Yayasan Widya Sari: Volunteer Teaching Children in Bali
98% Rating
(33 Reviews)

Yayasan Widya Sari: Volunteer Teaching Children in Bali

Volunteer in Bali is a non-profit foundation (Yayasan Widya Sari) located in a traditional fishing village by the Sea in Bali, Indonesia.

Through the support of our wonderful international volunteers we are able to offer underprividege Balinese children free education classes to learn English, music/singing, art/craft, sport and basic skills in using a computer.

Since the tourism industry is so important in Bali, learning English gives our children a better chance at success to support their families.

Volunteers can also be involved in teaching dance lessons, going to Balinese ceremonies and temples with the local community. Visiting the local traditional markets, cooking delicious Balinese food and or just enjoying the warm water at the beach that is only 100 meters away from the volunteer's accommodation.

Locations
Asia » Indonesia » Bali
Asia » Indonesia
Length
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Language
English
Housing
Host Family
Hostel
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
All the fees are including:
1. Sponsor letter for a Social visa
2. Pick up transport from the airport - orientation - placement
3. Housing and breakfast during Orientation before placement
4. Accommodation during your placement at volunteer in Bali program
5. Three times of meals, whole period of your volunteering
6. Free transport to Tulamben dive center once a week (every Wednesday)
8. 24 hours emergency transport to the hospital
8. Indonesian SIM Card
9. Certificate
(There is no registration fee)

Fees are not including:
1. Any visa extension cost
2. Tour Transport in the weekend
3. Transport for any visa extension

Questions & Answers

Hey volunteers, The volunteer program fee paid once you get in Bali during the program orientation. Regards, Volunteer in Bali Team

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    95%
  • Support
    94%
  • Fun
    97%
  • Value
    95%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (33)

Default avatar
Eucevio
Male
27 years old
Yayasan Widya Sari
Other

"The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others" Gandhi

10/10

The greatest impact someone can have in someone else’s life is not giving them money but giving their time. People help people, just as iron sharpens iron; we too build others up to see their full potential. The Volunteer in Bali program is a one of the greatest ways to help someone who really needs it. The center is operated by the one of the greatest people on the island, who not only helps his fellow man but also loves the island he calls home. Ketut has a great heart and even better has a great will. He gives of his time, energy and resources to all the kids who basically have nothing. When I went to the center where I was going to teach I was in awe. The children run to you and hug you; their curiosity is wonderful as they want to get to know everything about you. I fell in love with my class because they were the best and smartest kids anyone can ask for. I then meet the family who runs a school out of there house, in the backyard! I couldn’t believe it simply because the idea of giving my home up to over 100 students so they can learn and play was strange to me but made complete sense. PutuKawi, Daysho, and Nova, are making an impact in these children’s lives. From the moment you step in the class you want to give your all for these kids. All these children come from all walks of life and the dedication of them all to go from school to the program to learn more is inspiring. I know as a child if you gave the option of more school I wouldn’t go, but the difference you can make in one child’s life makes you value everything you had. I know that the program is helping those in need and is doing so much more then teaching, they’re shaping the world and instilling in these kids morals and values that they will in turn take and give back to their community tenfold. As a volunteer it’s always what you put in is what you’ll get out. If you want to hang back and not contribute then unfortunately you may not get that smile from a child you helped, the kids won’t respond because you ignored them. If you’re going to serve, serve with a giving heart, make sure your mind and heart are in the right place. Being flexible also goes along way. Changes are always happening at yayasan, they’re always finding new ways to make an impact and if you can be flexible and open to finding new ways to improve then you will flourish here. I know the center is making a difference, some of these kids have little to nothing and the program helps them, not only with education, but teaching the kids how to save, how to serve their community, and how to become a difference maker in improving their island. Remember the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are. My favorite memories will be of dancing with the kids every week, and when the children of Pasraman Lascarya Paramaseva sing when you leave.

How can this program be improved?

The program is always growing and improving, keep doing what your doing!

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Soledad
Female
29 years old
New Zealand
Other

Gratitude - sharing with love and compassion

10/10

The program and being a Volunteer by the sea is in itself a wonderful experience - stunning views, sunrise and sunsets, amazing moments of laughter and love from the community, the kids, the volunteers and Ketut's family who runs and works hard and with a smile for this to grow and expand...

The loveliest thing though, In my experience, was the gratitude, the warmth and love that the children and all of us shared by the sea. Classes and English teaching was really nice, but what the heart experiences can't be rated. Imagine your heart growing each day, glowing, the sun feeling warmer and brighter..that's what volunteering here was for me, and what I felt from the first day to the last.

I am more grateful than what I was even before going =) I feel blessed for being part of this lovely family, this home in Indonesia were ill go back for more laughs, learning, heart opening and generosity.

Default avatar
Isabelle
Female
22 years old
Paris
Université Paris IX Dauphine

Life changing experience

9/10

I stayed in Yayasan Widya Sari for 7 weeks and I still think that wasn't enough. I was responsible for the C group, which is the oldest students. I created a real bond with them and I had so much fun teaching them everyday. As I am half indonesian, I loved the fact that when you live in Tianyar, you are actually immersed in the culture of this balinese village. The staff, which is Ketut's family, are the most welcoming people on earth and they will do their best to make you feel at home (I need to mention Ayu's food here, which is amaaazing!). On week-ends, I had the best time with the other volunteers exploring Bali on our own. In a nutshell, I will never forget the second family I made here. The Yayasan family.

How can this program be improved?

Maybe the new volunteers should be given a worksheet with the material that the past volunteers used. You feel a bit lost when you don't know what the students have seen before.
Also, the volunteers should really receive more information about the visa long before they arrive in Indonesia. They need to be aware of the big amount of money they might have to pay in some cases, like mine.

Default avatar
Romy
Female
23 years old
Netherlands
Other

Time of my life

10/10

It was a really great experience to teach english at Yayasan school. The staff is amazing!! They are the most kind people i've ever met, you really feel like you belong to their family. They help you with everything, entertain you, and the food they cook is awesome; best food ever! It is 100% that their heart is on the right place and that they really care about the children. The accomodation is nice as well, especially the boo-boo houses!! The kids on the schools are very sweet and most of the time really motivated to learn and get to know you Better. I miss them already:(. I think this is one of the best volunteerwork you can ever experience!

How can this program be improved?

The guideline for the lessons can defenitly be improved. It is really hard for new volunteers to decide what to teach and what the children have to learn. It is maybe to flexible now, so a more strict guideline can be usefull. They are already making it now so I know for sure that this will be a lot better soon!

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Noemi
Female
22 years old
Switzerland
Other

Volunteering by the Sea

10/10

I have just finished my 6 weeks volunteering at the Yayasan Widya Sari. And those weeks have been truly amazing.
The English lessons with the kids were always a lot of fun and their smiles, laughter and gratefulness are heartwarming and precious.
Next to teaching the kids there were a lot of good times with the fellow volunteers enjoying the delicious meals together, playing games in the evenings and exploring beautiful Bali in our free time.
Also the local people and the local staff are very friendly and welcoming. By the time you have to leave Yayasan it feels like leaving home.

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gemma
Female
22 years old
UK
University of Brighton

Amazing Experience

8/10

When I left Yayasan one month ago all of the kids thanked me for being their teacher and helping them, but really I want to be the one to thank them. I wanted to help them through out this experience, but they have helped me, with their constant glowing smiles and contagious laughs. They have changed me as a person and have shown me that you need so little in life to be happy. Everyday they would all turn up to class with a smile so big I couldn't help being one of the happiest people in Bali and their desire to learn made me just not want to leave. These kids have made this a life time experience, one I will never forget. I will say, however, that the school seriously needs volunteers help. The organization is not very good in Seraya and they need more dedicated volunteers to impose a structure so the kids can achieve the outcome that they deserve. If you are looking for a way to discover yourself , experience the true Balinese culture and enjoy the simplicity of their lifestyle, Seraya is the place to go. The children will make every effort worth while and make you feel truly blessed to have taught them.

Gemma

How can this program be improved?

Organization needs work.
More meal options for long term volunteers.
Better and cheaper transport options.

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Marie-Eve
Female
17 years old
Québec
Other

Yayasan, the happiest place on earth

10/10

A year ago, the website of an organization called Volunteer in Bali popped up on Google. That moment, as i now understand, would change my entire life. With the Buku Team, we applied to the program and built a humanitarian project, which consisted of building a library for the kids of Yayasan Widya Sari and teaching english classes. Volunteering at Yayasan has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. After 3 weeks of living in this memorable community, I realise that there is still so much to learn. Happiness and smiles will welcome you wherever you go. From making new friendships to singing songs and exploring new places, this experience has been so enriching to every aspect of my life. It's so easy to just smile and laugh. Being in a completely different environment than back home makes you realise how much there's so much more to this world than what is familiar to us. Never will I forget all that the people of Tianyar have taught me, whether it's unconditional kindness or living life in the moment and appreciating every second of it. Now that it is time to leave, all I want to do is stay. I want to thank Ketut, Putukawi, Leony, Adit, Suwandi, Ayu, Nova, Nyoman, Sutiani, every other volunteer, all the kids of both learnings centers in Tianyar, and everyone else who made this trip such an unforgettable one. I love you all so much and am already missing you so much❤ It was so great to meet everyone! See you by the sea🌊🌊🌊

How can this program be improved?

I think that this program is amazing as it is. As long as volunteers keep coming to yayasan, these kids' futures are in good hands.

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Randy
Male
38 years old
New York
New York University

One of the best experiences in my life

10/10

It would be an understatement to say I loved my time and experiences at Yayasan's Program by the Sea. Ketut and all those who run the program are exceptional in their abilities to create an environment that inspires the children to seek success and one in which the volunteers feel like family. I felt fully immersed in the community and the rich, vibrant culture and was blessed to share my knowledge with children who cared for the school, its teachers, and each other. The learning experience was definitely a two-way street with the students teaching me as well, and showing patience as I tried to acclimate to my new surroundings. Then there were beautiful afternoons by the sea, swimming with the children, cleaning the beach, playing games, and simply enjoying all the best that life has to offer. The local community was also amazing and there would always be a smile from those who opened up their village to all of us. My fellow volunteers are my friends... my family, as are Ketut, Leoni, Swandi, Melodie, Nyoman, and all the other wonderful people at Yayasan. I could go on and on and talk about how much I enjoyed the food and the meals together, the incredible weekends and quiet peaceful nights, but it reminds me of why in my 5 weeks at the program I still miss it everyday.

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Brittany
Female
24 years old
Australia
Queensland University of Technology

Yayasan Seraya Bundar - Brittany's Experience

9/10

I spent a short two weeks volunteering at the Yayasan in Seraya and it was nothing short of an amazing experience. Seraya is in the Eastern part of Bali and it's far removed from the tourism scene of Bali, which is part of what makes it such an authentic, wonderful and unique experience. The community is absolutely lovely, some of the most amazing people I have met. The children who attend the classes are absolutely gorgeous; vibrant, happy, fun, respectful and so motivated to learn. I loved the small community in Seraya, you really get to know the kids and Wayan and his family. Seraya is very tranquil and quiet which is such a refreshing and restorative experience, I felt so at ease there. I learned a lot about traditional Balinese culture from getting to know the community, asking questions, attending two traditional ceremonies and doing a cooking class. What also made the experience amazing, was the friendship and time spent with the other wonderful volunteers, it wouldn't have been the same without them. I have met some truly wonderful and genuine people from around the world and learned to be more open, accepting and adventurous during my short time spent with my new friends. I have taken so much away from my short time spent in Bali. I've come back home with a new appreciation of the small things, more open to new experiences, a much more relaxed head space, more passion to pursue my post-grad teaching degree and a strong desire to come back!

My advice to those considering this opportunity - just do it! It has been absolutely amazing, and everyone I met loved their experiences as well. Come with an open mind and open heart and let this experience transform you. I would recommend Seraya if you want a unique, restorative and authentic experience of Bali. It gives you an amazing opportunity to really unwind and be away from it all and learn about yourself. I'd recommend definitely bringing lots of things to do (books, movies, tv shows, laptop, music etc), learning to ride a scooter before you come if possible and just keeping an open heart and mind, and be ready to make the most of your experience. This said I think any of the programs are amazing as I met volunteers from all of them. Oh, and come for longer than two weeks! A month at least I think would be best! It's life-changing, just do it!

How can this program be improved?

It was a wonderful experience and has so much potential there. A few small things:

- access to more teaching resources for the kids (or notice before coming to Bali to bring some ideas/resources over)
- keeping a folder for each class to record what lessons/content the kids are learning so we don't repeat things or can build on their knowledge better
- more opportunities to explore the surrounding areas during the week outside of class (Mon-Thurs)

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Melodie
Female
38 years old
Canada
Ryerson University

Genuinely Impactful Program

10/10

Ketut began Yayasan Widya Sari when he saw a need in his community over 8 years ago, and he continues to look for ways to help. This program is unique in that one of the goals is to empower local people. It is run by Ketut and his family and friends and volunteering here has made me so proud to be part of something that really impacts the community. I came to Yayasan Widya Sari with the intent to stay for 4 weeks, and ended up staying over a year. The children stole my heart and watching the joy in their faces when they are learning shows how important this program is. I highly recommend Yayasan Widya Sari for those who want to make a difference and learn about themselves and others.

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Chiara
Female
21 years old
Vancouver, Canada
Simon Fraser University

Just Do It

10/10

I spent 6 weeks in Tianyar Village at the Program by the Sea. I truly had one of the most amazing experiences of my life here. The kids are absolutely wonderful and hilarious, it would be hard not to love them. Ketut and his family are incredibly welcoming and generous, from including us in local ceremonies to providing every delicious meal. The other volunteers I met were kind and very open, be ready to make some great new friends from around the world! The other employees at Yayasan were so much fun and always made sure we felt comfortable and safe. The volunteer program runs 4 days a week allowing 3 days to travel on the weekends around Bali. Everything about this experience exceeded my expectations. I couldn't be more grateful to have been a part of this community, I wish I could have stayed for much longer.

How can this program be improved?

Updated website and better communication for new volunteers. Everything once you are there is perfect!

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Ana
Female
21 years old
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Northeastern University

Yayasan

10/10

Words cannot describe how amazing my experience was. I was a volunteer in Tianyar, program by the sea for 5 weeks and I truly loved everything about this program. The people, the kids, the village and the authenticity this program offers is just so rewarding. I truly felt at home and I felt like I was part of a family while in Yayasan. I enjoyed so much being able to teach my kids every day and it was easy to build a connection with them from the start. The kids are always enthusiastic to learn something new and they receive you with open arms from day one. Now that I have left, I miss it very much and to anyone who is doubting whether or not they will do it: GO FOR IT. It will be one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of your life.

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canyon
Male
California
Other

Life Changing

10/10

I went to Bali for 10 weeks to volunteer, I choose to stay in Tianyar and teach English. After only 3 weeks I wanted to stay there forever, every single person who I met while I stayed there felt the exact same way. I have stayed in contact with all the support staff from the school I taught at and I consider them family. Like the title of this going to Bali will change your life. I am currently saving to go back, there are not words to describe the experience you get by going there.

How can this program be improved?

stay the same its amazing

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Maddie
Female
22 years old
Manchester
University of Worcester

What a beautiful place!

10/10

Even though it's a cliché to say this programme really has changed my life. It has been an unforgettable experience, the children are so friendly and wonderful and have so much love to give and are very eager to learn! It was a pleasure teaching them for the 5 weeks that I was there. Every member of staff is also an attribute to the yayasan. Ketut, Leony and the family are all so welcoming and make every volunteer feel at home for however long they are there. It's nice and social and you can sit around chatting to locals or other volunteers, go to see nearby visiting spots or relax on the beach in the free time between classes. It truly has been such a lovely experience that I will treasure forever!

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Lizzie
Female
20 years old
Tianyar
University of Pennsylvania

Home

10/10

I have never been happier in my life. Throughout high school and college so many people struggle to find themselves, and I often did too. That all changed the first day I entered the classroom and saw the beautiful smiling students. You feel lighter when you are there, calmer and more balanced. Your heart is always happy because you are surrounded by like minded individuals from around the world, grateful students and the most beautiful culture. I couldn't have asked for a better experience and a better place to call home. I miss Tianyar everyday and I think about how much I've gained from my short time there.

How can this program be improved?

It is truly an amazing experience, every aspect of it is outstanding.

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Zac
Male
21 years old
California
Dutchess Community College

Become You.

9/10

In my 10 weeks volunteering I grew more as a person than I had in the previous year. Ketut is one of the best souls on this planet, his staff, and family are all amazing individuals. The kids love unconditionally and taught me more about myself than I ever taught them. I was lucky enough to teach the computer class and got to know almost every student. Living 100ft from the beach was a dream come true; I miss my morning swims so very much. I can't wait to return someday to re-live my unforgettable time in Tianyar.

How can this program be improved?

A bit more communication between staff and volunteers.

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Logan
Male
25 years old
Utah
University of Utah

Amazing!

10/10

I hardly know where to start to tell about my volunteer trip in Bali. It would be impossible to summarize all the incredible moments and one of a kind experience. As soon as I landed in Bali the fun began. The organization representative who picked me up from the airport barely spoke a word of English but tried so hard to communicate with me to make sure that everything went well and that I was comfortable. On our way to Ubud, he stopped to show me one of his favorite temples and let me time to wander around for awhile to take in the breathtaking sights and get my first glimpse of the Balinese culture. I stayed in a hostel for a few days in the heart of Ubud waiting for the other volunteers to arrive before we went to our volunteer compound for the remainder of our stay. On our way to the compound, we stopped to explore Tirta Gangga, a beautiful water palace decorated by pools and fountains surrounded by a lush garden with stone carvings and statues. After a three-hour drive, we finally arrived at the compound on the North Eastern coast of Bali in Tianyar and that’s when all the magic began.

I spent two months volunteering with Yayasan Widya Sari, a non-profit foundation, teaching English to the 7-9 year olds and 11-13 year old group. The organization founder, Ketut, made the entire program a life-changing experience. The other volunteers I worked with felt like family to me. We ate together, taught together and played together. Out of all the countries I have volunteered in, I have never felt so at home and appreciated. The people of Bali are the most kind-hearted, friendliest people I have ever met. I had so many memorable experiences and developed so many friendships with the locals and other volunteers. If it weren’t for the Visa restrictions, I would have stayed in Bali even longer.

The community involvement and sense of camaraderie in Tianyar is overwhelming. When you are a visitor, the locals take you in as one of their own. Bringing you home to meet and talk with the family, enjoy a meal with friends, and what turned out to be my favorite activity was being invited to go fishing with the locals. The Balinese people are always smiling and waving to others; and they are always willing to help their neighbors in any way they can. There was never a moment on my trip that I didn’t feel the love, friendship and hospitality of the local people.

I cannot emphasize enough how much I recommend people visiting this beautiful place. If you want to have a truly life changing experience that will challenge you to broaden your horizons and learn more about yourself and other people in the world, this is the ideal program.

I have volunteered with a variety of programs across the world and I can honestly say that my experience with Ketut’s program in Bali was one of the best times in my life.

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Beatrice
Female
25 years old
Venice, Italy
Other

Best experience ever

10/10

It was my first time as a volunteer, and I didn't know what to expect. But actually, it was one of the most beautiful experience of my life. Everything was great, the staff is very kind and they help you with everything you need. They make you feel comfortable, it's like a big family.
The experience with the kids was great, they are simply amazing: I tried to do my best with them, and seeing them smiling and having fun during the games is the best feeling you can have.
I would highly recommend this experience, and I assure you, you will never forget it!

How can this program be improved?

this programme is great as it is

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Miechie
Female
24 years old
Indonesia
Other

Amazing Life by the Sea

9/10

I still remembered my eldest sister recommended me to go Bali to volunteer a few months back. Soon after that, I found myself in Bali alone, an amazing place with lots of friendly people.

When I finally arrived at the foundation, I met lots of other volunteers from many different countries. I still remember my first lunch in the foundation, tempe with white rice! Tempe is local Indonesian food and it’s my favourite, always! I remember receiving a flower from my student and she helped me put it on my hair. I love the time when I walked around with the kids and listened to their life stories after class. I recalled teaching vocabulary about jobs, and I let the students think about what they wanted to be in the future. I was startled by how amazing all their dreams were. I wish I could be part of the journey.

Being an Indonesian native speaker, I had the advantage in conducting the lesson, mixing Bahasa and English. But other volunteers faced no issue in conducting their lesson too. There are variety of ways to conduct the lesson. Games, readings, music, and other activities will interest the students. I love how eager they are to learn English.

I couldn't find a word to express how amazing the trip was, from a terrible homesick to a feeling of being in a new home. I thought I would go there to teach the students English, but they have put an impact in my life more than what I did to them. The students might not be smart and rich, but they never failed to make me laugh and happy. I believe I could do so much more for them, and I guess I need them more than they need me. This experience has indeed changed the way I see things. Dollars and cents could not replace the effort and time I gave up for them and I did not regret it.

I guess if you put yourself to nature, you won’t be disappointed! So, BE A VOLUNTEER and make a difference in other people’s life.

Finally, thanks to Yayasan Widya Sari for the warm welcome. For the students, thank you for the space in your heart. For the other volunteers, thank you so much. Tremendous gratitude to my family for supporting me. Well, I am back to Singapore with lots of memories.

How can this program be improved?

Cleaner accommodation, please!

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Jessica may
Female
23 years old
Melbourne Australia
Other

The perfect experience

10/10

Volunteering at Yayasan widya sari has to be the most beautiful, eye opening life changing experience for me. I don't feel like my review should be about the every day schedule but more about what you get out of the program as a whole and as an individual. I'm sure every volunteer who has come through has felt the same about this beautiful place. There was not one moment here where I longed for home because being surrounded by the happy, smiling students, Ketut and his welcoming family and all the super cool volunteers I felt like I was already there. I volunteered at Yayasan widya sari, Tianyar for a total of 5 months (20weeks) that was after I decided to extend my stay for an extra month, and if I could have I would have stayed forever. I wish I could find the words to describe how this place made me feel, because then this would probably be one of the most positive reviews out. The way classes are done here is a very good system, easily allowing for new volunteers to get into the flow of things which is good because I was very nervous and shy at the beginning as I had never had any teaching experience but I soon got right into it teaching the b2 boys and c girls (13-15) I couldn't have asked for 2 more perfect classes for myself, the system is very straight forward, lots of fun and very comfortable. The children are so eager to learn and so so loving and happy, so many hugs and new drawings to add to the collection on my wall every day. it's impossible not to get attached to each and every one especially living there for 5 months, I got to live and breath this experience and Honestly felt like a proud mother watching the children grow and succeed. Living right next to your classrooms and in the area of ketuts family home you get fully involved in everything happening around you, including things like eating dinner all as a group around the table, going out on a Wednesday night for a beer and to watch the live music and attending ceremonies which i think is really special. I enjoyed every moment spent here, even just sitting in the afternoons watching the children play brought so much joy, and meeting so many volunteers and also locals who have become forever friends. Ketut, Leony, Nyoman and Made really go the extra mile to make this an amazing experience for everyone and support you along the way with anything you need. I couldn't think of a more perfect place to have spent my time helping to give back to the Tianyar community, it ticked all the boxes plus 100 more. Volunteers are just ordinary people with extraordinary hearts, they offer the gift of their time to teach, to listen, to help, to inspire, to build, grow and to learn. They expect no pay but the value of their work has no limit, rewarded with a simple hug, they plant tiny seeds of love in countless lives. Volunteers are just ordinary people who reach out, take a hand and together make a difference that lasts a lifetime, thank you volunteer in Bali, forever grateful for this perfect experience x

How can this program be improved?

Nothing it's already just right :)

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Hendra
Male
22 years old
Singapore

Volunteers are paid in six figures… S-M-I-L-E-S

9/10

Have you ever wondered why volunteers don't get paid? If you want to know why, carry on reading :P

I have been doing regular volunteering work in Singapore and have done several overseas volunteering trip before - Jakarta, Batam, China. And this year i decided to volunteer overseas once again. So, on one fine day when i was revising, there was a case study on Bali in my lecture notes. What came into my thought was: 'Hey! Bali! i have not visited that place since last year. So i decided to look up for accommodation and flights to Bali. Suddenly i was thinking, can i do something more while travelling? Why not volunteering in that place itself? So i changed my search from 'Cheap flight(hotel) in Bali' to 'Volunteer in Bali.' Unexpectedly, Bali by The Sea was churned out as top in the list by Google Search.

'By the sea' certainly caught my eyes and led me to click on the website to find out more. After checking on the programs offered, beneficiaries served, price lists and all the necessary information. I was deeply intrigued by the activities. Without much hesitation, i emailed the founder, Mr Ketut for the necessary information. Not long after, i was confirmed a slot to volunteer in the organization.

I did not worry much about volunteering alone in a foreign place instead i was more afraid of having difficulties in adapting to the local environment. Naturally, i chose 2 weeks of volunteering which is the minimum required duration (but i regretted, will tell you why later).

I arrived at Denpasar on 29th August (Friday), a week after my exams. I was greeted by a friendly driver who drove me to Ubud where i was placed in a local homestay and allowed to explore Ubud for two days. I was lucky enough to have two fellow volunteers who arrived the same day as me. So the three of us explored Ubud and was brought to Tianyar (exact location of volunteering. Accommodation and teaching venue is located in the same place) on Monday morning.

When i arrived, i was greeted by a bunch of kids who said 'hello, how are you' and 'hi what's your name and where are you from' eagerly. One word -> Adorable. Then we were invited to the dining table where we had lunch with fellow existing volunteers. Frankly speaking, it was kind of socially awkward for the first time. But i guessed it was normal considering this was the first time i met them. Next, the three of us was directed into our rooms (of course the rooms for guys and girls are separated. Sorry to disappoint you guys :P). First impression of the room: neat but a little bit dusty and well equipped with private cabinet and mosquito net. In my opinion the accommodation was decent enough bearing in mind that this was a charity organization, not a hotel. There is no electric fan so during the day it can get quite warm but oh well the beach is just 3 mins walk away from the school and trust me, it gets chilly at night so there is no need for fan. Toilet was well maintained but there was no hot water! Haha just to mentally prepare you it can really get quite cold in the early morning so i would suggest you to take a shower in the late morning but trust me you will get used to it. And remember to keep yourself hydrated IMPORTANT.

After lunch, I was allocated to teach B1 class (afternoon class) and B3 class (morning class). At 2 o clock that day, i joined my class. Teaching kids was not new to me and i had a very wonderful volunteer co-teaching with me (Zurine, Spain). The class was lively and active. It was a fantastic start for my first day of volunteering. Afternoon class usually ends at 3.30 except for Wed and Thurs where the class ends at 3.00 and they will have bonding activities together with the volunteers. Personally i like this arrangement because it fosters the relationship between kids and volunteers, as well as among volunteers themselves. Then i went to the beach to chill and had small talks with other fellow volunteers. Dinner is usually served at 6 and make sure you are back by that time to ensure that you don't miss any good food :P I am a picky eater but the food served there have definitely satisfied my palate.

Note that you will need to plan for the topics which you want to cover with the class and prepare other necessary materials, alone or with another volunteer co-teaching the same class if you happen to have one. Planning teaching material is never easy but after seeing the students able to apply it correctly was so rewarding.

Teaching days last only from Mon-Thurs and after that you are free to roam around Bali. YAY! I am glad that i have a bunch of funny people whom i traveled with during the free days. We visited a lot of places of attractions and did may crazy things together. From watching sunrise, dolphin sightseeing, hiking the mountain (which i chickened out in the end sorry guys :P) , four hours of rice field trekking, water palace, magnificent waterfall and many more. Indeed weekends well spent with you guys!

Good times always pass by so fast, not knowingly it was my last day teaching my B1 and B3 class. After the class, we had our weekly sports lesson where it involved all staffs, volunteers and students. a great way to bond and sweat! Then, there was a farewell ceremony for me and another girl (Carmela, Spain) who was also leaving on that week. I was made teary when one of my student gave a thank you speech in front of everybody. Each and everyone of them presented me with a thank you letter too before each class ended. How thoughtful of them! I only read them few days ago when i was back in Singapore because if i read it there, i will cry more for sure hahahaha. The local staff Leony presented me with a traditional Balinese hat and it suit me really well. Thank you! I couldn't hold my tears during the farewell ceremony because i know i won't have classes with them anymore :( I can't bear to leave them and so you should NEVER choose two weeks of volunteering. Go for more if you can :)

Finally, I would like to thank Ketut (Founder), Leony (Staff), Nyoman (Staff) & Nyoman (Chef) for the support during my stay in Bali. As well as Melodie, Kaitlyn, Vicky, Caroline, Dan, Tristan, Zurine, Carmela, Lucie and Lisa. Without you guys i will be bored to death and i love you guys from the bottomless bottom of my heart :P if u get my pun!

My stay was surely a memorable one and it was an amazing experience for me. I will be back again :D

Oh and the answer: why volunteers don't get paid? Not because they are worthless, simple because they are priceless. A quote from Mother Teresa to end my lengthy review: 'Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.

How can this program be improved?

nah can't think of any as of now.

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Joel
Male
21 years old
Singapore
Other

A brilliantly insightful experience

10/10

I was a little apprehensive about this programme because I'd never really volunteer through a private organisation before, but it was easily the most meaningful experience of my life. The staff were incredibly welcoming and helpful. Ketut, the founder of the programme will always be there to help answer your questions and queries. He and his team are more than capable of taking care of all the volunteers.

When you're there teaching the kids, you're there not only as a teacher but also as a friend. Because I was there for just 3 weeks, i really treasured every single day. There were days where I fell a little ill, but that did not stop me from giving my best to make my lessons easy and entertaining.

Its the community within class which I fell in love with. When you're there, you're not just there with the locals, you're living like a local: eating and engaging with them, adapting to their lifestyles.

I will never forget the moment when a student of mine invited me to her house for a meal. She stayed in a really small house, perhaps only slightly larger than the size of a typical household toilet in Singapore. Upon walking in, all I saw was a mattress; it was where her parents slept and right beside it lay a cloth; it was where she would sleep. We chatted awhile before their dinner arrived. Their dinner was delivered to them by a motorbike and it was only later when I realised that they received it via donation. I had the most memorable meal that day. The fact that they were willing to share their meal with me, despite the fact that they already had so little to begin with touched my heart.

It was the most perfect moment, I revisit it all the time.

How can this program be improved?

To me, the programme was perfect as it is, I cannot think of any changes that would further benefit my experience there.

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Hong Tao
Male
22 years old
Singapore
Other

Definitely a Great Volunteer Experience

9/10

Wanted to volunteer overseas ever since i have been hearing stories from my friends about how much fun they had when they join school volunteer trips. I was thinking i would volunteer after i have completed my National Service (2 Years), but i jumped on the opportunity when my friend asked me to join him to this program in August.

Not knowing what to expect, except that i was gonna be living near a beach and i am teaching. I have 0 teaching experience. On the first day we took a tour of the place and met the staffs who are very welcoming and also all the friendly volunteers from around the world.

Staff
Ketut - the main guy who coordinate everything from accepting you for volunteering to your transport and accomodation. Any issue, you can find him.
Leony - Co-ordinator helping Ketut. She is very friendly and you can also talk to her about anything
Nyoman - Very chill nice guy, he usually does the driving
Nyoman (Different person from the top) - Master Chef. cooks all the meals and also do laundry

Kids / Students
These kids are really eager to learn. Some of the kids go to school in the morning and come to Yayasan in the noon to learn english. These kids are very welcoming, they will say hi and find out all new volunteers they see. Even though i dont teach some of these kids, they still know my name and come to say hi to me everyday they see me. It really makes you happy.

Teaching of the kids
Freestyle. There is no mandatory structure, method, format or topic to teach. You teach the kids whatever you think is going to benefit them the most. Mix games, music and use about any creative ideas you have to make the lesson interesting. On my first week, i sit in and learned from a volunteer while she is having her lesson. Then i started teaching by myself. I have a new friend i made there to help me translate to the kids if they dont understand. Game time are pretty much what the kids are excited about. My tip is to mix games with learning.

Volunteers
Other great part of joining this program is that i get to meet people from across the world that are here just to do the same thing as me. During meal time or chill time, its a good time to share traveling stories and also cultural / country differences. You really learn alot just by chatting and sharing. During the weekends, you will also join some of your new found friends to explore Bali

Its really true when you read that when you volunteer, you are the one who gets the most. I am thankful for every experience i have during the 3 weeks. I will go back to visit definitely.

How can this program be improved?

Needs to accept more volunteers, some volunteers are teaching alone and some are teaching 3 classes a day.

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Philip
Male
24 years old
Seoul, South Korea
Texas A&M University

The Greatest Gift in My Life

10/10

I arrived in Bali, Indonesia on 27th of March, 2015 and stayed there until 20th of June, 2015, exactly for 12 weeks in total. The three-months long journey turned out to be a surprise gift, like the one my students lovingly gave me on my last day. I expected A but instead was given A, B, and C. The original purpose of the trip was to learn how the people in the "third world country" lived differently from the people in the "first world." Not only have I learned the Balinese lifestyle but I also experienced something new, something of which I had been wholly ignorant before: that a human community can be a rich blessing to an individual and that kids are indeed the manifestation of human goodness. In short, my stay at a small Tianyar village turned out to be a rare opportunity that actually made a lasting impact on my perspective and my future course of life.

Growing up in the developed countries like South Korea and the United States, my perspective of life and the world naturally had been limited to that of people with similar background. Life, for me and for others, consisted of constant competitions one after another, and the "winner" was whoever could stay longest on the treadmill of the 21st century version of Hunger Game. Like many of my generation I felt disgust on this notion of life and felt strongly for doing something against this momentum of the first world life. I'd been thirsty for a chance to explore the other world, different than my own.

An occasion turned my vague feeling into a specific idea. Five years ago I heard in one of the sermons that the lives of great people, like Tolstoy or Gandhi, were transformed when they encountered the reality of the people in drastically different living-condition and lifestyle. "Go!" the pastor said, "meet these people yourself. See their reality with your own eyes. You'll never be the same." Since then I had felt a strong need to go to countries like India, or just any countries generally considered "third world", and meet the harsh reality of the people there.

With such aspirations I came to Indonesia. But I encountered something I did not anticipate. I expected the shocking poverty or the abysmal misery of the people. Instead I saw people living more or less contently with the small possession they had. Hardly anyone was miserable. I could easily think of more miserable people back home. Don't get me wrong; people in Indonesia are poor, at least money-wise. Many live in hut-looking houses; hardly any families own cars; students cannot afford college education; many have to buy water for everyday use; for most, traveling other countries sounds like an impossible dream.

However, they were hardly in abject condition by any standards. What I saw in general in the poor fisherman village and elsewhere in Bali and Indonesia was the cheerful people who seemed to be way happier than their counterparts with hundredfold income on the other side of the globe. "It is not the man who has too little who is poor," said Seneca, "but the one who hankers after more." The poor was not they as much as we. I went to Indonesia ready to feel pity on the local people, but ironically I couldn't help feel pity on the people in South Korea and America for their comparatively too competitive and stressful lifestyle.

Sure, Balinese people have very few by our standard - no fancy vacations or new iPhones - but they still retain what we also had had long time ago: the spirit of community. Even more, they are blessed with the privilege of truly enjoying every moment, with friends and families (the distinction is blurred in Bali), not having to incessantly worry about their tomorrows or some distant future - the fundamental ingredient of everyday happiness. Unfortunately, we in the first world countries have lost the ability of enjoying the moment for its own sake and of truly appreciating and be satisfied with the few most important things in life, like family, fresh air, and exchange of innocent smiles. We somehow transformed our society into Hobbes' "war of all against all." I'm in awe of this village that still retains the spirit of community, which unites everyone and builds a strong trust and bondage between each other.

In this peaceful village, time seems to matter less. People are not caught up with set schedules or personal pursuits. The kids seem to really enjoy their childhood, following their innate desires to be with friends, run barefoot, swim in the beach, play soccer and games, etc., without any constraints on their natural passion from either their parents or society. There is no doubt that they were much happier than their counterparts in South Korea and other developed countries. Of course, the kids I am talking about are from seven to fifteen years old, and they may get stuck in reality of life as they get older. Still, I feel happy as I see them so happy. I only wish Korean kids could enjoy their right of childhood as well.

During the three months of stay, I've grown so much as a person and extended my personal horizon, mainly thanks to the unique circumstance I was in where I was forced to socialize with other people, whether co-volunteers or students. As a natural introvert, who finds comfort and energy when being alone in a quiet place, it was initially a serious challenge, both mentally and physically. But I took this time as an opportunity to outgrow my former self and get out of my comfort-zone. After some initial struggle I think I achieved some success in this endeavor, or so people have told me.

Teaching is an art, a craft in it self that requires a series of failures and endless endeavor to master. I was a novice in this art and had to go through strings of failures in the beginning. As I had never taught kids so young as these before, the job was as daunting as it could get. When doing worksheets, ten students call my name for help all at the same time every two seconds. When I am helping one, another keeps insisting I should come to her now, and I tell her to wait just to be called by another. Some students can be rowdy talking to friends while I teach. Imagine a novice introvert teacher struggling to keep the class organized and under control. Yes, it was demanding job, at least initially. To my great relief, teaching gradually became manageable and I grew more confident everyday. After a while, I began to enjoy teaching, not only because it could be fun and meaningful but also the kids were so responsive and adorable to interact with. Once the kids open their minds and trust their teachers, they are the most respectful and enthusiastic students you can imagine. I'd even say It's a privilege to teach such bright and good-natured kids.

I still vividly remember my first day at Yayasan Widya Sari. Everything was so exotic. Three hut-looking classrooms among the tall palm trees and tiny kids with big eyes crowding around a whiteboard eagerly listening to their foreign teachers. I was so excited that I was here so different from everything I had experienced all my life but at the same time so nervous not knowing what to do other than just looking at their innocent faces. At that time, several kids came to me, no, ran towards me, with biggest smiles you've seen, asking my name and where I came from. In turn, I asked their names and they were some of the cutest names I know: Tri, Puspita, Ayu, etc. They instantly suggested me to play games together and taught me some of the games they know right then. Then I taught them the games I know and they were so happy to learn and play new games. In the very first encounter, I was accepted into their group and we were friends by the end. How can I forget such a moment? I've had numerous such moments in the last three months. They are the greatest gifts the kids at Yayasan gave me, which I will be remembering even in my grave.

How can this program be improved?

I cannot think of one at the top of my head. Everything seems to be the best the way it is now with the available resources and man-power.

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Van
Female
24 years old
Belgium
Other

The best experience in my life! Even after more than a year, I still miss it every day!

10/10

This really, réally was the best experience in my life! A friend of me and I did the volunteering as our internship for school. We were both studying to be a teacher in high school and this amazing experience counted as our internship.

I'm really glad we got this opportunity. Bali and yayasan both stole my heart. Bali is such a great, beautiful country full of friendly and helpful people. I loved to live there!
Yayasan is placed in an awesome spot in Bali: really local, close to the sea. But really pretty! Once you are in Yayasan for a few days/weeks, everyone in the village knows you as a teacher of yayasan, so everyone will speak to you, help you,... You also get really involved with yayasan itself and the village: you go with Ketut (the owner of the place) to ceremonies, he helps you finding fun things to do in the weekends,...
The kids in Yayasan are also truly amazing! Even if you get there for the first second they are happy and thankful you want to be there. Also in class they really behave and are lots of fun!

You live at Yayasan, the school itself, together with the other volunteers and Ketut and his family. Personally I think it makes the experience even better: you live with a real local family and get to know the real Bali. Not the touristic Bali. Even though you live with Ketut and his family, you have all the luxury you need. You sleep with 2 volunteers in one room, you have your own bed and your own bathroom with a western toilet, a douche and a basin. What do you need more? Bali is such a great country where you live outside, so it is really enough!

In the weekends yayasan is close to 'ocean view': an awesome resort where you can lay and chill the whole day IF you buy a drink or so. They have the best juices ever! You can also dive at ocean view, where you can see the ship wrackage.

If you have never teached before and you are scared to stand in front of a whole class: DON'T! It is really amazing. You are also never alone for class: you always teach in pairs of two. Next to that the kids are amazing, smart and they will help you. The teaching is also not the same as in the western world: you can sing with the class, dance with them,....

Also after 'school hours' the kids are often at yayasan, because it is such an awesome place. Even then you can play with them.

Ketut's family also prepares the food for you, also this is awesome: especially the noodels, I still miss them every day!

I can talk for hours about yayasan and this awesome place. But really: IT IS AWESOME! I'm so glad I did this, and I will go back for sure! It really stole my heart!

At last I want to thank Ketut again for everything he has done for all the volunteers and me. He is truly the best host you can wish for and next to that an amazing person I truly admire.

How can this program be improved?

Gho, this is a hard question for me. I truly can't say anything bad about the program! It has nice accomodations, the best hosts ever, awesome kids, good classes to teach in, it is close to the sea,.... What do you want more? Ketut also helps you with évéry problem you have, so if you have one: just talk to Ketut and he will help you!

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Montserrat
Female
24 years old
Berlin, Germany

An unforgettable experience

10/10

If I start telling you about my volunteering at the Yayasan Widya Sari in Tianyar, I really wouldn’t know where and how to start.
I experienced so many beautiful moments, met wonderful people, collected one of a kind experiences, which changed me in such a positive way. In Tianyar I actually spent one of the best times in my life.

I am overjoyed to have made this decision to spend 4 months there. I even extended my stay for one month because I just didn’t want to leave this beautiful place.
There is so much to be found in this place, so much happiness, so much joy, so much harmony and love…

During my 4 months I taught the preschool class, the A classes and all computer classes. All the children that I taught were 8 – 15 years old. At first I was incredibly nervous, no wonder, since I had never taught English before. But all my worries quickly vanished when I finally met the children. These children are so warm-hearted, happy and so affectionate. Their beautiful smiles were contagious. Teaching the classes was great fun. Every class has its own curriculum so that you know what the other volunteers previously taught and how you can continue. However, you have the freedom to create the lessons any way you like. Should you need help though, you can always ask anyone.
What fascinated me was that these students really want to learn.
They are open to anything and they are really ambitious and excited.
Be it a new grammatical topic, a new project or a new song…these kids were happy about everything, they even cheered about every new worksheet they got.:) That really sticks in my mind.
It showed me that the school's goal, the improvement of these kids future, was being fulfilled

Before and after classes you have time to play with the kids, go to the beach or simply enjoy the Balinese life. Since Tianyar is a very small and traditional village, you get to experience their incredibly, fascinating culture and religious life, be it the countless, colorful ceremonies, the Balinese dance lessons, the traditional market or the incredibly delicious Balinese food surrounded by the friendliest people I’ve ever met.

Since my great passion is dancing, I really wanted to share that with the kids. So I decided to teach them Hip Hop after class.
That was really a dream! :))
I’ve never had so much fun in my life before. The kids were thrilled with the Hip-Hop classes, which they deeply appreciated and they always made me laugh. In the beginning everyone was really shy to dance in front of the others but that was exactly the point. My goal was to reinforce their self-confidence in doing something they had never done before and to show them to believe in themselves and never give up. During my 4 months we studied different choreographies and in the end gave a stunning performance in front of the whole school. I can’t describe the amazing feeling to see these children so happy and proud. One of the most impressive moments in my life...

I owe all this to Ketut, the founder of this school. He does a really great job and it was wonderful for me to meet someone, who so loveingly invests all his time in these great children and put his whole heart into the school and the kids.
Whenever someone has problems, they can always count on him. But the whole staff/family that you live with is unique. They do a great job and really made me part of their family. I am very grateful that I can call this family my friends.
My heartfelt thanks goes to Nyoman, the cook, who served amazing and delicious meals every day. I totally fell in love with her food and I am already missing her and the food.

Friday through Sunday you have the possibility to travel and get to know the beautiful island of Bali. Bali is really dreamlike with lots of things to do like sightseeing, partying or diving…
My weekends in Tianyar as well as travelling across the island were never boring but memorable.

All in all my overall impression is, that everyone benefits from this amazing project, the children as well as the volunteers and I greatly recommend this experience to anyone.
l have all these amazing memories and friendships because of this program.
A program, which fights for a better future for many talented kids and needs all the support they can get from us to carry on with their wonderful work. I also decided to sponsor a child of this school because I know that my money really will be supporting this child’s education.

I wish everybody at the Yayasan Widya Sari all the best!
Thank you Ketut, Leony and Nyoman for everything! I miss you already!

But it’s not a goodbye, just see you later! :)

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Elena
Female
24 years old
Munich, Germany
Other

Great chance for you and the Balines kids

10/10

I spent 8 weeks volunteering at this program and I will never forget what an amazing time I had there. I taught two classes in English, one with the youngest children at about 8-10 years and one with 14-16 year olds. The kids are really welcoming, curious and motivated to participate in class. We, the volunteers, always helped each other to come up with ideas and hence preparing the lessons was fun too. Our freetime we used to go swimming in the sea, playing, relaxing or often just talking, which is never boring with people from so many different countries. On the weekends we usually discovered Bali together, partied and enjoyed our time.
I also like to point out, how nice, supportive and motivated the local staff was. They showed us their way of live, explained the Balines culture and we were even invited to join traditional ceremonies. The mainly local food, which was prepared for us, was very tasty and our cook was so nice to make small extra dishes for the volunteers with allergies or the vegetarians among us.
Overall I'm so happy I decided to take a break during my studies to volunteer and even more grateful that I found this program in Bali. As a volunteer you have the chance to be really useful here.

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Federica
Female
24 years old
Turin, Italy
Other

Making a difference

10/10

I spent two weeks volunteering at the Yayasan and I enjoyed every second of it thanks to the team of volunteers and to the local staff.
The Yayasan is a welcoming and stimulating environment for the kids as well as for the volunteers: the kids are enthusiastic about participating in the activities and eager to learn English.
What makes the program so great is the friendly and most of all homely atmosphere of the Yayasan.
Volunteers are hosted at the Yayasan, at the very heart of the village, which means being fully immersed in the Balinese culture from the wake-up call of the cock in the yard to the Balinese ceremonies! Personally, I loved going to the local market and challenge myself with the very few Balinese words I learnt while buying fruits or even a duckling!!
Overall, it’s been a meaningful experience that I would highly recommend.

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Rhiannon
Female
24 years old
Manchester, England

Rhiannon Bowry Williams, England.

10/10

I thoroughly enjoyed every single second of my stay in Tianyar teaching these beautifully talented and intelligent children, along side amazing volunteers and surrounded by the most caring, welcoming and hilarious staff. Bali as a whole feels this way, inviting and excited for people to immerse themselves in their culture. In my time we went to many local ceremonies, often watching our students perform which, makes you overwhelmingly proud, we also went to a students younger sisters 6 month ceremony which was a fantastic thing to be involved in, things like this give you the feeling you are a part of the Yayasan family. Living only feet away from the family home and all eating meals together makes everything so comfortable and you couldn't feel safer. Teaching is so enjoyable, the children are beyond hilarious and it is so refreshing to see children of such a young age so excited to learn new things! You are free to do as many fun projects and songs and dances as you like which is an amazing way to teach these lovely, lovely children. It is hard to express my crazy amount of love for this place, but volunteering here will definitely be a very happy time of your life.

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Sophia
Female
32 years old
Netherlands
Other

Best experience of my life!!

10/10

I have been fortunate to volunteer at the yayasan for 7 weeks.
The Yayasan is such a great place, safe, welcoming environment for childeren to learn English. For Balinese childeren this is so important because of the impact of Tourism in their future lives.
For me personaly it was the best experience in my life. I felt so much love from all the childeren and families, they truly show their appreciation! Can't wait to go back!

About The Provider

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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

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