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Construction and Renovation Volunteer Project in Laos - Luang Prabang

Construction and Renovation Volunteer Project in Laos - Luang Prabang

Want to build your skills as a Construction and Renovation volunteer in Laos? International Volunteer HQ’s Construction and Renovation project empowers volunteers to take part in initiatives that help improve local infrastructure. Community organisations are often underfunded and poorly resourced so volunteers can make a tangible difference by lending a hand with vital upgrades and repairs. These make buildings functional, safer and more attractive to the people who use them, and allow the community services that provide some of life’s basics to have an even bigger impact.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from £278 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Make a tangible difference improving schools and community buildings

  • Explore the amazing mountains and markets of Laos

  • Stay with other volunteers in Luang Prabang

Key information

Improve infrastructure for the local community
Based in Luang Prabang
Dormitory-style volunteer house
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Fully hosted experience from £278 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Introduction Week orientation available
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Handy volunteers who are fit and willing to work hard doing a wide range of tasks. You’ll be assisting local staff so there’s no need to have prior experience in construction or renovation.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Community services such as schools, medical and childcare centres in Laos are important institutions, but many don’t make enough money to keep up with building maintenance. Volunteers can make a significant difference to make these services attractive and functional for the people who rely on them.

You’ll essentially be a volunteer laborer, helping with light construction and renovation tasks to improve buildings and sections. You’ll need to be flexible and adaptable in your approach to volunteering and be happy to go with the flow of local priorities. Your exact role will depend on what stage projects are at while you’re in Laos, but could include:

  • Building
  • Renovating
  • Painting
  • Restoration
  • Carpentry
  • Landscaping
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

As job losses escalate as a result of Covid-19, it is estimated that nearly half of the global workforce is at risk of losing their livelihoods. We must improve access to jobs, decent work conditions and community services in order to achieve peace, sustainable economic growth and a better quality of life for all.

Why do Construction and Renovation volunteering in Luang Prabang with IVHQ?

As a volunteer builder in Laos you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving and upgrading local infrastructure
  • Making a visible difference to the community
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining building and renovation experience
  • Immersing yourself in Lao culture
  • Discovering the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Luang Prabang

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16-18 are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • To respect the local culture and customs in Laos, volunteers should be aware that they’re unable to have anything obstructing their face while at their volunteer placement.
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply For Free

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

TL
Tiffany Lombardi
30 Jan 2024

My two sons (11 years and 17 years) and I (mom) did construction volunteering in Luang Prabang. It was one of the best experiences of our lives. It was also meaningful work. We got dirty, we sweat a bit (though the weather was perfect in December /January) and were tired by the day's end... but we just loved it. My sons said it was the best and most meaningful thing they had ever done and by far the best "trip" we had ever been on. They felt like they did something worthwhile. We learned how to make and lay bricks from Uise who was fun and patient, we painted a fence outside a primary school after cleaning debris, and had a lot of fun the entire time. My sons ended up playing football with school children at the very end of each day, and made friends helping a small community. They could see the nice job they had done when we finished and felt satisfied. It was great fun working together and in the evenings/weekends we rested and explored temples, waterfalls, markets, and surrounding villages. ANYONE and everyone should consider construction, it's fun work. Make sure to bring on change of clothes to work in- paint, get dirty, etc.!

...
MM
Matt Meury
14 Jun 2023

The best moments from the volunteer experience was teaching English at the school, working on the building program and hanging out with locals, volunteers and staff. The biggest impact my volunteering trip had on me was connections as strangers become friends and friends become family. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Memories and experiences of a lifetime. One Life, One Shot...... what are you waiting for!!!

...
AH
Adrian Hogan
31 Oct 2022

My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was feeling like I was a part of the Laos community. Spending 12 weeks volunteering, I was very familiar with the local team, the rotation of volunteers and also the people of Luangprabang. Being greeted with smiles from the school children everyday, having bars know my drink order, even by the morning market butcher knowing what cut of pork i wanted, often without being able to understand one another. This familiarity and feeling like i was part of the community was amazing.

The biggest impact my volunteering trip had on me was the new friendships with fellow volunteers and the local team that I will keep forever. The Laos teams' passion about their projects is matched by their care and gratitude towards their volunteers. Exceptionally hard working to improve the lives of the Laos people and grow their projects.

The accommodation was safe, clean and satisfactory for our operation. The geographic location was close to all the volunteer projects but also walking distance to the town so we had plenty to do and see throughout the program.

For first timers, don't think too hard about the outcome of your time spent volunteering. I think we all do something like this for different reasons and there will be many surprises along the way. But the certain outcome is a new perspective, wether of yourself, your home country or the place you served. Offering your time and skills without any expectation of anything back is the most selfless things you can ever do and with this, no matter what, you will grow positively as a person.

...
BT
Ben Tyler
28 Sep 2022

The local team are all amazing and really friendly people, super easy to get along with! I felt like I helped out the community by ensuring the schools were more safe and clean for the children to learn in. The biggest impact my volunteering trip had on me was it changed my perspective on many things and made me grow more as a person. My advice is just do it, as you haven't got anything to lose and it will be an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

...
GT
Graeme Tyler
21 Sep 2022

My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was making a difference, in 4 weeks, we built 6 walls and redecorated 4 classrooms. Working with people from different nations to make a difference was the biggest impact. What would you say to someone still hesitant about volunteering abroad is don't be nervous. The projects are well designed and there is plenty of time to explore a new country as well. There was also fantastic support from the local team.

...
PW
Paige Wheeler
04 Feb 2021

I feel that my time fixing chairs at the School for the Deaf and Blind was appreciated and worthwhile. Many students would hang out with us while we worked and some even pitched in to help us fix the chairs. The accommodation was fine, the room had good air conditioning and was not cramped. The beds were firm, but good. The food was tasty. The best parts were riding a bike along Ave Lang Xang in the evenings when this main thoroughfare is mostly empty.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit
Volunteer Abroad in Laos with IVHQ

Location

Compared to the thronging, bustling party that is other capital cities of South-east Asian countries, Luang Prabang is in northern Laos at the heart of a mountainous region. This relaxed town, often described as the Jewel in Laos Crown; has beautiful parks, markets, temples and monuments, tropical weather, and plenty to do. Wider Laos has a huge range of adventure activities popular with visitors, and breathtaking waterfalls, limestone caves and scenery.

Just outside the town centre, you can explore lush jungles with miles of hiking trails leading to gorgeous waterfalls and limestone caves.

The IVHQ Laos Program is based in Luang Prabang. The placements are located in and around Luang Prabang.

Arrival and orientation

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Luang Prabang Airport (LPQ). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

Volunteers need to arrive in Luang Prabang on the Sunday before orientation. When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Vientiane, Laos prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Vientiane on the day before your program orientation for an additional pick-up fee cost.

There are two options for orientation in Laos:

One-day Orientation: This runs for a full day and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Laos, including an introduction to the IVHQ Laos program, the local team, general rules and a class on the local culture and language. In the afternoon, you’ll learn about the local projects, go on a walking tour of the local area, arrange your SIM card, and finish the day planting vegetables like a local. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Introduction Week: This not only teaches you everything you need to know for your volunteer project, but also gives you the opportunity to learn more about the culture and tick off some must-do Laos experiences including a language lesson, cooking class, village walk and visits to the KuangSi waterfall, bear conservation sanctuary, ancient history temple and forest temples. This week has an additional cost of US$435 (approximately £361).

Join the Introduction Week by making a note in your application or contacting your IVHQ Program Manager after you register.

Volunteer schedule example

Weekdays

After the initial orientation week, you will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day and a typical schedule is as follows:

8:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer guesthouse.
9:00 AM Volunteers travel to their placements by foot, bicycle or tuk-tuk.
12:00 PM Volunteers break for lunch and travel back to the volunteer guesthouse. In some cases volunteers eat lunch at their placement. After lunch, volunteers continue with their volunteer work (where applicable).
3:00 - 4:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to return to the volunteer guesthouse, plan for the following day’s activities or use their free time as they wish.
6:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer guesthouse. After dinner volunteers will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as they wish.

Weekends

Volunteers have the weekends free and there is no shortage of things to do in Luang Prabang or further afield in Laos. Volunteers can fill their free time with local markets, adventure activities or simply exploring parts of Luang Prabang. Laos is a popular tourist destination, offering beautiful nature and scenery, with great biking, kayaking, climbing, caving, trekking and rafting. Volunteers who wish to take a long weekend to travel can enjoy the beautiful limestone mountains and waterfalls in Vang Vieng or even take a two-day cruise on the mighty Mekong River.

Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Laos and neighboring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Luang Prabang, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style volunteer house in Luang Prabang. The town center is only a 10-15 minute walk or 3 Tuktuk ride from the volunteer accommodation. You should expect to share a room with up to 4 other volunteers of the same gender. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a fan and have a shared bathroom equipped with western style toilet and a hot shower. Bedding and towels are provided. There are staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.

Couples, families or individuals who want more privacy have an option to upgrade to private accommodation. Private rooms are subject to availability and therefore you must arrange this well in advance of your program.

The accommodation has free Wifi which volunteers are able to use. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to access the internet.

Meals

Laotian food is very tasty and during your time in Laos, you will be sure to receive some delicious treats.

Volunteers are provided with three meals per day. Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and generally includes tea, coffee, eggs, bread and fruit. Lunch and dinner are prepared in the guesthouse restaurant and will often include fresh vegetables, fish or meat, cooked with fresh herbs and spices, and served with plenty of sticky rice. Noodles are common at mealtimes too, as are local soups.

Please note that during the weekends only brunch and dinner is provided.

Fresh tropical fruit is plentiful at roadside stalls and there are many street food vendors around Vientiane offering local treats.

Bottled water is readily available in Laos and volunteers should budget approximately US$10 (approximately £8) per week for 2 liters a day.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week £278 Equivalent to £40/day
2 weeks £457 Equivalent to £33/day
3 weeks £636 Equivalent to £30/day
4 weeks £810 Equivalent to £29/day
5 weeks £985 Equivalent to £28/day
6 weeks £1160 Equivalent to £28/day
8 weeks £1426 Equivalent to £25/day
10 weeks £1692 Equivalent to £24/day
12 weeks £1958 Equivalent to £23/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £273) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Laos generally find US$75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

Free-time experiences & tours in Laos

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Laos! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Laos program.

Introduction Week
Introduction Week

The Introduction Week is an awesome way to kickstart your volunteer abroad experience and it covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Laos.

£361
Laos Adventure Week
Laos Adventure Week

Explore Laos in a fun packed week where we take you to some of the must visit places and experiences in Laos.

£406
Introduction Week
Introduction Week

The Introduction Week is an awesome way to kickstart your volunteer abroad experience and it covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Laos.

£361
Laos Adventure Week
Laos Adventure Week

Explore Laos in a fun packed week where we take you to some of the must visit places and experiences in Laos.

£406

Check what's required to visit Laos

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Vientiane
Population 7.2 million
Languages Lao
Currency Lao or Laotian Kip (LAK)
Time zone UTC+07:00

Weather and climate

The climate in Laos is considered tropical monsoonal, days are typically warm and sunny all year around, with an average temperature of 29°C (84°F). The rainy season runs from May to October, and this is when humidity and temperatures can peak at 40°C (100°F). The dry season runs from November to May, and this is when the temperature is typically cooler and can get to a low of 15°C (58°F)

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!