Yayasan Widya Sari: Volunteer Teaching Children in Bali

Video and Photos

Nora with two student at the Goodbye ceremony
Nora with two student at the Goodbye ceremony
My B1A class with their certificates
My B1A class with their certificates
Taking plenty pictures at the Goodbye ceremony
Taking plenty pictures at the Goodbye ceremony
Kindergarten
Kindergarten
B2 Class
B2 Class
Kindergarten Farewell Ceremony
Kindergarten Farewell Ceremony
in komang's warung
in komang's warung
the last day
the last day

About

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.

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

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

Reviews

98%
based on 40 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 16 - 30 of 40
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Brittany
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Yayasan Seraya Bundar - Brittany's Experience

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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)
Default avatar
Melodie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Genuinely Impactful Program

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.

Default avatar
Chiara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just Do It

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.

What would you improve about this program?
Updated website and better communication for new volunteers. Everything once you are there is perfect!
Default avatar
Ana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Yayasan

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.

Default avatar
canyon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

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.

What would you improve about this program?
stay the same its amazing
Default avatar
Maddie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What a beautiful place!

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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Home

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.

What would you improve about this program?
It is truly an amazing experience, every aspect of it is outstanding.
Default avatar
Zac
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Become You.

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.

What would you improve about this program?
A bit more communication between staff and volunteers.
Default avatar
Logan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing!

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.

Default avatar
Beatrice
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience ever

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!

What would you improve about this program?
this programme is great as it is
Default avatar
Miechie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Life by the Sea

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.

What would you improve about this program?
Cleaner accommodation, please!
Default avatar
Jessica may
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The perfect experience

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

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing it's already just right :)
Default avatar
Hendra
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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.

What would you improve about this program?
nah can't think of any as of now.
Default avatar
Joel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A brilliantly insightful experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
To me, the programme was perfect as it is, I cannot think of any changes that would further benefit my experience there.
Default avatar
Hong Tao
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Definitely a Great Volunteer Experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
Needs to accept more volunteers, some volunteers are teaching alone and some are teaching 3 classes a day.