Asia is very rich in natural resources but has many areas of extreme poverty. Asia's surging economic growth has helped to reduce levels of poverty but there are still a huge number of people living on less than £1.50 a day. It has also been hit in recent years by civil conflict and a string of destructive natural disasters leaving countries like Thailand in urgent need of health care, nutrition, clean water/sanitation and educational resources. These problems are tackled on a micro scale by gap year volunteers on practical and professional placements. The economies of countries like China provide opportunities for TEFL related gap year placements.