Voluntary work in Indonesia

Information & guidance about volunteering projects in Indonesia

17,000 islands, 300 native ethnicities, and 700 distinct dialects, means Indonesia has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world; with more than 60% of the country being forested, the constant volcanic activity has resulted in an environment supporting thousands of animal species. Voluntary work in Indonesia can include opportunities in conservation, education, agriculture, non-profits and healthcare.

Where to volunteer in Indonesia

Over half of Indonesia’s population lives on the island of Java, which is home to the nation’s capital city, Jakarta – the most populated city in Southeast Asia, and serves as the economic and political center hub. Voluntary work in Indonesia’s capital can be found in the majority of industries, Jakarta is a dynamic and vibrant city that has juxtapositions at every turn from the steamy streets of Chinatown to sleek restaurants and roof-top bars further south that sit next to humble neighborhoods. With a world class food and coffee scene and a low crime rate, Java is a great place to volunteer in Indonesia.

Bali is a tropical island destination of Southeast Asia known for spectacular attractions, like black sand volcanic beaches, forested volcanic mountains, beaches and coral reefs. Over 80% of the island’s economy depends on tourism alone, which is an industry growing at a rapid rate. The main cities for volunteering in Bali are Denpasar, Ubud, and Nusa Punida.

Home to the highest peak in Southeast Asia and the oldest rain forest in the world, Borneo this island is the perfect place for voluntary work in Indonesia related to wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, as there are a number of anti-poaching projects throughout this area, to protect native and rare species such as the Orangutan population.

Volunteering projects in Indonesia

As one of the most bio-diverse places in the world, it is no surprise that the majority of voluntary work in Indonesia focuses on conservation and wildlife rescue and protection. The Indonesian black market sells turtles, orangutans, Malaysian sun bears, Javan leopards everyday, meaning these and so many more animals are in need of rehabilitation. Other volunteering conservation projects in Indonesia include marine protection including coral reefs and sea life, anti-poaching and anti-deforestation campaigns, and environmental education.

Earthquakes and tsunamis are common due to the volcanic activity, meaning there is plenty of voluntary work in Indonesia needed to help with relief efforts like construction and healthcare. Volunteers are also needed in social services, including lending a hand at orphanages, participating in community development and service programs, or working in educational programs teaching a range of subjects including English in schools.

Voluntary work in Indonesia typically lasts anywhere from one week to several months, depending on where you choose to volunteer in Indonesia and in what type of placement. It’s not generally a requirement to know the local language, however language classes are available and encouraged by volunteer program providers and as with all volunteering abroad opportunities, any attempt to learn the language will not only be appreciated by the locals, but will also help you get by in your day to day life.