The Perhentian Eco-Education Project is a unique project based on Perhentian islands. The aim of the project is to spread environmental awareness among the village children and locals while also improving their English and also to tourists. Your participation will help to support the local economy and help the local Ladies Group - Perhentian Islands Ladies Association.
Often the people hurt most by environmental issues are the local communities of places you are fighting to save. Hence, educating and supporting these local communities in the ways of sustainable living and conservation is vital to making steps in the right direction. This happens through community tourism, interaction, and environmental education. Volunteers would be able to gain firsthand experience of community life in a traditional Malaysian village surrounded by turquoise seas, white sands and vibrant marine life.
- Plan lessons and join our team to run the Senior and Junior Eco Clubs.
- Help our team to raise awareness and keep the beaches clean.
- Taste authentic Malay cooking and learn how to make your own 'Kuih' (Malaysian dessert).
- Explore the Island's beautiful beaches.
- Join local village children in their Kayak Patrol and Coral Watch sessions.
What to Expect
We conduct English and Roots and shoots clubs each week for the children on the island. Help to prepare fun, educational activities and deliver these exciting sessions alongside our Fuze Ecoteer staff. The village kids are full of energy and enthusiasm and are always excited to meet new volunteers!
Take initiative to equip young people with the skills and knowledge to act as conservation leaders in their daily lives (watch the video to see our school children meeting Jane Goodall herself in 2016!). Our doors are open each afternoon for children to drop in and learn with us. There are plenty of ways to use your own skills and creativity to have fun whilst educating these kids and no teaching experience is required – just enthusiasm and a sense of humour!
In 2012 Ecoteer initiated the ‘Perhentian Islands Ladies Association’ (PILA) to engage local women in environmental issues whilst offering them a chance to increase their income. You can support these ladies by giving talks around the resorts and encouraging more tourists to attend the weekly ‘Kuih’ making sessions to sample their delicious home-made snacks and cakes. These delicious classes are open to tourists and volunteers. This is a fun and informative cultural exchange, and it provides the members of PILA with a much-needed income boost.
Each week you will go on a snorkel tour of Perhentian’s beautiful coral reef. The reef is home to turtles, sharks, numerous other fish species, and of course, colourful coral. What better way to end a hard days work than by snorkeling in turquoise waters searching for Nemo and his friends!
Although tourism is a fantastic way to increase income for the island it also comes with its own problems; large groups of snorkelers can cause serious damage to coral and marine life. With this in mind, we have collaborated with the local snorkel guides and plan thorough interactive eco-snorkel briefings before they go on the tours. We also conduct beach cleans and talk to tourists about how they can reduce their environmental impact.
Food, dorm accommodation with shared bathroom, cooking facilities, all volunteer activities, return ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian, weekly Malay dinner, weekly kuih making session.
Travel to and from Kuala Besut, insurance, visa costs, flight fares, food/activities not included in the project.
Housing & Meals
17km off the east coast of Malaysia lie the Perhentian Islands; made up of Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar both boast beautiful white beaches and crystal clear waters. Once used as a stopping point for traders travelling between Malaysia and Bangkok (Perhentian means ‘stopping point’ in Malay) it now hosts tourists who come to relax, snorkel, and dive off the coral reefs surrounding the islands.
Volunteers live in our very own volunteer house in local village Kampung Pasir Hantu on the southeast side of Perhentian Kecil. We work with local people and businesses as much as we can throughout the project and living in the village is a fantastic way for volunteers to experience local traditions, cuisine, and culture.
Breakfast tends to be simple; for instance bread, banana cake, coffee, tea, peanut butter, jam. For those feeling like they want to experience a more traditional Malay breakfast, you are more than welcome to venture into the village at your own cost, and see what takes your fancy. Paratha bread with curry and coconut rice is highly recommended!
Lunch is usually had at the house. Feel free to use our weekly shopping supplies to create a tasty meal for yourself. Or if we are going trekking, a yummy packed lunch is prepared by a local restaurant. Generally rice or noodles served with chicken, beef, fish, squid, or a vegetarian option.
Volunteers take turns to prepare dinner once a week and all pitch in to clear up afterwards. Our volunteers come from around the world, so this is a great opportunities to sample cuisine from different countries and eat all together. For a true taste of Malaysian cooking we also host a weekly Malay meal; open to volunteers, tourists, and locals alike.
Staying in the volunteer house means everyone has to join in with the cleaning and cooking schedule to keep the accommodation nice and tidy… and filled with yummy food!
Since the Perhentian Eco-Education Project has been running we have…
• Led over 1,000 hours of school clubs
• Cleared 371 bags of rubbish from our beaches (over 1,500kg!)
• Painted many signs around the village to remind tourists to be respectful of the local culture
• Organised educational trips to Kuala Lumpur for students and teachers of the local school
• Held multiple science camps to encourage local children to be innovative, think creatively and make new discoveries
• Initiated the Perhentian Island Ladies Association to help 6 previously unemployed women provide for themselves and benefit from the tourism industry
• Started the Roots & Shoots kids program to teach sustainability and critical thinking
The Perhentian Islands are a group of islands off of the coast of Malaysia that are surrounded by coral reefs. The 2 islands have different vibes with the Big island catering more towards families and cheaper travels. The island activities typically center around the water and coral reef conservation and research.