Volunteering in Phuket’s Gibbon Rehabilitation Foundation | GED Program ‘Serving the Community’ trip

Gibbon phuket

Volunteering in Phuket has become increasingly popular in recent years. This is because the island has many great causes run by wonderful people.

Last week students from Phuket PALS’ GED Program visited another of these projects to lend a hand and give something back to the community and island they love.

Our visit was the final installment of this year’s ‘Serving the Community Program’ which has seen our students volunteer on the following trips:

We packed up the bus and made out way to the North of Phuket to the Phuket Gibbon Rehabilitation Foundation. This charity helps protect Gibbons through re-rehabilitation and education.

Why volunteer at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Foundation?

This is the question I was asked when I first told our students about the trip, and I was more than happy to provide an answer.

For many decades wild Gibbons have been stolen from their families high up in the jungle canopy to be used for entertainment purposes in Phuket and on its surrounding islands. 

The poachers only want the baby gibbons as they look cute and are easily exploited posing for photos with tourists in bars and on the street. 

To get their hands on one baby often around 15 other gibbons die in the process, making the whole process even more sickening.

Often the person exploiting the gibbon drugs the animal to keep it awake for longer. This, and also the fact that the animals are often fed unhealthy food and even given alcohol, means their health and sanity is in grave danger.

Thus, here at Phuket PALS we feel visiting the project is worthwhile to open our kid’s eyes to the depths some humans sink in order to make a quick buck, and also what can be done to help the situation.

How did we help and what did we learn?

Obviously, there’s only so much impact you can make in a day while volunteering, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. Far from it. The students from our GED Program had wonderful tour of the facility, followed by a question and answer session with Teacher Mike. 

The purpose of the trip was to raise awareness and show the children the kinds of atrocities that occur in Phuket and beyond. 

The kids responded positively, asking many questions, and all said they would tell their parents and friends about their experience.

Our students were particularly shocked by the stories of neglect and violence that surrounded some of the gibbons in the project.   

‘How could someone do that to a gibbon’ Ten said to me. 

And he’s right. 

The team at the project are doing a sterling job in raising awareness for the plight of gibbons here in Phuket and the surrounding area, and Phuket PALS is proud to have helped out and learned more about their cause.

After the tour etc. T. Mike took the kids on a jungle walk and explained about plants, insects and animals native to Phuket’s wonderful natural habitat.

We will be back soon with more wide-eyed youngsters that’s for sure.

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