There is an array of excellent opportunities for aspiring volunteers in Indonesia. For many organisations, fundraising and cash donations are the best way to help. Most also seek a helping hand looking for skilled volunteers to work as English teachers or nurses.
Whether you’re looking for community work in Bali or Lombok, fast boat services from Bali to Gili Trawangan or Lombok are easily accessible and guarantee you hassle-free transport.
Here are some ways to give back to the community.
Gili Eco Trust
Founded in 2000, this NGO aims to protect the coral reefs around the Gili islands, particularly from destructive fishing. The local population reacted to the frequent dynamite and cyanide fishing, as well as the damaging of corals and marine life. Started as a legal agreement between dive shops and local fishermen, Gili Eco Trust has grown and expanded its activities from marine conservation to waste management and sustainable eco-tourism. You can get involved short-term or long-term.
Cats of Gili
There is a huge cat population on the Gili Islands. The numbers reached such a worrying point that it raised numerous health problems among them, such as infections, worms, flu etc. Cats of Gili, in cooperation with Jakarta Animal Aid Network and Gili Eco Trust, organizes free cat clinics multiple times a year. They’re always looking for volunteers, so if you’re an experienced vet or a vet student, you can volunteer at the clinic and they also offer free accommodation. If you don’t fall into that category, they still welcome animal-loving volunteers to help look after the cats.
East Bali Poverty Project
This Denpasar-based NGO works to help children in the impoverished mountain villages of east Bali. With the mission to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable, social and economic development, they use English teachers and have a solid child-protection policy. Volunteers can get involved in the Communications & Marketing team, as an English teacher or a Bamboo Specialist.
The Indonesian Development of Education & Permaculture is based in Bali but has schemes across Indonesia on environmental projects, disaster planning, and community improvement. They develop and deliver training and community programs related to sustainable development. Get involved in their mission to ‘help people help themselves.’
For more community work and volunteer opportunities:
Global Vision International (www.gviusa.com) organises short-term volunteer opportunities; they have offices in Australia, the UK and the US.
Go Abroad (www.goabroad.com) lists mostly paid volunteer work.
You can charter your own private fast boat from Bali to the Gili Islands with Patagonia Xpress.