Volunteer in Indonesia and contribute to fighting the illegal wildlife trade. The project is located on the island of Sulawesi, which is the closest Indonesian island to the Philippines, thus it is a common consolidation point for illegal shipments of animals.Traffickers attempt to move the animals from Java, Sumatra, and Borneo across to the Philippines and onwards to China, Taiwan, and Japan. Orang-utans, sun bears, gibbons, tarsiers, lorises and pangolins are some of the most endangered mammals smuggled out of the country. Cockatoos, hornbills, birds of paradise as well as turtles and other reptiles are shipped out in even bigger quantities. In addition, some of the species such as Sulawesi macaques, the anoa dwarf buffalo and the very rare babirusa are at the mercy of poachers due to the thriving bushmeat trade. Before there was a sustainable rescue facility, the authorities were not able to confiscate the animals, as there wasn’t a subsequent care and rehabilitation option for the rescued animals. This centre was set up to help combat the illegal wildlife trade and provide rescued animals with a place to receive the care they need. The project has also been collaborating with the education department and international schools to educate children about animal rights and welfare.
Why choose this project?
The main objective of the centre is for the animals and birds to be released into the wild. If the animals are to be released, it is essential that their natural instincts of searching and foraging for their own food are kept in tact, so they can survive upon release. To achieve this, the feeding of the animals must be spread out throughout the day as it would be in their natural environment. Additionally, food must be given to the animals in a way that emulates how it would naturally be found. Taking care of the animals in this way is vital for their mental health and rehabilitation. Volunteers help is essential as the work is time-consuming and there are over 400 animals and birds at the centre with only a handful of local staff. Volunteers gain an understanding of animal welfare and the struggle facing wildlife conservation organisations in the region.
Role of the volunteer
Volunteers will spend a significant amount of time providing fresh drinking water to the animals, cleaning their enclosures and carrying out enrichments for all of the animals. This includes a variety of ancillary jobs, such as cleaning food bowls, equipment, and food prep areas. There may also be work in connection with building/ upgrading enclosures. The type of species you will working with at any given time cannot be guaranteed as it depends on what the rescue center is dealing with at the time of your placement.
Please note: there are strict rules in place about animal handling and proximity; physical contact with wildlife is not allowed in any circumstance. This is known as the safe-distance policy and these rules are in place for the safety of volunteers as well as to ensure that the animals do not become accustomed to human contact. It is compulsory that volunteers adhere to these rules and any associated signs around the project site.
Full training is given, so no specific qualifications or experience are required. Volunteers must love animals, and be prepared to be flexible and help out in any area needed. For those with a background in animal husbandry, veterinary, forestry/agriculture or fundraising, longer placements can be arranged.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To help with rehabilitation and release of wild animals
To work in a spectacular location
To gain an indepth understanding of animal welfare
About the Location
Indonesia is stretched along the equator in South East Asia. Its position on a well-travelled sea routes has encouraged inter-island and international trade. Despite now being the world’s fourth most popular country, many of the islands that make up Indonesia are uninhabited, with 60% of the country covered in forest.
Being so close to the equator means there is little variation in climate over the year in Indonesia. Temperatures stay pretty similar and the difference in time between the longest and shortest days of the year is only 48 minutes!
The centre where you will be working is situated in a beautiful mangrove forest on the coast in Northern Sulawesi and is located just 200 metres from the rescue centre’s own black sand beach where a coral reef lies under the ocean. In the distance, the source of the exotic black sand can be seen by way of several of the island’s active volcanoes. The area is ecologically diverse and many native species can still be seen in the wild.
For the duration of your project, you will be staying in dorms inside a volunteer house onsite. There is a kitchen, dining area and a recreational area with a TV, which is great for socialising with other volunteers outside working hours. Males and females use separate bathrooms and both have flushing toilets and showers. There is also washing machine onsite, which you can use for a small fee.
There is a cook on site who prepares Indonesian style meals for lunch and dinner but volunteers can also prepare their own meals and snacks. Indonesian food is typically very spicy and based on rice. The meals at the centre are made with only mild spices, but equally as delicious!
What to do in your spare time
After work, you can go for a swim at the local black-sand beach, which is within about 500 metres walking distance of the accommodation. Even if you don’t fancy a swim, you can still head down to the beach to watch the sunset in the evenings.
The city of Manado is a good option on days off. It is about a 1.5 hour drive away from the centre and has a range of restaurants and shopping malls. It is also situated next to the more infamous area for diving, Bunaken where a wide array of coral and spectacular marine life can be seen. In the areas close to the project there are a number of small towns: Manembonembo, Kema and Girian are all between 5-15 minutes away from the centre and have a range of shops for you to explore too.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2+ weeks
- Cost: £925 / $1619
Additional prices available in the drop-down menu
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia
- Project activities: feeding animals, cleaning enclosures, repairing enclosures and generally animal and bird care
- Working hours: 8 hours per day, 6 days a week. Days-off are decided on a weekly basis in agreement with your project coordinator
- Project availability: Project starts every Monday, all year round
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: shared room in a single-sex dorm
- Food: 3 vegetarian meals per day (plus occasional fish, sustainably harvested from local sources)
- Airport pick-up at Monado International Airport
- Training: Pre-departure preparation pack, on-site orientation and project induction
- Support: On-site coordinator providing 24-hour support
- Activities: Staff can help organise activities during your free time (activity costs may be extra)
- Fundraising guide
- Working alongside qualified professionals
What is not included
- Airport drop-off: taxis can be arranged from the project to the airport (approx £20 / $35)
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
Volunteer with Kaya and get involved in vital environmental conservation projects in one of 10 projects we support in Australia.
Learn and experience wildlife conservation volunteering in Brazil
Get involved with tourism development in a rural community of Thailand and help build the future of the local community!
Combine study abroad and volunteering this summer in Cusco, Peru.