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Urban development and building conservation in Yangon

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In the city of Yangon, which is the only city in Asia with its historic core still intact, Doh Eain is renovating buildings of historical importance and upgrading public spaces. Internships and volunteer placements in fields such as Building Conservation, Anthropology, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Construction, Craftsmanship, Urban Development, Interiour Design, Landscape Design, Management, Entrepreneurship, Education and waste management are possible.

What is your placement organisation doing?

Doh Eain ("Our Home") is a non-profit social enterprise aimed at community-led renewal of old buildings and the urban environment in Yangon.
Many buildings of Yangon originate from the city's colonial past and are of historical and cultural importance. At present, Yangon is the only city in Asia with its historic core, an estimated 6,000 properties that date back from before 1950, largely intact. Still, for many of these houses the passage of time and lack of care have left their mark, and many homeowners, who are often not aware of the uniqueness and value of their possessions, are now rapidly tearing down these buildings to make place for new construction.
The Social enterprise Doh Eain (“Our Home”) supports building owners with the renovation and upgrading of buildings, so that they can use their homes sustainably and have the means to keep the houses in good condition (eg. higher rental income after repairs).
In addition, Doh Eain undertakes upgrading projects of public spaces. Numerous backyards and small alleyways in Yangon’s city center have so far been unused. Often they serve as garbage dumps and are more of a paradise for pests than for the people living there. With the “Alley Garden Project” Doh Eain shows how backyards and side alleys in the urban space can be re-designed into clean recreational areas. The areas are first cleaned and then shaped together with the residents eg. into small gardens, street art and children’s playgrounds. The community of residents is active throughout the design process and activity, so that a lively and sustainable exchange between people and their living space is stimulated.
A team consisting of people from the disciplines of Anthropology, Urban Studies, Architecture and Design work together at Doh Eain to implement these projects.

How can you get involved?

In the ideal case you are able to commit for at least 6 months to support Doh Eain with the implementation of their projects, and you are able to bring your own laptop with you. For experienced volunteers shorter placement durations are possible (from approximately 3 months).
Are you creative, and do you want to be a part of a modern and innovative non-profit social enterprise? Perfect!
Doh Eain is happy about interns and volunteers from different fields who can bring their experience and use it in their work for Yangon. Possible specializations are for example Building Conservation, Anthropology, Architecture, Civil Engineering/Construction, Urban Development, Interiour Design, Landscape Design, Management, Entrepreneurship, but also Education (for example to implement community projects for and with children). Interns and volunteers with knowledge in the areas of crafts, woodwork, or with a background in hygiene, waste management, or sanitary care are also very welcome.
Depending on your knowledge and interests, you can contribute at Doh Eain in your field of expertise. The team of Doh Eain will create an action plan for you.
Info Box
Location: Yangon, Myanmar
Availability: all year, flexible start date
Minimum Duration: 3 months
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Accommodation: Hostel
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification of Supervisor: Anthropology, Urban Studies, Architecture, Design
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Currently a student of related subject, e.g. Anthropology, Urban Studies, Architecture, Design
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Relevant experience
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 60 Days
61-90 Days
91-180 Days
181 Days or longer
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1 Person
600 EUR 700 EUR 800 EUR 1200 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
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

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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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