Whether coming to Indonesia for a vacation or permanent relocation, one can’t help but admire the country for its rich culture and tradition.
However, despite the beauty the archipelago holds, there are also beautiful yet underprivileged individuals who are in dire need of aid. In addition to giving back to humanity, the scope of these issues may range from social awareness, environmental concerns, animal welfare and so on.
For expatriates who want to pay it forward, lend a helping hand and sharing skills for the greater good, we’ve come up with a list of some volunteering activities. After all, there’s nothing more fulfilling and rewarding than knowing you’ve done something selfless.
However, bear in mind foreigners are not allowed to volunteer if they do not have a proper working visa.
1. Peduli Anak Foundation
The Peduli Anak Foundation is a non-profit organisation providing residential and family care, medical and healthcare services to hundreds of underprivileged children. As a volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a completely different culture with underprivileged children and local staff in their homes or schools. You’ll also get to work alongside local staff assisting in the day-to-day running of the foundation and school.
2. International Humanity Foundation
A non-religious, non-political and non-profit organisation founded by Carol Sasaki in 1987, IHF’s mission is to educate the poor and to educate the world about the poor. IHF is an all-volunteer organisation and the ongoing costs of the centres and programs are funded by volunteers’ fees and general donations. Volunteering at one of their centres means you’ll get involved in hands-on teaching and caregiving as well as the administration and general management of the organisation.
3. Australian and New Zealand Association (ANZA)
ANZA supports disadvantaged people in many areas of the community through the activities of its social welfare committee. The ANZA Social Welfare Committee is made up of a group of local and expatriate volunteers (ANZA members). They dedicate their time and efforts to providing assistance to impoverished and underprivileged children in Jakarta. Getting involved can include hands-on assistance, raising funds or monitoring ongoing projects.
Protection of Forest and Fauna (PROFAUNA) is a non-profit organisation with a global network, working for the protection of forest and wildlife in Indonesia. The organisation was established in 1994 in Malang, East Java, under the name Konservasi Satwa Bagi Kehidupan (Wildlife Conservation for Life). PROFAUNA’s main programmes include campaigning, education, investigation, advocacy and community empowerment. The group offers a wonderful volunteering opportunity for anyone at Petungsewu Wildlife Education Center (P-WEC) in Malang.
Activities include creating education materials, visiting local schools and communities to promote wildlife and forest conservation, assisting staff, maintaining an organic farm, teaching English to staff and workers and engaging in local traditional activities.
5. East Bali Poverty Project
The East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) is a non-profit organisation helping thousands of people living in poverty without water, sanitation, roads, schools, health facilities and electricity in East Bali. It was established in 1998 by a British resident of Bali after an appeal for help by an isolated 7,200Ha mountain village, forgotten by time and progress. The philosophy is ‘helping people to help themselves.’ They can only accept volunteers/interns who enter Indonesia on an EBPP sponsored social/cultural visa. All volunteers should be prepared to commit for a minimum of 2 months – preferably longer.
6. Friends of the National Parks Foundation
Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF) is an Indonesian conservation not-for-profit organisation working to protect wildlife and its habitat, at the same time as supporting local communities. The programmes have been recognised globally by organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme, the Whitley Fund for Nature and the Rainforest Action Network. FNPF was set up 1997 by a group of veterinarians and conservationists. You can choose to volunteer at the Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre (BWRC), on Nusa Penida island in Bali or Kalimantan.
The volunteer programme gives people the opportunity to gain experience in the care of animals as well as in animal conservation. Activities include providing enrichment for the animals, feeding them, cleaning and maintenance of the enclosures and occasionally observing animal behaviour. However, you aren’t allowed to handle the animals.
7. Yayasan Rama Sesana
Yayasan Rama Sesana is a reliable organisation dedicated to improving the health of low-income women in Bali. Founded in 1999, YRS is a non-profit, non-government organisation that provides free education programs and donation-based health services focusing on sexual and reproductive health. The group prefers to work in Bali’s traditional markets because they are the centre of Balinese community life. Occasionally, YRS hosts volunteers to support their work in a variety of ways, including assistance at YRS fundraising events. Those interested in volunteering may send them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Details will be registered on their volunteer database and will contact you if a suitable volunteer role arises.