Friends for Asia Mission Statement
The mission of Friends for Asia is twofold. First, we offer an opportunity for people to meaningfully contribute to the improvement of standards of living by building capacity in our host agencies. Secondly, we provide committed volunteers to work on projects developed with host agencies that benefit the people of Thailand.
Friends for Asia’s Volunteer Coordinators and Staff
It is important to us that our coordianting staff is made up of highly qualified, educated individuals devoted to our volunteer’s needs and the development of our projects. You’ll see our staff regularly, if not every day – as our office and accommodation are located in the same area. We give our volunteers and interns freedom and the opportunity to have an authentic volunteer Thailand experience, but we are there to support them in all areas.
Surat Thani, Thailand
Surat Thani Video
Leslie – Southern Thailand Director
Hi. I’m Leslie Temanson and I’m the director of Friends for Asia’s southern Thailand projects.
I was born in Minnesota, but lived in California before moving to Thailand. Previous to working as a Friends for Asia site director, I was a volunteer with Friends for Asia. I volunteered in the Elephant Camp and International University for Monks Volunteer Projects. I was a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa for five years. Upon completing my Peace Corps service, I continued working in Africa with various NGOs assisting with self help projects for another 15 years. When I retired from teaching and teacher mentoring, I volunteered in Peru. I have a Master’s Degree in Education from California State University San Bernadino. I hold dual California teaching credentials: one in general education and the other in special education.
Southern Thailand – Volunteer and Intern Coordinator
I have a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bangkok University and have a private accounting office in Surat Thani.
Surat Thani means the city of ‘Friendly People.’ I invite you to come volunteer or intern with us and enjoy the traditional Thai culture of my home town. In your free time you can visit all the beautiful places close by, such as Khoa Sok National Park or the tropical islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phaghan, and Koh Tao. Welcome to Southern Thailand. Welcome to Surat Thani.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Friends for Asia – Chiang Mai Volunteering Video
Todd – Director of Friends for Asia
Hello. My name is Todd Cikraji. I am the founder and international director of Friends for Asia. I correspond with all of our volunteers and interns throughout the application and booking process. I also keep in touch with volunteers and interns during their projects in Chiang Mai.
I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Dayton. Before founding Friends for Asia, I was a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, and then Thailand. I have also worked at a couple of large schools here in Thailand teaching English as a second language and overseeing the work of other foreign teachers. I believe strongly in international volunteerism and have been overwhelmingly impressed with the contribution and work of our volunteers.
Friends for Asia Chiang Mai Office and Staff
Aom – Chiang Mai Coordinating Manager
Hello. My name is Walaiporn Wuttiyan. You can call me “Aom.” I’m the Coordinating Manager of Friends for Asia in Chiang Mai. I oversee the coordination of our volunteer and intern projects and all of Friends for Asia’s coordinators and staff.
I was born in Chiang Mai and graduated (with honors) in Mass Communications from Chiang Mai University. I worked as a script writer for a large Bangkok broadcasting company for six years. I spent three years in the United States and have a post-graduate degree from Baruch College in New York State, USA. I have worked with Friends for Asia since 2009.
Nat – Chiang Mai Volunteer Coordinator
Hi there! My name is Naatsita Nawatfuangsakul. You can call me “Nat”. I coordinate the International University for Monks, Teaching Monks, English Education, HIV Orphanage and Single Mother’s Home Projects.
I was born and raised in Chiang Mai and graduated with a degree in Tourism and Hotel Management from Chiang Mai Rajaphat University. I have worked for luxury hotels and cruise lines abroad for over 12 years in many European countries such as Hungary, Italy, Austria, France, Switzerland and Germany. After my time abroad I have worked as a guest lecturer at Phayao University and as a special lecturer in Chiang Mai Centre for Skill Development, Chiang Mai and as well as at Phayao Centre for Skill Development, Phayao. I can speak English, German, Hungarian, Thai and Northern Thai. I enjoy working here and am always happy when I can assist our volunteers to ensure that their projects are running smoothly and they will have a good time and unforgettable experiences during their stay here with us in Thailand.
Imm – Chiang Mai Volunteer and Intern Coordinator
I was born in Phrae, a small and quiet province in the north of Thailand. Before I worked for Friends for Asia, I was an English teacher at a private school here in Chiang Mai. I have a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Chiang Mai Rajapahat University.
Aun – Chiang Mai Volunteer Coordiantor
I was born in Lamphun, Thailand. I have a bachelor’s degree in Japanese language from Chiang Mai Rajaphat University. I have privately taught Japanese as a foreign language and Thai as a second language to foreigners living here in Chiang Mai. I spent time studying English as a Second Language in New Zealand and have worked for the airlines and as a tour operator and travel agent here in Chiang Mai.
Note – General Chiang Mai Staff
Sawasdee Krup! My name is Manoch Wandee. My nick name is “Note”. I am a general staff person here at Friends for Asia. I am responsible volunteer safety, the upkeep of our volunteer accommodation, office, the purchasing of breakfast food and snacks, picking new volunteers up from the airport and helping in emergencies.
I was born in Nakornayok province but raised in Bangkok. I studied music at Chiang Mai Rajaphat University. Previous to working at Friends for Asia I was a drummer and taught drums to foreign students at some of Chiang Mai’s international schools.
Chris – Bali Administrator
Hi. I’m Christian Fritz. I’m originally from Germany, but I’ve lived here in Bali for over ten years. I oversee the general planning and administration of our volunteer projects here in Bali. Due to my hectic schedule, I’m not usually able to spend much time with volunteers during their time here in Bali. However, I’m really impressed and grateful for the work that our volunteers do to advance the schools and orphanges here on the island of my home – Bali.
I’ve been working with Todd on the founding and organzing of our volunteer projects here in Bali, since April of 2011. In addition to my work with Friends for Asia, I am also very much involved in ecological building, the planting of trees, and various other socially important projects here in Bali.
Peter – Bali Volunteer Coordinator
Sawasdee Astu! I’m Peter Hendry and I am the volunteer coordinator for Friends for Asia, here in Bali. I have worked with Friends for Asia since early 2012. Prior to working for FFA, I worked in an embassy in Jakarta. Yes, I’ll be the one at the airport holding a sign with your name on it when you arrive. I oversee the work of our volunteers and see them daily at either their project site or our volunteer accommodation.
I really enjoy interacting with our volunteers, getting to know them and providing them with well organized projects, where they are able to contribute and grow from their experience in volunteering with us here in Bali.
Mike – US Based Partner
Hello! My name is Mike Cikraji. I am the limited partner of Friends for Asia, based in our Ohio office. I coordinate aspects of the company’s domestic financial, administrative and legal needs, when necessary.
I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio. I have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in history, and I previously worked as a high school teacher. I currently work in industrial quality control, and as a college history instructor.
I believe that volunteerism serves to enrich all those involved, and I am proud to help such a great organization!
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- @mischy17 Email us directly for the info while we get it up to the site soon… email@example.com Thanks! 09-May-13 in reply to mischy17
- @mischy17 The Vietnam volunteering programs will change very soon. We are still getting the details up to the site. Stay tuned! 09-May-13 in reply to mischy17
- February Message from Friends for Asia Director: Message from the Director of Friends for Asia, Todd Cikraji Bas... http://t.co/9xWsdPWk 10-Feb-13
- @Voicefromwithin Yes, no problem. Volunteers from anywhere except the host country: Nepal, Thailand, Viet Nam, Bali (Indonesia). 22-Sep-12 in reply to Voicefromwithin
- Medical Internships in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Surat Thani, Thailand... http://t.co/9cVC6Var 20-Aug-12