Volunteering on a project is likely to be one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of your life. However, it does require a lot of hard work in conditions that many of us are not used to.
At the wildlife centres where we are based (Matang Wildlife Centre and Ketapang Orangutan Centre) we only accept volunteers on our paid-for projects, unless we advertise for a specific and required skill (veterinarians, welders or builders for example). These are 2 weeks or 4 weeks in duration, and the fee that you pay is an essential financial contribution to the operational costs of the entres.
We treat our volunteers on these projects as temporary members of staff. We expect you to participant in any and all jobs that are required for the centre’s maintenance and development. We do not necessarily save ‘best’ jobs for volunteers, or ‘worst’ jobs (though it may sometimes feel that way!). Jobs range from construction tasks, to farming work, to enrichment – enrichment is a really fun task that gives you the opportunity to entertain and observe the animals (however always at distance – read this article).
You do not need any special skills or experience to be of use as a volunteer on our paid-for. We have many years of experience creating programs and jobs that people from all backgrounds can participate in and get real satisfaction from doing so. Remember that the work is physical though, and Borneo is hot! You will get more out of our projects if you are relatively fit.
In Sarawak, we also offer placements to volunteer for free! You will not be directly working around wildlife on these projects, but you will be meaningfully contributing to our wider animal welfare and conservation work through your efforts. We are currently running a non-profit bar in Kuching, called Monkeebar. Here, you can volunteer your services in exchange for a small food budget and accommodation in Kuching – read more about this here.
We are also developing a resort on the beach in an area called Lundu. We have been accepting non-paying volunteers here to help with the construction of the project and will likely continue to use volunteers to assist with the operation of this, our second non-profit business. You can read more about this here .
To really understand what’s involved we recommend following us on Facebook, where many of our volunteers tell their stories and offer advice to those thinking about volunteering.