Volunteers for Sarnelli House

Sarnelli House is made up of 6 homes for children in three different hamlets in the Nongkhai province of Northeast Thailand.

  1. Our Lady of Refuge Home for Girls
  2. St Patrick’s Home for Boys
  3. Sarnelli House
  4. House of Hope
  5. Nazareth House
  6. The Jan and Oscar House

Volunteers are accepted for work at Sarnelli House only. Since the children infected with HIV/AIDS are now taking the Anti-Retro Viral (ARV) drugs, they are healthy enough to go to school.


March 15 – May 1
October 1 – October 21
Once school opens, volunteers are not needed.

If you are interested in being a volunteer during these times please send the following:

Essential Requirements:

  • Up to date Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • 2 letters of recommendation from organizations, schools, or churches.
  • Police Check

Responsibilities of Sarnelli House

  • Accommodation

Charlene House is a 6 room facility for volunteers. It has 2 beds /room and share bathroom. One room is wheelchair accessible.

Notice: Accommodation at Charlene House

As Charlene House is part of the Catholic Redemptorists Fathers of Thailand, accommodation in Charlene house caters for families and individuals and couples who are married. Couples  who are not married and have been approved for volunteering will need to find accommodation in Nongkhai (Mutmee guest house in Nongkhai is a popular option www.mutmee.com) and transport can be arranged to be picked up and dropped off in Nongkhai on a daily basis.   


  • Meals

Lunch and dinner are provided by Charlene House, and breakfast food is available. However Sunday is the cook’s day off, but the kitchen is well stocked with food.

We are unable to accommodate volunteers who have special diets such as strict vegetarians or peanut allergies, etc. Our cook does not have the time or resources to accommodate these special needs

  • Transport to and from airport


  • Lots of fun, laughter and love from the children

Charlene House is a 6 room facility for volunteers. It has 2 beds /room and share bathroom. One room is wheelchair accessible.

Responsibilities of the Volunteer:

  • Travel to and from Thailand

Organize and pay for travel to Udon Thani (closest airport to Sarnelli House. It is a 40 minute flight from Bangkok Don Meung Airport). There is an overnight train from Bangkok to Nongkhai as well

Our van will pick you up and drop you off at the airport or train station.

  • Visa

If you are staying in Thailand for less than 30 days you do not need to apply for a visa. You can leave and re-enter the country to get another 30 days over and over again over a period of 6 months. Most countries are included in this deal. Check the website if you are unsure.

If you intend to stay for longer than 30 days, you need to apply for a Tourist Visa. This allows you to stay in the country for 60 days.

You can also apply for a Visa-on-arrival which gives you 15 days in the country.

The Thai government wants all visitors to possess means of living expenses at the amount of 10,000 Baht per person.

Visit http://www.mfa.go.th The Kingdom of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Health/Travel Insurance

Ensure that you have adequate travel or health insurance; if you should require hospitalization it would be necessary to transfer you to Bangkok.

Nature of Work:

Playing with the children and keeping them company is one of the main roles of the volunteers at Sarnelli House. Other ways of assisting the staff include

  • Help the staff to dish out the children’s food in the dining room for evening meals
  • Help the staff fold the washed clothes – after lunch
  • Help the children with their English homework
  • Run English classes on the weekend or every day in the school holidays – there are resources- ask Kate.
  • Play and football, soccor, badminton, drums, guitar, ride the bikes with the children.
  • On weekends the children sometimes go on outings. Ask ahead if anything is planned. If they go to Tesco Lotus each adult is assigned several kids. Each child has a spending limit. Help then to choose something appropriate and within their budget
  • Sometimes the kids get a few baht to spend. They might ask you to walk to the local shop with them. Its just a few minutes from Sarnelli House.
  • Teach the teenage girls at Nazareth House or Vienkhuk how to cook eg pancakes, brownies
  • Try to give attention to as many kids as possible rather than getting to know only a handful. If you and a child get attached to each other it’s a difficult process of separation when you leave for you and the child.
  • Respect routines and the Thai staff. The staff have been with the children for a long time and know them well. Be supportive. Learn some Thai.

There are also orphans at St Patrick’s Home for Boys, The House of Hope (children under 5 years) and Our Lady of Refuge Home for Girls at Vienghuk. They don’t get as many visitors as Sarnelli Kids so they would appreciate a visit. You can cycle to these houses.

Please contact Kate Introna for further information:
Email: Kate Introna


Visitors to Sarnelli House

Visitors staying at Charlene House

Charlene House has been blessed by faithful donors, like Father Dan, Mike Mouton and Reggie Bollich of Lafayette. But the price of electricity food and fuel makes it imperative that we post a daily US$20 charge for anyone staying at Charlene House. However we don't expect students and local Thai people to pay this cost as we understand the cost of living is not so easy for these groups, and we appreciate their time and efforts to travel here.  

This money will help defray the expenses of electricity, TV (UBC/CABLE TV is 1,600 baht a month), fuel, beverages and food. The charge covers breakfast, plus two cooked Thai meals a day, and the use of laundry machines, TV, and helps with the upkeep of the gardens. We are hard put to keep our 130 children adequately fed, and Charlene House bills were being paid by SARNELLI HOUSE funds that supplies all the children’s needs. We reluctantly decided to take this path. Thank you for your understanding.

Information for Visitors Visiting Any of the Sarnelli House Projects

  • No visitors should enter the showering/bathing areas of any children on any of the sites
  • No visitors should enter the sleeping areas of any children at any of the sites
  • Sarnelli House is a No Smoking Area
  • Visiting Hours : 9.30 -11.30am and 2.30 – 4.30pm
  • Photos are to be taken with permission only
  • Visitors staying on at Charlene House need to provide their passport for a copy of the ID page and visa to be taken.
  • Emergency contact details are to be provided also



  • Dress

You should dress for a tropical climate: cotton, silk or linen clothes are most comfortable. Exposing too much of your skin will not only earn you sunburn, but is also frowned at by the locals and is not culturally appropriate. No matter how hot it is, gentlemen should wear knee length to long pants, for ladies, pants are also o.k., or you can wear a skirt or a dress that covers the knees. Sleeveless shirts or singlet tops should be avoided. Beach wear is only acceptable on the beach!

  • Drinking Water

The tap water in Thailand is not for drinking. Bottled water is supplied at Charlene House, and Sarnelli House has a water purifying system and all the water in the water dispensers is safe to drink.

  • Language

Try and familiarize yourself with some basic greetings in Thai before you arrive. It will be much appreciated by staff and children.

  • Internet Access

There is internet access in the office, but this is used by staff. There are internet cafes in Nongkhai. There is no phone land line at Sarnelli House.

  • Culture

The King and Queen of Thailand are much loved and respected by all Thais, and you see their portraits in every Thai home. No disrespect or dishonor should be given them and will not be tolerated at Sarnelli House

  • Gifts

If you are looking for something to bring over for the children here are some ideas:

  • Teaching English resources
  • Basic ABC books for toddlers learning English
  • Colouring books and pencils/crayons
  • DVDs in Thai for the kids to watch - great for the rainy season
  • You can buy toys and clothes for children in Nongkhai at a cheaper cost than at home.


Security and Child Protection Policy and Guidelines

Please downloand and read  

Sarnelli HouseSecurity & Child Protection Policy and Guidelines
download (pdf format)

In accordance with our Child Protection and Security Policy, if volunteers or visitors are behaving in such a way as contravenes this policy they will be removed from Sarnelli House and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Direction to Sarnelli House from Nongkhai
(approximately 20 kms from Nongkhai)

From Nongkhai follow the signs to the highway to Udon Thani. This is straight 2 laned highway. After about 15 km you will pass the town of Nong Song Hong on your right on the other side of the divided highway. Follow the signs that say Thabo and make a Right U turn to Thabo. When you are facing towards Nongkhai turn Left at Nong Song Hong (road number 211) and follow the road heading towards Thabo, Sri Chiang Mai. After about 7 km you will see a small service station on the right side, and then a sign for Sarnelli House, turn right here, and follow the unpaved road for about 2 kilometers, then turn Right at another sign for Sarnelli House.


If you have any further questions, please contact us. Thank you for your interest!


August Visitors

September 20, 2014

Stuart and Carol Constable from the UK who are sponsors of two children at Sarnelli House came for a visit and enjoyed the kids and their time here.


Guillaume Nivet and  Melchior Knellwolf (known as Will and Mel to the kids ) students from the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland came in their holidays to help out. They painted  playground equipment at Sarnelli House and joined in the afternoon football matches before heading off on their vacation. 

July 2014

August 4, 2014

Emmy Sukchaiwan from The Netherlands came for her first time to volunteer at Sarnelli House. She was great and enthusiastic and the kids loved her – come back again Emmy.


 Thanks to Chanya Jarurat and Thomas Christiansen from Bangkok who bought Jannik Olander to visit Sarnelli House from LA, USA. It was a great visit – lots of activities and fun and thanks for all the sport supplies, toiletries and snacks and donation you bought with you, it was really  appreciated. 


RIS students visited our children for five days. They came every afternoon to spend time with them playing soccer, badminton and pingpong, and brought a lot of gifts and snacks for our children as well. These students have graduated from RIS recently and will continue their university. We wish them all the best and thank all of you!



June 2014

August 4, 2014


Peter Reeves from the UK but living in Thailand came to visit the kids and plans on some regular visits for teaching English – welcome!


 Bob Van Es from Bangkok by way of Belgium visited with his wife. They have generously donated funds for medicines and milk for the kids in the past and came for their first visit. The donated 100baht for each child which equaled a trip to the cinema in Nongkhai to watch the latest Transformers movie.


 Br Niel from the Philippines and Br Paul from Vietnam both Redemptorist seminarians spent one month at Sarnelli House for the beginning of their immersion year in Thailand. They studied Thai at Rosario School and taught English and accompanied Fr Ole on parish work as well as playing sports with the kids and getting to know them.

May 2014

August 4, 2014

Charle Drury, from Thai Childrens Trust UK newly appointed Trusts and Foundations Fundraiser came to visit Sarnelli House as one of the projects TCT supports in Thailand. 

April 2014 Visitors

May 25, 2014

Our regular friends from The Netherlands and new neighbours Ben and Angelique and Leon and Henriette came for 1 month. They are always welcomed back like family and it is sad to say goodbye to them.


Sam Hodge, sponsor from Australia visited again and enjoyed his weekly hospital trips to Khon Kaen with the staff and kids.


Katie English from Australia came with Sam for her first visit to Sarnelli House and Thailand , and experienced the madness of Songkran as well as a visit to Laos


Herbert Tumpach and Annette Berg Vogt from Eltern Fur Kinder e.V. from Germany and Khun Nuttasorn Sirikhanth volunteer social worker of Friends for All Children Thailand visited with a donation in memory of Dr Margot Weyer who was one of the first donors to Sarnelli House. Thank you!


Irene Hiralal, sponsor and a regular Swiss visitor came for a visit and among other things did her usual round of donut and donated clothes deliveries. We hope Manu gets well again soon.

Three teachers and eight students from Ruamrudee International School (RIS) in Bangkok spent a week running a Thai Reading camp for the children of Sarnelli House. It was a great learning experience for the kids where they also developed mentor relationships with the students and teachers – this was their third visit.

Natalie Summers from the USA came for her second visit to Sarnelli after volunteering here seven years ago.


Cat and her boyfriend who work at the Mutmee guest house in Nongkhai spent a day with the kids

Rhian and her Mum Diane from the UK visited – Rhian volunteers with Thai Children’s Trust while working full time as a teacher. They also experienced a Sarnelli Songkran .

Colleen and Byron Noble, sponsors from Canada with 4 of their friends spent an action packed visit at the tail end of Songkran

Maggie Narenpithak who is studying in the UK was home in Thailand from her university holidays. She was a great help with the kids and an inspiration for many of the girls. Come back and visit us again Maggie!


Ed Schlachter from the USA came to visit Fr Mike, he used to work and live in Thailand back in the days before Fr Mik started Sarnelli House.

Luana Riedi a sponsor from the UK came and joined the last leg of the Hua Hin holidays and then helped with some serious cleaning before the girls moved into St Patrick’s Home.




March 2014 Visitors

April 8, 2014


Thanks to the 4 special ladies of the British Women Group in Bangkok who came bearing gifts from their members. Your visit was much appreciated and hope to see you again soon.


 Stephanie and Alex from Switzerland with their daughter Asia came to see the start of the building for their PIMALI project . The land fill was begun and marked by a blessing ceremony. 

February 2014 Visitors

March 23, 2014

Andre from Germany (APO)  visited and renewed his friendship and support of the staff and kids


 The Thai Childrens Trust - Executive Director Andrew Scadding,  Adele Kierans CEO Thai Childrens Trust Ireland, as well as loyal supporters Carl and Ann Gross came for their annual visit to Sarnelli House while visiting all their projects in Thailand. It was great to show them the progress of Jomp’s Farm that they fundraised so we could purchase the land.


Crispian Collins, Trustee from Thai Childrens Trust and his son Ben also visited in February.


 Laurel Bowar and her husband Mike arrived for their first visit to Thailand and Sarnelli House. Laurel volunteers as secretary for Friends for Sarnelli House in the USA and she was most welcome to come and see the children who she helps by her hard work. 


Tommy Kelly and Jai from Ireland visited and Tommy kindly repainted the outside of the small chapel at Sarnelli which is now gleaming white.


January 2014

March 3, 2014


Our German friends from Oberhausen came with gifts and love and bought new friends to meet  the children and staff. Barbara and Rainer, Lea, Ronja, Lukas, Burkhard, another Lea, Larissa, Doris and Patrick had a great time.  Thanks for everything.


 3 generations of one family from Wisconsin USA came for a short visit with Fr Chuck, to experience life with the children, the children welcomed  Sharon Collins, Kelly Smid and Amber Smid.

Alex from PIMALI (Switzerland) visited to continue setting up the PIMALI foundation

December 2013 Visitors

January 11, 2014

Fr Chuck Beierwaltes comes to Sarnelli House every year. He brings lots of fun and laugh and love to all children. He stays for three months and we are very happy to have him here. 



Our dear and regular guests, Leon and Henriette Castermans came to visit for 3 weeks. Followed by Angelique and Ben Ummels spent a whole month with us. They decided to have a wedding in Don Wai surrounded by Sarnelli kids and family. Their friends and relatives came over almost 20 of them. It was a great experience! They stayed and celebrated Christmas with us.  

 Jaci and Jen brought their two children and two friends to visit Sarnelli House at the first time, together bringing lots of sturdy gears for our children.  They are friends of Fr Ole's. Welcome! 

Boy and Pu with their two daughters and their aunt came from Bangkok to bring Christmas gifts for children. Boy is Fr Ole's cousin who introduced him to the Redemptorists. They visit us few times a year. 

Pocky, Fr Ole's nephew (man on the right - below picture) at his second visit to Sarnelli House stayed over Christmas and New Year. He enjoyed his visit and tried to help out with everything in different activities. Thank you!


Sam Hodge came from Australia and spent a week with us. He was asked to be Santa Claus ("Sam Ta Claus"). This is his first time in his life and did it very well - Sam Ta on the wheelchair with two Dutch reindeers. 



Reggie Bollich and the Carpenter Family, David, Nicole, Ally and Nick visited Sarnelli House in December. They generously bought Christmas gifts for each house especially hot water machines which keep our little ones warm from the cold water this year. Thank you very much! 

The three Italian circus performers was visting Nongkahi and happend to hear about Sarnelli House. They called up and were happy to make a show for our children. They came and made a great show for us. Thank you very much! 

 There were many visitors in the month of December. They are

- Tony Zola came for three days during Christmas.

- Bill Link and his son, Chris, from USA visited for a day. 

- A pilgrimage group from Baan Na and Sao Wa Pa parishes from Nakornnayok visited for one day. 

- Frank Layana and Khun Vi came for a day. 

- Bryan a counsellor from Singapore visited for few days.

- Judy Hoare and her son and daughter with their families came for a week from Ireland.  

Thank you very much for visiting and supporting us! We feel like a family visiting a family. Have a good and wonderful year 2014!

November 2013 Visitors

December 5, 2013


Dr Pamelyn Close and her son Colin from the USA came for a visit. Pamelyn has been a number of times before and has been a great help assisting with medical advice for the children, Colin was warmly received by the kids and joined in all the activities.


Annika Krupp and Petra Steinkamp from APO in Germany came with their usual generous donations. They were able to buy a washing machine for each of the houses and enjoyed outings and activities with the staff and kids.



Natalia Baloghova (regular giving fundraiser) from the Thai Children’s Trust UK came for her first visit to Sarnelli House and was able to see and meet all the children first hand. 

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