How to Volunteer in Indonesia

As a tourist you simply don’t fully experience the culture and local side to the country. You don’t meet the local people like you would if you are volunteering and living here. This will be a magical experience where you can spend time helping in locations.

Many tourists to Indonesia only ever experience life as a tourist and this is the beauty of doing a volunteer project, you can have them both! You will have lots of opportunities to sight-see as a tourist on weekends (or your days off), taking advantage of the best rates possible which is one of the benefits of booking a program. 


Top Reasons to Apply

  • Few people are disappointed when going to volunteering in Asia, if you are looking for a relaxing authentic experience where you can give back then you are not going to be let down by choosing Indonesia
  • Incredible beaches
  • Experience one of the most laid back cultures in the world
  • Meet people from all over the world
  • Do more than most people when they visit, this is your chance to give back and see the benefits you bring
  • Eat the food, meet locals, get away from the tourist resorts
  • There are some many different programs to choose from!
  • Incredible wildlife


Location of Projects

There are programs you can join throughout the country for example in large cities and also more tranquil islands. It really depends on what programs appeal to you to where you could be based and there are spectacular sights to see in all areas of the country so be sure to take advantage of any free time off you get. Here is a run down of the top destinations you might want to consider...


How You Can Help

  • Conservation Projects in Indonesia
  • Volunteer with Animals in Indonesia
  • Volunteer with Orangutans in Indonesia
  • Volunteer with Sea Turtles in Indonesia
  • Building Volunteer Programs in Indonesia


Community Volunteer Programs

Indonesia has a huge population of around 250 million people living here making it the fourth most populated country on the planet. Unfortunately a large number of people live in inadequate conditions or below the poverty line which is where international charities and local NGO's work to help.


Educational, Sports Coaching & Teaching Programs

There is the opportunity to get involved in sports activities and counselling sessions for local people. You can also find volunteer work in Indonesia teaching English and improving education in primary and secondary schools and community centres whilst childcare volunteer work can be found in nurseries and orphanages in Indonesia. You will not need to be a professional teacher to apply as full training and support wil be given. Popular destinations for teaching projects in Ubud/Bali.


Building & Construction Volunteer Programs

There is a need for better infrastructure in Indonesia - this country has been hit by 5 earthquakes in the last 11 years and the Merapi volcano located here is classified as one of the 16 most dangerous in the world. In 2006 it erupted and 28.000 people had to be evacuated, but it doesn’t stop local people from living in its surroundings.

There are lots of families who were living in villages close to the volcano when it erupted, most were evacuated in 2006 and couldn’t move back because everything was completely black at that time as all trees were burned and everything was covered in ash. Help is an advantage for these people and also to improve the facilities making the land fertile and also inhabitable again. 

Throughout the year there are group building and construction programs available to join where you can help plan and construct houses, community centres and schools. Some organisations are also still working to clean up from previous tsunamis and you can help people directly affected. 


Environmental & Conservation Projects in Indonesia

Illegal logging and also rain forest destruction is a real problem in Indonesia, natural habitats are being whilst many of the country's 6,000 inhabited islands islands also face problems with rising sea levels. There are increasingly difficult obstacles facing wildlife and communities in Indonesia, the environment is under threat by expanding industry and palm oil plantations and you can join volunteer programs to help. If you stay a bit longer in one place on a development initiative you will be amazed by local people.

You will see more and interact to get to know you and (perhaps) learn you more about their culture as show you how they live and what they do all day. It can be truly rewarding to see how joyful they are. For a Westerner it’s hard to believe to be so cheerful with so little means. The people from the city are more materialistic, but in the villages its like travelling back in time. The villagers live from the fruit that grows everywhere and from their own livestock. They are blessed with fertile land in places like Java, a positive effect of all the volcanoes which helps for development and long term sustainable living projects.


Volunteer with Animals in Indonesia

If you are passionate about wildlife then why not search our incredible selection of projects with animals.


Program Specifics

Short and Long Term Placements are available all year round, you can generally join from 1 week to 6 months+. Volunteering is not all work, there will be plenty of time to travel and see more of this country / continent, 

Most organisations will require you to be in good physical condition and aged over 18. Previous experience is usually not required especially for non skilled placements but you will be required to show medical certifications if you are looking to work in healthcare. Programs are open to all Nationalities as long as you qualify for a tourist visa. You can search and book a place in advance through our website.

Food & Accommodation: 
If you apply with a sending agency or even a local NGO accommodation is usually included in the package, this can be either a shared house, hostel/hotel or even a local home stay. Please note sometimes in remote areas of the country conditions can be rustic. If you are looking to volunteer independently there is an enormous range of accommodation is available throughout the country.

If you do want to stay longer, try to find an apartment to rent, ask around. This will save you money. Expect to pay around 125 – 250 euro per month, depending on the facilities and location. Local food is very tasty, expect lots of rice, vegetables and meat dishes. In more touristy areas like Bali you can find an array of Western dishes too.


How to Apply

On our website you can browse free, low cost and structured programs. If you apply through a sending agency you might need to pay a fee, this usually includes placements, transfers, training, orientation, accommodation, meals and in-country support. Even if you apply to some local charities and NGO's you might still need to pay a fee or donation - most organisations rely on donations to keep operating and also some can't afford to cover the cost of your food/lodging. You will need to pay for your flights separately. If you need any help arranging a volunteer placement in Indonesia please get in touch.


Volunteer in Indonesia for Free

To volunteer for free in Indonesia you will need to apply with a local organisation, charity or NGO. Sometimes you will still need to cover your accommodation and food though. If you would like to volunteer for free / low cost in Indonesia then the key word here is be independent. Unless you don’t like to make your own arrangements, there is no need to book a structured program in advance as long as you are willing to take a chance. There are lots of local opportunities you can search out around the country and if you find a cheap hostel room close by you might be able to keep costs down.


Indonesia Volunteer Reviews

If you have ever volunteered in Indonesia and would like to review an organisation/project, share your experience or give any advice for future participants write an article for us.

"I am volunteering for Bali WISE, a charity focusing on women empowerment through skills education. We believe that women all over the world deserve to be appreciated everyday. The program is a 6 months in duration and the students come from all over Indonesia, including Flores, Sulawesi, Sumatra and other parts of Java. The program includes a 3 month section that sees the young women living at the Nusa Dua campus and having intensive classes daily. Offering skilled learning and education to these young women provides them with job opportunities previously unavailable, helps break the poverty cycle by being able to provide more for their families, and also turns them into role models who other girls and young women from their community can look up to. Every woman deserves to be recognised, heard and empowered." - Clare Srdarov, USA


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