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Volunteer in Indonesia

Volunteer in Indonesia and explore this fascinating archipelago with its 17...

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Volunteer work in Indonesia

If you’ve been thinking of volunteering in Southeast Asia, but don't know where yet, we have just the place for you. What do you think about a country with great biodiversity, splendid beaches, and plenty of adventure? If this sounds like heaven to you, you have to volunteer abroad in Indonesia! Besides dreamy landscapes and lush green paddies, Indonesia is a great travel destination with volunteer opportunities from wildlife conservation to English teaching in Indonesia. Whether you’re set on experiencing the yoga lifestyle in Bali or want to explore Java or Sumatra, you’re bound to find a volunteer program that’s right for you!

Around 17,500 islands form the Republic of Indonesia. Only about 6,000 of these islands are inhabited by people and 9,634 of them don’t even have a name yet. Indonesia is massive due to the number of islands! It takes 12 hours to fly from one end of the country to the other. Indonesia is also the 4th most populated country in the world and culturally diverse with 300 different ethnic groups living in this exciting country.

Whether you want to help locals by joining a community project or look forward to becoming a marine conservation volunteer in Indonesia, we are happy to help you find the right volunteer work in Indonesia. Get to know this diverse and culturally rich country and learn all about the volunteer projects available. Discover a world of volunteering opportunities. Let’s start by getting to know Indonesia a little better:

  • Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world. It ranks after China, India, and the US.
  • It has over 127 active volcanoes with millions of people living within eruption zones.
  • Indonesia is the only place in the world where you’ll find the komodo dragon in the wild.
  • Bahasa is the official language but over 700 languages and dialects are spoken lacrosse the Indonesian archipelago.
  • Indonesia is the most populous Islamic nation - the majority are Sunnis.

🇮🇩 Why Volunteer in Indonesia?

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, located between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. This country has an abundance of natural wealth. Did you know almost 17% of all species in the world can be found in Indonesia? Because of this, Indonesia has become an ecotourism destination that attracts thousands of international visitors every year.

Over 60% of the country is made up of rainforests. This is why there’s such a high need for environmental protection. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in Indonesia involving environmental conservation and wildlife rescue. Your support is also required in education, healthcare, and community development. There are numerous volunteer projects in Indonesia that you can join and support.

Indonesia has a rich culture and boasts several tribes living here in peace and harmony: each with its own tradition and language. Discover some of the opportunities to connect with these tribes and learn more about Indonesian culture and how in tune they are to nature.

🐒 How to Volunteer with Animals in Indonesia

Indonesia has one of the most diverse and unique wildlife populations. If you decide to become a wildlife volunteer in Indonesia, you will be able to spot unique local wildlife such as:

Indonesia has over 515 mammal species, 122 species of butterflies, 600 species of reptiles, 1531 species of birds, and 270 species of amphibians.

Cool fact: The world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, lives in eastern Indonesia on the Islands of Komodo. It can grow up to 3 meters long and weigh up to 60 kilograms!

Join one of the Indonesia conservation projects and work with Indonesia’s exotic animals. As a conservation volunteer, you can take care of animals that have been harmed or mistreated. Your volunteer work is needed to rehabilitate and reintroduce them into their natural habitat. Volunteering with animals is the perfect stress relief for those looking to take a break from it all.

🦧 How to Volunteer for Orangutan Conservation in Indonesia

This is especially critical for the orangutan population. The islands of Borneo and Sumatra represent the last remaining natural habitat for orangutans in Indonesia. The Bornean orangutan has more remaining habitat so they are less at risk of immediate extinction. The Sumatran orangutan, however, is currently classified as critically endangered.

Deforestation is the greatest risk for the Orangutan population because they need a large habitat to survive. The palm oil industry, mining, logging, and forest fires all contribute to their diminishing habitat. Find out more about Orangutans here.

🐢 How to Volunteer with Sea Turtles in Indonesia

Sea turtles are a very endangered species. They’re so vulnerable because their eggs have a low survival rate. This is why there are many sea turtle conservation. initiatives around the world to help boost the sea turtle population and give this species a chance of survival.

Most animal volunteer programs in Indonesia focus on:

  • research and conservation
  • nursing injured orangutans back to health and releasing them into the wild
  • giving presentations on wildlife research and conservation

As a volunteer in Indonesia, you will feel you have actively contributed to the important efforts of Indonesia’s conservation organizations.

🌴 How to Volunteer for Environmental Conservation in Indonesia

Indonesia has the second-highest level of biodiversity in the world. It is topped only by Brazil. Struggling with low levels of awareness and the absence of environmental law enforcement concerning the conservation of this biodiversity, the 5 most important environmental challenges Indonesia is facing are:

  1. Large-scale deforestation
  2. Wildfires
  3. Overexploitation of marine resources
  4. Air and water pollution
  5. Waste management

If you want to tackle these issues, join one of the environmental organizations in Indonesia. Projects are always seeking volunteers to assist them.

🤿 How to Volunteer for Marine Conservation in Indonesia

Indonesia is surrounded by water and offers some wonderful diving spots where you can see spectacular marine life. Coral reefs are where you’ll find a lot of marine animals coming to feed and nourish themselves. Reefs are crucial in maintaining a healthy balance within the ecosystem. Take a look at some of the marine conservation programs in Indonesia. Support marine conservation by helping to restore these precious reefs.

👨🏽‍🌾 How to Volunteer for Sustainable Agriculture in Indonesia

Join a sustainable agriculture program which is a land-use management system where trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. You can also get involved by volunteering for the implementation of other environmental initiatives such as permaculture. Learn all about ecological farming or learn about ancient techniques. Take this opportunity to connect with the earth.

There are quite a number of environmental programs in Indonesia you can choose from. This is a great opportunity to travel abroad to one of the natural gems of the world and give back to the environment.

👩🏾‍🤝‍👩🏼 How to Support Community Services in Indonesia

Although Bali is blessed with tropical shores and lush landscapes, there are plenty of local communities that need your volunteering support. Volunteers can help in areas like:

  • Teaching
  • Child care
  • Community Development Projects

👶🏽 How to Volunteer for Child Care in Indonesia

Childcare is important because many families in Indonesia cannot afford care or an education for their children. Especially children from farmers or fishermen communities are often disadvantaged. Help with:

  • Feeding
  • Caring for the children
  • Giving them much needed attention
  • Engaging them in activities

Volunteering in Indonesia at a childcare program will give you a rewarding opportunity to inspire a new generation of Indonesia’s children. These volunteer programs in Indonesia will make a meaningful difference for years to come and give you the chance to encourage children to learn and grow.

👩🏽‍🏫 How to Volunteer and Teach in Indonesia

Education in Indonesia is obligatory for the first nine years. Parents can choose to send their children to private or public schools. However, rural and secluded communities often have difficulty accessing quality education. Similarly, many unemployed girls and young women require training and skill development to get better future opportunities. Volunteer and teach in Indonesia and give the youth better future prospects.

As a volunteer in Indonesia, you can assist local teachers and support various projects that focus on education for children or women. Your tasks as a volunteer teaching in Indonesia may include:

  • preparing and giving lessons
  • creating and playing educational games
  • motivating and empowering local youths

👨🏽‍🏫 How to Teach English in Indonesia

English is an important skill for children and adults to learn. It significantly increases job opportunities. There are several English teaching volunteering projects in Indonesia that are waiting for enthusiastic volunteers.

Volunteer work in Indonesia will be a once in a lifetime experience and will turn your international travel experience into a meaningful and unforgettable experience.

🤑 How Much Does it Cost to Volunteer in Indonesia?

The suggested daily budget for a volunteer in Indonesia is between USD $14 and USD $28. This is an estimate considering the average price of some of the services or things you may need during your time abroad. It gives you an overview of how much things cost so you can prepare and save the money you will need.

Additional costs volunteers should consider will be:

An example of living costs for volunteers in Indonesia (in US $, for one person):

💲 Can I Volunteer in Indonesia for Free?

Most volunteer programs will require a fee to be paid. This mainly covers your accommodation and in some cases supports the activities of your volunteer project. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable volunteer programs in Indonesia. You can use our budget filter on our website to search for programs within your budget. If you experience any difficulties, our live chat team is here to help you out.

💡 Good to Know When Volunteering in Indonesia

There is a lot to do and see in Indonesia. As a volunteer in Indonesia, you will find everything from great beaches to awesome historic sites. Indonesia has a large population leading to a good mix of cultural events, religious festivities, ceremonies, and festivals. Volunteer opportunities in Indonesia will enrich you with diverse religious events, local festivals, ceremonies, and cultural events.

Besides being known for its unique culture, Indonesia is also known for its delicious food. Why is Indonesian food so delicious? Because it is based on fresh spices and great flavors! Indonesian food is great and will leave you wanting more!

Culture & Religion

When volunteering abroad, it's important to keep in mind that different cultures require different behavior. In Indonesian culture, keep in mind that:

  • Indonesians don't like conflict and it's considered rude to deliberately embarrass someone. Try to avoid raising your voice or making accusations.
  • Ask before taking a picture of locals. Simply hold up your camera and ask "boleh?"
  • Women should avoid wearing short shorts, mini skirts, and revealing tops
  • If you want to enter a mosque, you should wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Women should also cover their hair.

🦺 Is it Safe to Volunteer in Indonesia?

Indonesia is a country that has to deal with natural catastrophes such as volcanoes and tsunamis but also with increasing crime rate and terrorism. Given the size of Indonesia, it’s possible that an earthquake on one island might not have any effect on another island. To be on the safe side, volunteers should keep the following safety guidelines in mind at all times during their volunteer work abroad:

  • Only carry the money that you will need for the day.
  • Leave the rest in a safe in your hotel/hostel room together with credit/debit cards, air tickets and passport.
  • Try not to draw attention while withdrawing money from a bank or at an ATM.
  • Don't wear expensive jewelry when walking around.
  • Watch where you leave your bags on public transportation (Tip: don't put your bags on the floor!)
  • The use of helmets or any other object or clothing covering the face is forbidden in public and private places.

Important to know: Possession, trafficking, and manufacturing of drugs is a serious offense in Indonesia. Some of these offenses carry the death penalty.

Health Advice

Traveling abroad always includes some precautions, especially if you are traveling to a country with tropical temperatures and wilderness. You should visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip and check whether you need any vaccinations. In addition, here are some basic precautions you can take to avoid getting sick:

  • Eat and drink safely: Don't eat undercooked food, avoid eating street food, and don't drink water from the tap!
  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • Plan for how you will get health care during your stay. Bring medicine with you, especially if you need special medication.
  • Prevent bug bites: You might want to cover exposed skin, use an insect repellent, and use a bed net.
  • Be aware that rabies exists in domestic and wild animals. There are many street dogs in Indonesia and you should avoid direct contact with dogs, cats, monkeys, and other animals.
  • Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations before every trip. These vaccinations include MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio, and your yearly flu shot. Moreover, the US-based health protection agency CDC recommends hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations because you can get these diseases through contaminated food or water in Indonesia.

🕵🏽‍♀️ Who can Volunteer in Indonesia?

You might have noticed that each volunteer opportunity in Indonesia requires different skills and abilities from their international volunteers. While you can find the specific requirements for each project on their program page on Volunteer World, here are some general requirements that apply to most programs in Indonesia:

  • You need to be at least 18 years old for most volunteer projects. When in doubt, we advise you to get in contact with the local project manager. Some projects accept volunteers from the age of 16.
  • You should have an intermediate level of the English language; some programs may require advanced English knowledge for English teaching projects.
  • Depending on the program you're interested in, you might need to provide a criminal background check and a health declaration before volunteering.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience in working with a wide variety of people are expected from all volunteers. For teaching projects, other skills like dancing, drawing, sports, etc. can be useful.

❓ How to Volunteer in Indonesia?

Take a look at the following 3 steps that will prepare you for your volunteer work in Indonesia and an unforgettable adventure abroad:

  • Check whether there’s a match between you and the Indonesian volunteer opportunity by looking at their requirements.
  • Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it’s a place you’re excited about traveling to.
  • Get in touch with the organization and see whether your expectations and schedules match up. If you want to volunteer in Italy for a week or for a longer period of time, check the project descriptions for more details.

Insurance (Health & Travel)

We recommend all our volunteers to get both health and travel insurance. In fact, this is even a requirement for most programs abroad. Get in touch with your program contact person in Indonesia to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.

🛂 Do I Need a Visa to Volunteer in Indonesia?

Please consider that the following information is based on a best practice approach, which has been made according to the best of our knowledge and in cooperation with several volunteer organizations. That’s why you should discuss your visa requirements with your project coordinator at Volunteer World and if in doubt, get in touch with the the Indonesian embassy or consulate in your country.

General Entry Information

There are some general requirements you should comply with upon your arrival in Indonesia:

  • Please check the current validity of your passport. The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your expected return date.
  • Make sure your passport has at least two blank visa pages. Indonesia requires that you have adequate unused pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure.
  • In addition, please check if a transit visa is required for any connections.
  • Make sure you have a valid return ticket.

Best Practice for Short-Term Volunteers

The following information refers primarily to citizens of Australia, Switzerland, Canada, the USA, and the EU (including the UK).

It can seem confusing at first, but there are two types of visa on arrival:

  1. If you want to stay in Indonesia for less than 30 days, you can enter the country and volunteer with a free visa on arrival (basically without a visa). Please note that these visa-free visits can't be extended or transferred to another type of visa.
  2. If you are planning to volunteer abroad in Indonesia for up to 60 days, you should get the Visa on Arrival (VoA) for USD $35. As the name suggests, this visa can be obtained at the airport of arrival. This VoA is valid for 30 days but may be extended once for a period of 30 days when you are already in Indonesia (at a local immigration office). So you can stay 60 days in total. Please keep in mind that you need another blank visa page to receive your extension.

Best Practice for Long-Term Volunteers

If you are planning to volunteer in Indonesia for more than 60 days, you should apply for a Social-Cultural Visa. This visa is valid for 60 days but can be extended four times, each time for 30 days up to a maximum stay of 180 days. You can apply for this visa through your closest Indonesian Embassy or Consulate. Please note that you need an invitation letter from the Indonesian organization you are volunteering with in order to apply for the Social-Cultural Visa. Also, keep in mind that you need a blank visa page for each extension.

This is your opportunity to work and travel in Indonesia! A breathtaking country with so much to offer. Discover amazing wildlife, pristine nature, and rich culture. Meet the friendly people of this country and give back to the community as you do your volunteer job in Indonesia. Let us help you find the volunteer opportunity of your dreams!