your availability and the prices of flights. We can pick you up from the airport even at night.
Can I stay longer at my accommodation after my volunteering/internship or arrive earlier?
Yes, this is possible and we will give you our best rates. Just let us know when you arrive and leave and we will let you know the costs.
During my stay, can I travel around the country?
Of course you can travel around during your time in Myanmar and get to know this fascinating country. If you want to travel during your time of volunteering/internship, you should ask at your placement whether your absence is ok. Probably it is better if you plan some time to travel AFTER your volunteer/internship assignment.
Is it safe to travel to Myanmar alone as a single female traveller?
As most Buddhist countries, Myanmar is considered a safe travel destination for women. Approximately 80% of our participants are female and between 18-25 years old. Not a single instance of a serious security breach has occurred. Our coordinator will advise you on how you should conduct yourself in order to avoid problems - your dressing style, valuables, and in dealing with local men. Our preparation materials elaborate on this matter. If you follow these basic rules that apply equally to many other places, the risk in Myanmar is minimal.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in Yangon?
The total number of participants that participate simultaneously with an organization depends on the size and activity of the organization and responsibilities of volunteers/interns. We try to avoid too many volunteers/interns in an organization at the same time. It may be that you are alone in your work site, but usually there are, throughout the year, other participants in Myanmar, who you can meet in your spare time, if you desire so.
What vaccinations do I need?
We recommend that you ask your physician or an Institute of Tropical Medicine for recommendations. Our preparation materials also include a chapter about vaccinations and health.
Where do I live?
In Myanmar and in Yangon we cooperate with several hostels, guest houses and Bed&Breakfasts, and we have a suitable option for any preferences and standard. You will share the accommodation with other travelers from around the world or other participants of our programs.
 
We also consider the distance to your volunteer/internship assignment.
 
In Yangon, accommodation is typically in the city centre, e.g. China Town or near Sule Pagoda.
 
As a non-resident, it is not legal in Myanmar to live in private accommodation or with host families.
Can I choose my accommodation?
You can tell your room preference (e.g. single, double, dorm room) and we will suggest you the available options.
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
Yes, the hostels usually have Wifi internet. You can also access the internet with your smartphone. We will give you a local SIM card with some initial credit, which you can top up as needed. You can easily activate a data package (around 10 USD for 6 GB).
How can I do my laundry?
You can either do your laundry by hand, or ask for laundry service at your accommodation.
I am a vegetarian. Can I get vegetarian food?
Many restaurants in Myanmar at least have one vegetarian dish. At the supermarkets there are many vegetarian food ingredients.
What language skills do I need?
English language skills are widely spread in most parts of the country. Anyway, people are happy if you try at least to speak some words in their local language.
 
 
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