Indonesia is a very culturally rich country full of life and unique traditions, however socio-economic disparities permeate every aspect of Indonesian peoples’ lives. Disparities of the levels of education, health and housing are evident throughout Indonesia and these lead to various needs and social problems.
Whatever calling people may have there are charities and organizations that will gladly embrace their efforts and help them help. From education, to medical aid and animal rescue organizations, whoever is willing will be able to be the difference that makes a difference in Indonesia.
If you are willing to lend a helping hand, Indonesian associations and organizations will be happy to take it. Skills, talents and kindness never go to waste and Indonesia provides a vast array of volunteer opportunities for everyone.
The easiest way to get involved in volunteering opportunities is through expat associations. Most associations have several yayasan (registered charities) they tend to. Volunteers have the opportunity to visit orphanages, homes for the elderly, recovery clinics and schools and devote their time and talents to help people in need. Teachers, nurses, yoga instructors, students and families are all able to do their bit and make a difference in the lives of many Indonesians. Many a time a lifelong bond is formed and as expats repatriate they leave a piece of their hearts in Indonesia.
Another way to get involved is thru Church groups. Many churches run their own orphanages and homes for the elderly and church members are encouraged to volunteer their time and education for a cause.
Indonesian children are the major recipients of charity throughout Indonesia. Most of the efforts focus on educational opportunities including scholarships and special skill education. Yayasan Goodwill International is one of the biggest organizations that provides the children of Indonesia with the means and skills to succeed in their educational endeavors. Several orphanages such as the Emmanuel Orphanage and the Gunungan Orphanage and Relief Center allow children to grow up in a safe and healthy environment equipping them to later become agents of change in Indonesia.
Organizations such as Kampung Kids provide weekly activities for children and their mothers living in the different neighborhoods. Volunteers are welcome to teach mothers life skills and languages so they can provide for their children and be able to obtain greater job opportunities. The Yakkum Craft and XS Project Foundation are two organizations that provide decent work to mothers and allow them to endeavor in craft making to make a profit.
Animal lovers will be happy to find organizations such as the International Animal Rescue, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue, the Animal Welfare Education Network, and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network. Volunteer opportunities range from short-term voluntourism to longer stays at animal shelters and sanctuaries.
Medical facilities in many remote places in Indonesia are precarious and rarely effective. Several organizations devote their work to bringing good medical care and preventive education to families among the Indonesian islands. The Yayasan Kasih Suwitn is an organization that helps fight AIDS in Indonesia. The John Fawcett Foundation provides free cataract surgeries to the elderly and the Yayasan Senyum Bali performs cleft-palate corrective surgery. The Bumi Sehat Foundation International runs two community health centers, one in Bali and one in Aceh, and provides pregnant women with prenatal care.
By Ana Gaby, a Mexican expat who has been living, breathing and eating in South East Asia with her husband and two little boys for the past three years. More about their adventures in her blog http://StumbleAbroad.net