Volunteer in Indonesia

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Volunteerism is a valued act in Indonesian culture for both natives and foreigners alike. Rich in culture, cuisine and countryside beauty, this island nation will never leave you with a dull moment.

As a volunteer this island nation of over 6,000 inhabited islands has a wide variety of volunteer projects to get involved in. Whether you're looking to work with animals -- such as Orangutans, Sun Bears, Elephants, or Tigers -- or get involved with a community development project, Indonesia is sure to have volunteer work that matches your goals and skills.

In your off time, explore Indonesian rain forests, chat with friendly locals, and immerse yourself in a diverse, fascinating, and unique Southeast Asian culture.

Teaching English

As the 4th most populous country in the world, Indonesia is up-and-coming on the world market. The education system needs improvement and volunteer enthusiasm and expertise is always welcome. Volunteer to teach in local schools, community centers, and with NGOs.

Do keep in mind, however, that the majority of volunteer English teaching projects tend to be on the longer side.

Wildlife Refuge

Animals saved from illegal trade, such as orangutans and macaques, need rehabilitation and protection. These wildlife refuges in Indonesia operate mostly on the efforts of dedicated volunteers. This a perfect opportunity for a volunteer who wants to work with animals and get their hands dirty.

Some popular animals to work with as a volunteer in Indonesia include orangutans, tigers, sun bears, and sea turtles. For some projects -- especially if you have experience working with wildlife conservation and can commit to a longer volunteer stint abroad -- you will work directly with animals. For many others, however, you are more likely to assist with animal care by cleaning cages, helping to track animal populations with local experts, or monitor the progress of an animal population.


Indonesia is a beautiful and biodiverse nation, housing everything from idyllic beaches to lush, tropical rain forests. Unfortunately, it also has some serious environmental issues that are threatening the stability of these ecosystems.

Indonesia has issues with deforestation, water pollution from industrial waste, and air pollution in super-populated urban areas. As a volunteer you can aid in projects working on waste disposal, preserving the potable water supply and slowing the large-scale deforestation taking place, and with educating local communities on best practices for keeping their environment protected and healthy.

Tsunami Relief

Indonesia has been hit with five devastating earthquakes in the last ten years and is still working on cleaning up the messes left behind by the quakes and resulting tsunamis. If you have experience with disaster relief, you could get involved with this. Unfortunately, the demand for unskilled volunteers for working with disaster relief is generally low.

Volunteering Tips

In Indonesia, Volunteerism is held in high esteem by the government, which has periodically used the concept of Gotong Royong, the joint bearing of burdens or “working together,” as a main tenet of national philosophy. Support for volunteers can be found all over the country, so foreign volunteers should feel as though they are working with Indonesian natives and not for them.

Health and Safety of Volunteers in Indonesia

Indonesia straddles the equator and therefore has a hot and humid climate frequently beset with floods, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis and forest fires. The country is also home to the most volcanoes in the world, about 70 of which are still active. In such an environment it is important to be prepared to fight dehydration with clean water. Before traveling to Indonesia, speak to your doctor about vaccinations, in particular for yellow fever and malaria.

Visas for Volunteering in Indonesia

Traveling to Indonesia does require a visa, which can be purchased upon arrival for around $25 or can be pre-arranged through a travel agency. Be prepared with vaccinations, proper clothing and housing arrangements before traveling to Indonesia. Accommodations with volunteer organizations are often inexpensive and usually offer very basic living conditions. Bali, a popular tourist destination, is also a common place to find volunteer work. A typical Balinese meal of rice and vegetables costs about $1.

Contributed by Leah Weisman

Showing 53 Programs


International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Volunteer abroad in Bali with IVHQ! Every year, hundreds of volunteers join IVHQ's highly affordable volunteer projects in Ub...


Volunteering Solutions
Join Volunteering Solutions in Indonesia for the volunteer experience of a lifetime! Volunteering Solutions offers volunteer...


Plan My Gap Year
PMGY offers 1-week to 6-month volunteering opportunities in Tabanan, Bali - an hour away from Ubud. Volunteers can teach Engl...


Fuze Ecoteer Outdoor Adventures
Volunteer with Orangutans, gibbons, a baby Sun Bear, Crocodiles and various birds. This centre near the city of Yogyakarta is...


Volunteer in Indonesia in 4 locations in Bali (Ubud, Lovina, Nusa Penida) and Lombok with GapXperience. These programs are av...


Volunteers For Peace (VFP)
Volunteers For Peace is a non-profit organization, founded in 1982, that offers placement in over 3000 voluntary service proj...


The Great Projects
International Animal Rescue (IAR) acts on the sole objective of aiding suffering animals around the globe. They strive for th...


Volunteer Programs Bali
At VP Bali, we believe that education can change a child’s destiny. More than just an international volunteer program, we pro...


International Humanity Foundation
The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) is seeking forward-thinking, dynamic individuals of all ages/backgrounds to contr...


Altruis Indonesia
ALTRUIS Foundation Indonesia (AFI) is published on July 17, in 2012, is non-profit organization designed to recruit qualified...


Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)
During your time in Bali you’ll volunteer with inspirational community organizations, explore off-the-beaten path places and...


International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Join IVHQ on our Indonesia program! Located on the beautiful Simeulue Island, off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The I...


The Great Projects
The Raja Ampat PADI Diving Project focuses on both marine conservation and community initiatives in one of the most stunning,...


Orangutan Responsible Tour Sumatra
Spend a week or more, volunteering with local NGO and our community based-project in education, conservation, eco-farming, an...


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Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project
Join one of our two volunteer groups in 2014, in the home of the orangutan, the Sabangau forest in Indonesian Borneo. Develop...