Volunteer in Bali

Volunteer in Bali

About

Volunteering in Bali through our not-for-profit foundation (Yayasan Widya Sari) provides the underprivileged children in a traditional fishing village in Bali, Indonesia a much brighter future. The Yayasan Widya Sari provides a refuge for children to learn not only English, but valuable life and cultural skills. The children are exposed to international volunteers that aid them to broaden their minds to the world beyond their village life, a world they will be more qualified to succeed in. Volunteering at our foundation is affordable with volunteer accommodation and daily meals included in program fees. Bali relies highly on tourism, which is where most of the job market remains, so having the students learn English is a pivotal advantage for their future and the future of their community.

Reviews

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Maddie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was in Tianyar for 4 weeks in January/February 2017 and it was an unforgettable experience for me! I still cherish the memories to this day and keep in contact with the friends I made there. The atmosphere is so welcoming from all of the locals and other volunteers and you get to experience another culture first hand. As well as this, you also feel that you are really making a difference to the children in the village who choose to come to the school. They welcome you with open arms and love to learn new things. At the weekends we visited different places on the island which we arranged ourselves with the friends we made and it was amazing to see all that Bali has to offer. It is such a beautiful island! I wished I could have stayed longer!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make the most of the weekends travelling to see the island! And make the effort to build relationships with new people- the friendships and memories will last a lifetime.
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Rosemarie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience at program by the Sea was unforgettable. The friendships I made with other volunteers from around the world were unforgettable. I still keep in contact with them months since I last saw them and plan to meet up with them in the near future. Our weekend adventure to Ubud, Nusa Penida, and Gili Islands were the best travel memories I have to date. It is breathtaking all of Bali and the people of Bali are what make it even more special. They share their culture with you willingly making you feel welcomed.
As for the teaching; the children really open your eyes up to what happiness is. Even thought I only volunteered for 2 weeks- the children made me feel so special and made me many gifts to show their gratitude towards me. I know the children enjoyed having me there but I think it was me who left with an even bigger impact from them. I still remember their smiles and laughs today and miss them everyday. It is because of these children I want to pursue teaching other English language learners.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay longer- at least a month. Two weeks was not enough to see all of Bali and be with the kids.
Albert
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I participated in the program for 12 weeks in Tianyar, and I can affirm that it is one of those experiences that you remember the rest of your life. Everything is really well organized by the staff. From the pick-up at the airport, accommodation in very cozy rooms, meals, and of course the classes. It should be noted that volunteers have enough freedom to make the plans they want during their free time.

If you are thinking about volunteering in an idyllic place, surrounded by fantastic people, I can not imagine a better option. It is undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my life.

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Asliana
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was there for 2 weeks, which is the minimum and definitely not enough. I wish i found about this program earlier and had the luxury of time so i can spend longer there. When you opt for this, you need to keep in mind that volunteering work is the priority and the travelling is second, with this mindset, it changes the expectation. But definitely a program i recommend to all.

I like how particularly this program - the sea program, allows you to experience the way of life by the sea and how raw and close you'll be to the villagers / kids / people there and it gives a totally different side of Bali that you won't experience on your own. From the day you arrive to the day you leave, you will feel welcome and part of the family. It reminds you to enjoy the simple pleasure in life and to count your blessings. The founder, the staff and the kids will make you feel part of something important.

When you arrive, they will assign your bed and also your class. I was given the 6-9 year old age range which is the youngest and i feel the hardest to keep their attention. But be patient and keep the class fun, you have to bear in mind as well that they have class in the mornings and the afternoon class is the additional class they opt to come, so it has to be fun for them and more of skills which are not taught in classroom style. You will not be given an outline or any reference to what to teach, but recommend the first few days to see from your co-teacher / translator how they teach and you can see the kid's competency. It also help to speak to the the kids what did they learn in the morning in the public school, so you have a rough idea of their capabilities.

The class on its own will be approx 3hours (max) but it is up to you on how you make use of the other time fruitfully. Initially i thought since i have so much free time, i would be able to do other things and time will past by very slowly, but 2 weeks past with a blink of an eye. You can do yoga, exercise, walk by the beach, go out fishing in the morning, star-gazing at night, arrange for hike to Mount Batur on the weekday, play volleyball, learn how to cook, learn Bahasa or the Balinese language and if you want to do something meaningful, teach the kids how to swim, speak to the villagers, think of a conservation idea / teaching kids about waste management system / the villagers and fisherman on the repercussions of waste. It is really up to you on how you spend your free time, so use it well.

Also, the most memorable of things - Yaya and the other dogs. Initially i was quite scared of it and was worried I can't sleep. But now i miss them, they make you feel safe as they follow you everywhere. I got used to it after a few days and seeing them makes me feel safe.

On the weekend, there are no classes so take that time to explore the village around it, Lovina, Gili, Amet, Ubud, Nusa Penida, etc. I can't repeat enough how amazing this program is. When i left, my heart is full, i was given fresh eyes and also to count my blessings. If you're planning on this, you made the right choice :)

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Leif-Erik
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My wife Nora and I decided during our year abroad in New Zealand to spend our last month in Bali and to teach English at Yayasan Wide Sari because we wanted to do something meaningful instead of just have holidays. This decision was one of our best in our whole life. We knew it would be a challenge for us because we never taught children and our mother tongue is not English but during our stay we found out that this is less important. Yayasan Widya Sari is a learning center in the village for the children not only to improve their english skills but also to offer a safe environment to spend their time in the afternoon. It is motivating to see what Ketut the founder and his lovely staff created and how much it helps the children and as well the whole community in the village. Everybody is smiling all the time and it is just heartwarming and makes you smile as well even when you had a bad day. Without the dedication of the locals and the international volunteers something like this would not be there. We got to know so many special people from around the world who had the same motivation like we had. Unforgettable is the fun and laughter and serious discussions we had at boo boo house and during our trips on the weekend. We will never forget this place and the people and their dedication to help and to do something meaningful. Thank you for being a part of it.
If you want to read more of our experience at Yayasan Wide Sari have a look at our travel blog www.noraleif.wordpress.com. The posts of Bali are for now just in German but you can use the google translate widget when you scroll down to the bottom of the homepage.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I have been thinking about being an international volunteer even before I knew this program. One of my best friends used to be a member of this program and she told me about her experience in Bali. And I thought, “this is exactly what I want!” Her stories really moved me, so I applied through the website.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program provider assisted me with my accommodation in a bungalow. Food, mostly rice and pancake, is provided on working days which is from Monday to Thursday. Food is separately prepared for vegetarians, which I find very kind. We have a really big table for eating our meals!

If we leave Yayasan, however, we need to organize and prepare the accommodation and food ourselves.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Motorbikes and scooters can really make life convenient during your stay in Bali. You can just rent one if you want to travel to a relatively close destination. Of course, you can also book a car, but that would be more costly.

English proficiency is also important. Otherwise, you will have difficulty communicating with others.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

From Monday to Thursday, we eat breakfast at 8AM and then go to work. Most of the volunteers only have to teach half day, so they can go for a half day trip to the volcanoes or the waterfalls afterwards. The teaching experience varies from class to class.

The manager would also give you a folder containing very useful information of your classes provided by previous volunteers.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I have a big fear of dogs, insects, and especially mosquitoes, and I know that I couldn’t avoid them while living in a tropical place like Bali. My mosquito repellent didn't work there! I had no choice but to try to get over my fear and adapt to my environment.

What is your message to those planning to take the same program?

I really hope that you can make some friends there, because I have made so many good friends myself. I miss them so much! I regret that I applied for only two weeks; it is a really short time to be with my friends and students. If I can have another chance, I’d like to stay there for months and deeply connect with everyone.