Bukit Lawang Trust

Support Ecological Farming

Bukit Lawang, Indonesia show on map

Non-profit | Bukit Lawang Trust

Volunteers will assist on one of two environmentally friendly farms and learn about sustainable farming practices.

Our program is important because it helps bring economic investment, awareness, and outreach to people in the farming community and the greater community at large. Volunteers help farmers, both sides learn from each other, and the eco-friendly practice helps serve as an example of other environmentally conscious individuals that conservation can be both good for the long term, and the present.

Volunteers work on the farm for around three hours a day and then take in the incredible natural beauty in the area while having lunch. The days are dynamic and work can range from gardening, taking the animals such as goats and cows for a walk, picking fruit, recycling, using the compost as fertilizer, and presentations to children in the community.

Volunteers will work on one of two local farms, each have local teams who speak English and will train the volunteers and work closely with them. Volunteers do not have to bring anything and we expect this to be a fun learning experience where hopefully it can inspire change in the volunteer and when the community sees volunteers and foreigners interested in more eco-friendly activities that it can promote those kinds of programs elsewhere in the community.

Ecological Farming or more commonly known as Eco-Farming is a way of cultivating agriculture that places an emphasis on both the health of the environment and to the health of its consumers. Long before conventional and modern agricultural practices have been put into practice people had farmed in an eco-friendly way. People have been farming in an eco-friendly way dating back to the beginning of the Neolithic period.

The ease and convenience of the modern-day agriculture have produced crops at a higher yield but with some threats to both the farming area and to consumers. This has led many farmers to neglect traditional farming.

Besides producing healthy and safe-to-consume agriculture products, ecological farming also provides other benefits, such as minimized environmental pollution and contamination through agricultural activities, and maintenance of soil productivity and fertility in the long term. All of which add up to improved sustainable use of natural resources and of the environment.

Typical day

Weekdays: After the initial orientation, you will volunteer for roughly 3-5 hours per day. The start times and daily workload depends on your program but a typical morning schedule at Bukit Lawang Trust is as follows:

8:00 AM Volunteers wake up and get breakfast. There is a market near the Bukit Lawang Trust and a few food shops to get groceries for the week. Some volunteers prefer to eat in small restaurants or ‘warungs’ which are essentially a restaurant out of a small shop or someone’s home.

8.30 AM Volunteers will travel to the location of their farming project. We have two partners and depending on the number of volunteers and work needed the volunteers will be at one of the two eco-farms we partner with.

9.00 AM Volunteers will begin their daily work

12:00-2:00 PM Lunch is served at the Farm. After lunch volunteers will be finished for the day.


Evenings are free to go into town, socialize with the locals, play music and cards, or to simply relax on a hammock at the school

Details on Arrival

Volunteers can join throughout the year however we are closed during Ramadhan. We take volunteers as long as we have room to host them and they are willing to give it a go!

Free-time activities

Literally meaning "door to the hills", Bukit Lawang is a small village situated 90 kilometers northwest of Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra, Indonesia.

The village is on the edge of the magnificent Gunung Leuser National Park, which is one of the richest tropical-forest ecosystems in the word, and home to the rare Sumatran orang-utans, as well as the Sumatran tiger, rhino and elephant, although sightings of these are very rare. The people here live basically and the river is still the focal point of village life here, running through the heart of it, where the people wash clothes, fish and the children play all day. 

It's very easy to while away a few days lounging in the many riverside hammocks, splashing about in the river, tubing and watching the jungle life swing and sing around you. The forests surrounding Bukit Lawang are part of the vast Gunung Leuser National Park which is an area of dense rainforest. The park as a whole is home to eight species of primate plus tigers, rhinos, elephants and leopards. However, aside from orangutans and various other primates, you are very unlikely to see any other large mammals here.

At the weekend there are innumerable places located nearby that are must see!


Batu Katak - A lovely village on the river and near waterfalls.


Tangkahan - Has an elephant camp where visitors can bathe elephants in the river. We support bathing them, and the projects but we do not support riding the elephants and hope you will share that belief with us.


Batu Rongring - A village off the beaten path where trekking awaits!


Berestagi - For long weekends or traveling before or after volunteers can visit this lovely town in the mountains and go trekking. It is a bit colder here and that makes it a popular place among locals and tourists!

Lake Toba - A beautiful island (Samosir) in the middle of the lake is home to waterfalls, hot springs, beaches, and more.

Water Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
Criminal background check and and health certificate are encouraged
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Interest in trekking, environmentally conscious, data entry, adaptable, computer skills are a plus.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

Suitable for


Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Bukit Lawang Trust cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Bukit Lawang Trust.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Bukit Lawang Trust (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Bukit Lawang Trust

Our fees serve more as donations and the money that comes to us directly help grow our program. We are a non profit charitable organization and our fees go to:

Education programs, Salary for local staff, utilities, maintenance, food, accommodation, transportation for children to come to school, education materials, and more.

Airport Pickup at Kuala Namu International Airport

It is about four hours from the airport to Bukit Lawang and quite expensive so we provide it one way for volunteers.


We have five big bedrooms with double beds at the school. At the school there are two shared bathrooms, a kitchen, a huge roof area where people like to relax, a balcony with a hammock, an office, a classroom which doubles as the computer room,

Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

All food at Bukit Lawang Trust is vegetarian. Breakfast and lunch are provided free of charge as well as water, tea, or coffee. There are lots of shops and food stalls and restaurants within walking distance.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kuala Namu International Airport (KNO) in Kuala Namu. We assist you to find cheap flights to Indonesia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Indonesia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Indonesia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Indonesia.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Bukit Lawang/Indonesia between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Bukit Lawang Trust will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Indonesia.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Bukit Lawang Trust during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Asia South-Eastern Asia Indonesia  Bukit Lawang, Jalan Bukit Lawang

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