Archived entries for volunteer ecotourism

Volunteer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Are you living in KL or perhaps you are a tourist visiting Malaysia and KL in the next few months.  Would you like to join in some tangible free volunteer efforts and not only help the city but get to know the city!

Check these out

1. Wall Paper Bags
Someone has offered us a warehouse full of wall papers, which we plan to make into paper goodie bags to be made by single mothers and homeless people in the Ampang area. The warehouse will be renovated hence these papers etc must be cleared at the soonest.

Volunteers needed to help wipe and pack the wallpapers into garbage bags and boxes so we can send them to various places to store.

Dates: month of march

P/s – let us know if you have a small corner/storage space.

2. Animal shelter
There’s a animal shelter in brickfields. It has about 50 to 60 dogs at the moment now but a friend has made arrangements to shift them to a better facility. But while that transition happens, we would like to improve the living conditions for the doggies. All the dogs have been vaccinated and have proper vet records.

Volunteers needed to make platforms using pallets so the dogs will have a dry space to sleep/lie on, have bathing and tagging sessions, vet visits to neuter the boys, etc

Dates: March/April

3. Relocate troublesome Macques, if left they will be put to sleep.

Volunteers needed to relocate a group of monkeys. Need to trap and relocate to a jungle (will be advised by wildlife).

Dates – March

If you are interested in any of these volunteering efforts please contact either

Shyam – shyam@khatulistiwa.com.my

or

Nurul – nurul@khatulistiwa.com.my

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Interview: Costa Rica Agroecological Farm

This interview was conducted with Mr Donald who manages the Agroecological Farm in Costa Rica.

What is the agroecological farm is about and how did it start?

With stunning views of El Valle de General and Costa Rica’s tallest mountains, including Mount Chirripo, La Gran Vista Agricultural Ecological Farm is well named. It is situated in the county of Perez Zeledon, three hours south of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Protected forests, sublime beaches and fabulous waterfalls can all be found nearby. Finca La Gran Vista was established on January 16, 2001, as a non-profit project with the aim of spreading awareness of environmentally sustainable agricultural methods to other farmers in the region

How do you feel your agroecological farm can benefit the community?

We are a School Farm so in that way not only the community can be benefit, the neighborhood, the local students and farmers can benefit from learning the sustainable methods to manage a farm.

What are the most interesting aspects of your agroecological farm?

Working in Conservation aspects and be self sufficient.

What do volunteers learn while volunteering in the farm?

  1. Soil conservation measures (construction of terraces, planting of soil-binding grasses);
  2. Pasture rehabilitation and fence construction;
  3. Vegetable cultivation in raised beds;
  4. Treatment of structural wood in the farm buildings to protect from termites;
  5. Construction and subsequent maintenance of greenhouses;
  6. Planting of fruit-bearing trees;
  7. Reforestation of trees native to the area;
  8. Sharing of ideas with visiting local farmers;
  9. Sharing of ideas with visiting local children and foreign students on ecological school tours;
    10. Managing free-range poultry;
    11. Cultivation of the Californian Red Worm for the enrichment of organic fertilizers;
    12. Showing visitors the multiple uses that certain plants have, as treatment for both human health and plant welfare;
    13. Fabrication of composts using materials grown on the farm;
    14. Involving the volunteers in activities that allow for a greater appreciation of Costa Rican culture.

Are there any fascinating stories you would like to share with us?

Changing mints from visitors, when they get here  I tell them we compare the planet with a  sinking boat. Some people who are in the sinking boat are drinking in the bar, some are swimming in the pool, some are sleeping and a couple them are getting water out from the boat…. So the question is are you doing something important in the sinking boat ? At the end, all of them are talking about this….

What type of volunteers  are suitable for your project?

Bring a positive, hard-working attitude. Volunteers must have their own comprehensive medical insurance, plus some sort of travel insurance, including a cancellation policy. No alcohol is allowed on the farm; if you go out into the community to have a beer, please respect the wishes of your project host family. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas outdoors. The community has only a limited amount of water, so please use it sparingly (i.e. one shower per day, one laundry wash per week).

Any last words you would like to share with the volunteers to volunteer for your organization?

How to be a good Volunteer? Here’s some advice on how to make the most of your volunteer work:

Be selfless. Selfless is the opposite of selfish. Don’t think about what you can do to help yourself. Think about what you can do to help others.

Be open-minded. One of the really great things about being a volunteer is the chance to learn and experience new things. Keep your mind open to new possibilities, and you’ll probably grow as a person.

Be respectful. Always remember to show respect for other people and other cultures. Keep in mind that your way of thinking or living is not the only way there is.

Be understanding. Try to see things through other people’s eyes. Try your best to understand what other people are going through; even if it’s something you’ve never dealt with yourself.

Be humble. Humble people don’t brag or go around telling everyone about all the good things they’ve done just to get some attention or feel superior. They’re happy knowing that they’re making a difference, and don’t need to shout about it.

Be friendly. Treat others like friends, and they’ll do the same for you. Many people who volunteer meet new people with whom they want to stay friends. You might just meet someone who becomes a buddy for the rest of your life!

To volunteer, please visit Agroecological Farm in Costa Rica for more information. Please visit Ecoteer Organic Farming projects for other farming projects around the world.

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New project! Rainforest Awakening

This year Ecoteer Responsible Travel has collaborated with FUZE Outdoor Event Management to create a new conservation program called the Rainforest Awakening. This is one of our hard core volunteering projects involving 14 days of jungle trekking in the thick forest of Malaysia.

The purpose of this trip would be to set up camera traps in the forest of Mount Korbu, located in the state of Perak, Malaysia. The forests are thought to be home to wild populations of Asian Elephants, Malayan Tiger, Leopards, Golden cats, Sun bears and all sorts. In order to find out what is living in these forests camera traps will need to be set in order to capture photos of any animals walking near the cameras. Each camera trap unit costs RM1500 (GBP300) and we want at least 20 units. All supporters will receive a bi-annual report on the progress of the camera traps. If you sponsor 1 unit then you will be given all the original photos captured by your camera. If you are interested, you can donate here.

Along the way, volunteers will get to see the limestone caves and go cave exploring, bath in the cooling river water, get the chance to see endangered animals species and many more.

As this program is towards animal conservation, the last few days will be used to educate the local tribes about environmental awareness and share with them what we need to do to protect our forest.

View the itinerary.

This project is very suitable for volunteers who love to jungle trek, does not mind being in the forest for 2 weeks, has good stamina, a team player and listen to instructions well as the team will be lead by a facilitator.

Every month, a group will be lead for this expedition. However this expedition can only be continued if the group consist of a minimum of 4 participants. So come with your friends and join us for this expedition of a lifetime!

For more information on the project (ie cost, schedule & itinerary), visit Rainforest Awakening or send your inquiries to explore@ecoteer.com.

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Rubbish collecting in MOP

In the month of March 2012, our volunteers from Teach in Borneo, Barbara and Katharina took the children for a walk around the village to clean up their surroundings!

Even though it was a sunny day, it was a fun day to clean up the village with kids holding big bags and filling them up with trash.

We hope that we could do this more often to instill the habit in the children and the community there to keep their village clean and nice.

Doing village clean up alone is never fun but when doing it with a group of friends, it is one of the best activities to do in the evening!

Katharina, one of our volunteers standing in the back row, third from the left.

Barbara, another of our long term volunteer taking photos of the kids!

Sunny Day! A good day for a village clean up!

The kids love to do something new everyday!

How cool is that when you see young children helping out as well =D

Ecoteer would like to thank our volunteers for organizing many of the trips and activities for the children and made this project a succesful project! Keep up the good work Barbara and Katharina!

Thank you Barbara and Toby for helping out in the HUTAN visit the to Melanking Oil Palm Plantation as well!

To know more about this project, go to Teach in Borneo Malaysia.

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Interview:Teach & Volunteer in China-Project Leader

An interview with the project leader from the organization that provides volunteering and teaching opportunities in several cities and rural area in China.


1. Could you give a brief summary about what Teaching and Volunteer in China is all about.

You will teach by your own or work with another volunteer in the class. Your lessons will be a combination of teaching from the standard text books and teaching lessons from your own creativity, which can be anything from your hobbies or interests to current affairs and local news as subject matters. Games always do extremely well too.
The vast majority of your teaching will focus on improving the students’ conversational language, familiarizing them with correct pronunciation and boosting their confidence. They are often exemplary at grammars of a language but have such little practice in spoken English, German or French that they make many mistakes. This is why you (volunteers) come in!

2. What is the level of support from the community towards your project?

We strongly believe in our mission to promote inter-cultural understanding between China and the rest of the world. Our program has grown dramatically in recent years as we have placed volunteers in Chinese schools in several different areas of China. The schools we work with have been carefully screened for suitability for our program. Those that have met our standards have entered into a professional relationship with our organization based on mutual understanding and respect. We try hard to assure the success of every volunteer’s placement, both from the perspective of the volunteer, and from the perspective of the school employing the volunteer.

Our organization has worked hard to successfully establish strong relationships with the schools and institutions that accept and welcome our volunteers. These institutions allocate important resources to provide a supportive and comfortable professional environment for the volunteer, one in which the volunteer can make the most of this special opportunity for cross-cultural exchange. Volunteers in our program are making an important professional commitment and are expected to fully dedicate themselves to their assigned tasks.

We always support the mandarin lessons, sightseeing during first week orientation.

3. What are the most interesting aspect of your projects? What do volunteers learn when they volunteer in your projects?

-The experience in class
-Responsibility
-Living together
-Differences between cultures ie: food
-Mandarin

4.What kind of volunteers are suitable for your project?

Anybody who are over 18 years old, lwould like to have volunteering and teaching experience in China, open minded, flexible, love to experience different culture and communicating with kids. The characters which we are looking for would be honest, kind and down to earth.

5. Anything else you would like to share with future volunteers?

-See and experience as much as you can, Shanghai is big, China is big.
-Be confident in class especially while teaching.
-Prepare your lessons well, which is very important.

This organization provides volunteering and teaching opportunities in China such as Shanghai, Suzhou, Zhengzhou and Mianyang.

To know more about other volunteering opportunities in China, go to Volunteer China.

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Ecoteer article in The Star newspaper!

The Star newspaper is one of the main daily newspaper read in Malaysia and today on the 17th of January 2012, an article on Ecoteer was published! Of course quite an amount of effort was put in to have this article published in a quite glorious manner.

Our two full paged article appeared in the Star 2 section paged 2 and 3 of this newspaper and hopefully it looks attractive and would inspire local and foreign tourist to opt for a low environmental impact holiday. The article included an introduction on how Ecoteer was found by Daniel Quilter, followed by the concept of Ecoteer and how this concept of volunteering while holidaying is quite foreign to Malaysian tourist.

The article also included some background stories about the community & conservation program and turtle conservation project in the lovely tropical island of Perhentians as well as the English project located in the palm oil estates of Sukau, Sabah.

Read the original article in The Star Online: Ecoteer – Vacation with a difference

Want to know more about green traveling and responsible volunteering? Find out more at Ecoteer: Travel With A Cause or drop us an email to inquire more about our projects at contact@ecoteer.com.

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Does voluntourism make a difference?

Alot of people ask the question ‘do volunteer projects make a REAL difference?’  This is a very difficult question to answer as it really depends on the project.  So the answer is YES and NO depending on the project so the question should be ‘Which volunteer projects make a positive difference?’

Below is an article from a blog I found which address’s this issue, listen to the radio talk show, it gives interesting listening.

I was recently on a radio show on CBC radio in Canada called “Q with Jian Ghomeshi” in a segment titled “Do gap year volunteer programs do more harm than good?”.
You can listen to it here if you’d like. I agree with the comment regarding animal and conservation projects (trail clean-ups etc) as being examples of volunteer programs which have the potential to add a lot of value. And I agree that it’s not black and white. My main point in speaking on this issue is that we need to consider our impact – collectively and individuals – when we engage in programs claiming social impact as a main purpose. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comment by a reader

thats the problem that its not always black and white and there is so much disinformation competing with cautionary advice like yours that its hard to tell whats what.

unfortunately marketing which is designed to connect with a potential volunteer on an emotional level and claims something like “make an amazing difference on people more unfortunate than yourself” will always outshine cautionary advice for a gap year youngster who hasnt yet had enough life experience to become as cynical as us ;)

the problem with animal conservation centers at least here in South America is that some trap animals and keep them like a zoo and claim they are rehabilitating them to bring lots of unsuspecting gringos and cash – but then again there are some great animal rescue centers out there as well where an high turnover of lots of short term volunteers make a difference

how do we get the message out about the good guys without resorting to the same wild marketing claims?   naming and shaming the bad guys?  trying to set a good example?  hope someone else can help answer !

So please before you go on a volunteering project ASK them many questions especially ‘HOW does your project make a positive impact’ and also ask for past volunteer emails.

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Ecoteer volunteers use their volunteering to start a career

As a small boy Nick Hogervorst(20) from Holland loved to watch wildlife documentaries on the Discovery channel. Especially Africa drew his attention. When he got older he really went for the adventure. A three months trip to south Africa, an amazing experience. Now back in Holland he shakes up the world. Be careful with nature!

“Most of my toys were plastic wild animals or stuffed animals”, is what he remembers. “ and besides my uncle had a dairy farm where I often stayed in the holidays and helped out. I think this is where my passion for animals developed.”

After High school Nick started a study to become a veterinary assistant. the plan was to study further and become a vet. But after a while the study started to bore him so it appeared not to be the right choice. “I needed to get out and do something completely different”

“With my mum I stated to look at travel agencies. I always wanted to experience Africa. After a few weeks we found the perfect organization with amazing projects. After a intensive preparation I went to Hoedspruit, South Africa. Where I had the best 12 weeks of my life! I got the chance to help raising lion cups and rhino baby’s, caring for a cheetah cup. Training vultures and lots more. Also I achieved my FGASA level 1. That is the first level in Field guiding. So now I’m registered as a recognized first level safari guide at the field guide association southern Africa. Witch I’m proud of. I’ve learned, seen and experienced so much. And especially I’ve met incredible people. As a turned just 18 this journey had a big effect on me. I started to get really annoyed by all the things humans where doing to the beautiful nature worldwide. I had to do something, but what could I do?”

After the travel the adventurer started a new study Ecology&Wildlife. While looking for an internship he found the Atlantic whale foundation in Tenerife.

A hit !

Atlantic Whale Foundation
“This organization gives students a chance to observe and study dolphins and whales on the south coast of Tenerife. But the biggest part of the work is spent on problems in the world like whale hunting, poaching in Africa, loss of habitat, marine pollution and many more horrible subjects” Nick says.” The AWF raises awareness thru media and presentations and they also fight these problems where they start. by letting people know who is responsible for these scandals. They are also setting up new projects in counties as Sierra Leone. That is where AWF will help the community after years of war by education and setting up small businesses. They will also make documentaries and provide the opportunity for students to study the fantastic wildlife of Sierra Leone.”

Nick was very impressed by the organization of Ed Bentham, the founder of AWF, a very inspiring man. “I’ve went to Tenerife four times now to help out.”

Volunteer with Cetaceans

AWF Goes Wild
“After this experience I found it very difficult to stay busy with conservation at home. So I decided when I was back in June to set up my own part of AWF. A fundraising mechanism where I can put in all my energy and idea’s. and do completely my own thing an raise money for amazing projects around the world.”

Jake Parsons
Nick: “in the meeting at the house in Tenerife I held a shout out to anyone who would want to help me out with all my idea’s. everyone was enthusiastic and same night we all got together and had a little brainstorm. But there was one person who stood out and stayed up the whole night with me. And that person is Jake Parsons who without I would’ve never been able to do this. After a few days we decided on a name AWF Goes Wild! After that the whole thing took off and we’ve got a beautiful website.” (www.awfgoeswild.com)

Amsterdam Goes Wild
This year Nick and Jake are raising money for Save the rhino trust Namibia. This organization protects the last living wild population of black rhino’s. they raise the money by organizing big party’s around Europe the first party was on the 28th of Oct in Club Roses Amsterdam and was a big success! And soon they will have a bar crawl in Bournemouth.

Nick is a keen Ecoteer member and is currently helping to promote not only his new ventures but also Ecoteer.com

Volunteer abroad – Ecoteer.com offers volunteer opportunities around the world

Responsible Travel in Asia – Ecoteer Responsible Travel offers green holidays which include an aspect of volunteering in Asia

Volunteerabroadasia.com– directory of low cost volunteer projects in Asia

Turtle conservation – Help Our Penyu a sea turtle conservation project was initiated by Ecoteer

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Gap year in Asia

Taking your gap year in Asia is a great way to see one of the worlds most diverse and enthralling continents while also making a positive difference. Gap year Asia means gaining a far greater insight into the local cultures and everyday life rather than merely passing through, making for a far more authentic volunteer Asia, careerbreak Asia or travel Asia experience. Plus, if you want to take a gap year in Asia its not necessary to have any specific skills or qualifications just bring along your passion and an enthusiasm to give something back and keep an open mind! In return you will gain an unforgettable and worthwhile gap year Asia experience that you’ll treasure for years.

Gap year Asia with Ecoteer whom provides you with a wide choice of worthwhile gap year volunteer programs and projects. You can get involved with one of our popular wildlife conservation projects, presenting thrilling gap year opportunities to work with some of Asias most endangered animals, such as Turtles in Malaysia. You may also consider gap year volunteering in Asia to make a contribution towards improving the lives of disadvantaged children and adults in local communities, or you could make a vital difference by contributing your time to gap year in thailand or gap year in India. Our recent gap year projects in Sri Lanka enable gap year volunteers to help reestablish communities destroyed by the 2004 tsunami and 6 years on have long been forgotten. Whatever you do when you take your gap year Asia you can be sure to find the adventure thats right for you.

Recommended gap year Asia projects

Gap year in Malaysia

Gap year turtle volunteer project in Perhentian, Malaysia

Cost – GBP200 per week

Be part of our fledgling gap year turtle conservation and marine awareness project in the most beautiful islands of Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands, off mainland Malaysia. Green turtles are in dire need of our help especially in Terengganu, where 4 species of marine turtle nest but three of them, the hawksbill, Olive Ridley and Leatherbacks are almost locally extinct. Gap year volunteers help protect two important turtle beaches, run weekly after-school clubs at the primary school and teach tourists about marine conservation and turtle protection.

Join the Turtle gap year volunteer project now

Gap year Malaysia and teach English at learning centres

Cost – GBP749 for 4 weeks

Ecoteer are combing forces with a local NGO to help them expand their network of learning centres across Sabah, Borneo Malaysia. This gap year volunteer project will be the second project to be run by Ecoteer. Help teach English to the children of palm oil workers during your gap year asia. Provide the children education which they would otherwise have no access too.

Teach English in Sabah, Borneo Malaysia.

Orangutan gap year volunteering in Borneo

Cost – Over GBP200 per week

The gap year orangutan project is a collection of orangutan conservation projects in both Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo, funded by gap year volunteer contributions. The GOP’s strength lies in its unique collaboration of orangutan conservation organisations or individuals who exchange knowledge, advice and ideas towards orangutan conservation in this part of the world. Each project has the shared vision of increasing the size and health of Borneo orangutan populations, bringing them back from the brink of extinction.

Join the Orangutan volunteer project new

Marine gap year volunteers in Sabah

Cost – GBP100 per week

Giant Clams the pearls of coral reefs are almost locally extinct. Become a marine volunteer in Borneo and help save these Giants. Gap year Asia volunteers help with the spawning of giant clams and coral re-planting work. Gap year Asia volunteers are also involved in the environmental education work with school children.

Become a marine volunteer in Borneo

Gap year in Cambodia

Volunteer in ecotourism or teach in Cambodia

Cost – Free

The lodge offers bed and breakfast accommodation to “green” and eco-friencly travellers, but it is also open to all kinds of visitors who want to stay somewhere completely different to conventional lodging in town. Gap year Asia volunteers teach English to the youth of the tribal groups to make them more employable. English is not included in the national curriculum so gap year Asia volunteers teaching English is of great need.

Volunteer teach english and help the Cambodian youth find future employment

Gap year in Laos

Volunteer in Laos textiles

Cost – GBP50 per week

This gap year volunteer project in Laos is dedicated to Lao cultural preservation through the promotion of Lao textile arts. It is our goal to economically and socially benefit Lao rural mountain artisans and thereby contribute to the wider community especially to women.
Unique aspects are that our new gap year Asia volunteers do not come into an existing role rather they become part of the community and co-steer the process of building up the future work of the ladies. A small team is in place to supervise and the founder of the Foundation can guide through various ideas connected to the projects aims.

Volunteer in Lao textiles now

Gap year India

Volunteer at tiger reserve ecolodge

Cost – GBP50-100 per week

Nestled deep in the picturesque Ramganga valley and surrounded by lush hills, the Lodge lies in total seclusion with the meandering Ramganga virtually cutting it off from human habitation. The lodge is strategically located on the banks of the river, the lifeline of Corbett, before it enters the park at Domunda. We provide a unique gap year Asia volunteer wildlife experience for nature lovers and our lodge easily ranks as one of the wildest jungle lodges in India. The rustle of the breeze in the adjoining forests, the calls of birds, the rumble of the river as it goes over rapids and sitting around a campfire at night to hear alarm calls of sambar and barking deer, provides an unforgettable dimension to the ambience. What makes it unique is the diversity it offers. The envious location affords long walks into the surrounding forest, something not permitted inside the park. A good mix of riverine, forest and high altitude habitat makes it a birdwatchers haven. With exclusive fishing beats replete with Golden Mahseer, anglers have rated it as the best sportfishing destination in North India. The added attraction of elephant safaris in the wild country makes this an irresistible proposition for your gap year in Asia.

Volunteer with tigers at India ecolodge

Volunteer and teach english in India

Cost – GBP20 per week

Gap year Asia volunteer opportunity in India and teach English and core subjects to the poor children and orphans in the beautiful hilly town of Shillong, North East India. Little Prakash and his friends in Shillong need help! In a poor tribal area of Shillong, a primary school with an attached orphanage housing 10 children is being run by Didi Ananda Kalyanbrata, a yoga nun. The school currently has 120 children, some of whom study free as their parents are unable to pay even minimal fees. All the children learn meditation and yoga.

Volunteer in India now

Volunteer at sustainable ecotourism lodge in India

Cost – Free

Gap year Asia volunteers can work at this retreat which is a unique project that combines sustainable ecotourism with sustainable agriculture and environmental education. Our eco-lodge is situated on a certified Organic farm in the rainforests of the Western Ghats of karnataka. We cater to environmentally conscious gap year asia volunteers who want to experience a harmonious existence with nature. We also organize and host workshops and educational programs with emphasis on organic farming, sustainable living, rainforest ecology and biodiversity for students and special interest groups such as organic farmers. We are recognized as one of india’s leading eco-lodges and have received a 1st prize award from eco-club international in 2005.

Volunteer in ecotourism in India

Gap year Thailand

Volunteer and help rural communities of Thailand

Cost – GBP20-50 per week

The rural population in Thailand is poor and has only little access to education. Gap year Asia volunteers share their lifes with the local community. The gap year Asia volunteers support is making a big change in the villagers. During your gap yer volunteering at this project you can get involved in teaching English, construction and just about anything that makes the lifes of the local community better.
Highly recommended.

Volunteer and make a difference in Thailand

Gap year with Elephants in Thailand

Cost – GBP100 per week

The gap year Asia Elephant project is unique and set in Northern Thailand. Established in the 1990″s their aim has always been to provide a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants. Elephant gap year volunteer jobs are varied, from bathing elephants to basic health care. Gap year Asia volunteer roles also include assisting elephants keepers bathing elephants and general duties around the park and surrounds.

Become an elephant volunteer in Thailand

Gap year China

Teach English in Shanghai, China

Cost – GBP50-100 per week

Gap year Asia volunteer teaching in Shanghai: After a one week Induction course in Shanghai (include, Induction, culture course, Mandarin lesson and sightseeing explore) you will spend 4 weeks to 12 weeks teaching english to 7 to 18 year olds. Your teaching will usually be spread over 11 lessons to 15 lessons per week (35 to 40 minutes per lesson), Monday to Friday.

Volunteer and teach english in shanghai China

Gap year Japan

Sustainable living volunteer in Japan

Cost – Free

The ethos of this gap year Asia volunteer project is to live sustainably and in harmony with nature. The mission statement is: “To inspire and educate the citizens of Earth to create their own environmentally sustainable lifestyles and businesses, through participation in the creation and operation of a self-sufficient education center, organic farm, restaurant, fair trade shop and eco-technology development and demonstration center”. The farm and Cafe are run by an international volunteer team of staff from all over the world. About 4 or 5 team members and volunteers live on Mt Fuji full-time. We are also largely supported through the help of our Short Term Farm Volunteers, who help with everything from planting to cooking.

Volunteer at sustainable farm and lodge, Japan

Gap year Sri Lanka

Gap year Asia volunteers help rebuild communities

Cost – GBP50-100 per week

This is a rare opportunity to volunteer during your gap year asia and do a variety of different work in the poor areas of Sri Lanka. The people in the poor areas of Sri Lanks are still suffering from the devastation left by the Tsunami in 2004. Gap year Asia here and help these people whilst gaining an insight into day to day Buddhism. Gap year Asia volunteers do not, however, have to participate in religious activities.
The gap year Asia volunteer Sri Lanka Project is a small, personal, multi faceted project which was started after the devastating Tsunami in 2004 by Janaka De Silva, the General Manager of a local hotel and a dedicated philanthropist. He spends his spare time helping poor Sri Lankan families living on the outskirts of Galle town.
The project is totally non profit making. Any money left when the volunteers have been fed & accommodated, is ploughed straight into buying equipment, books & building works for the project.

Volunteer in Sri Lanka now

Help medicinal plants volunteer in Sri Lanka

Cost – GBP20-50 per week

We are a grassroot NGO involved in conservation of fast disappearing native plant species and documentation of indigenous knowledge or ethno botanical values associated with native plants. We possess a wonderful arboretum with rare medicinal and wild fruit plants with plenty of valuable traditional knowledge and all volunteers are placed in our arboretum in eco friendly architecture. Our main objective is to propagate these rare plants amongst Sunday schools in rural church parishes and Buddhist monasteries with hands on experience.

Volunteer in Sri Lanka now

Gap year Mongolia

Health care gap year Asia volunteer opportunity in Mongolia

Cost – GBP50-100 per week

As a gap year Asia volunteer, you will be assisting the Family Hospital in their effort to improve health care in poorest district in Ulaanbaatar and its surrounding areas. Two or three days a week, according to the community’s needs, you will accompany a mobile clinic that goes out to rural communities around the capital that often have little or no medical facilities. The drive to these communities generally takes about an hour-and-a-half. The mobile clinic usually visits Day Care Center, Black market, Orphanage center and Ger district, so that the doctors can give the children medical check ups. On the days that you are not going out on the mobile clinic, you will assist in the Family Hospital medical centre, which provides basic medical aid to children.

Volunteer in health care, Mongolia

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Teaching english in Borneo

Its now been a few weeks since the return of pioneer volunteers, Donna Barlow, Arsalan Naeem and Jody Lee from the isolated schools of Sabah.  The volunteers certainly had an experience not to be forgotten from large spiders hiding in toilets to encountering herds of elephants whilst on night river cruises.

The volunteers first school was at Tomanggong palm oil plantation which is near  Tabin wildlife reserve.  The schools are very isolated and are a 2 hour 4×4 journey  away from the nearest town Lahad Datu.  But saying that the plantation has all what  you need including a small bar and badminton courts but phone signal is low which  is great.  The volunteers helped at the small school (60 children) run by Judith and  Ardana.  The children raise the Malaysian flag and sing songs including the Humana  song each morning.  The children were preparing for a competition at the end of  July where they would compete against 20 other schools in events such as football,  tyre rolling, volleyball, singing and dancing to name a few.  Each afternoon the  volunteers helped the children to practice for these events with Arsalan being the  football coach.  The housing the volunteers stayed in had been abandoned for a  while and many new squatters had taken residence in the house.  One day, Arsalan went to the toilet and to his astonishment when he stood up a HUGE spider was sat in the toilet bowl looking up at him! HELLO.  The plantation and surrounding forests are FULL of creepy crawlies and a nice dry cool house is very appealing for these critters.  Not all the animals living in the surrounding forest are all that creepy.  The plantation backs onto Tabin Wildlife Reserve which is home to Pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhino’s and orangutans.  On one of routes out of the plantation goes pass Tabin reserve and if you are lucky you can see these creatures crossing the road – Arsalan and Jody saw a few herds of elephants.  The weekend event soon came with the Tomanggong team ready and willing to take on the other schools!  After a non eventful journey to the event location the children of Tomanggong won all but 1 event!  With Arsalan’s football team not losing a single game.  The journey back was somewhat more eventful with tires bursting and heavy rains swelling rivers but after 7 hours and very wet clothes everyone made it safely back to Tomanggong.

The second month was based at Melangking which is just 15km from Sukau village which is the  centre of river cruises to see various wildlife including orangutans, elephants, hornbills,  crocodiles and even sun bears.  The plantation has three schools with between 20 to 40 children  going to each school. The children are again well behaved but it is obvious the children lack  confidence in speaking and writing english and their environmental awareness is very low.    Donna an orangutan and nature lover found her place at Melangking and started a recycling  scheme at all three schools at this plantation.  Teaching is not the only thing the volunteers  experienced here!  Have you ever seen male chickens’, cockerels wearing boxing gloves???  Well  one day the volunteers look out their window only to see two cockerels fighting with small  gloves on their claws.  These cockerels were practicing for cock fights which are illegal but are  run at all villagers throughout Borneo especially after pay day.  You never know what you may  see.  Being in the plantation is one experience not to be forgotten.

I personally would like to say a big THANK YOU to the Borneo Child Aid Society (BCAS), the two plam oil estates (Melangking and Tomanggong), Judith, Nesta, Junecel, Torben,  Mr Chee and Mr Wong and of course the three brave pioneer volunteers – Arsalan, Donna and Jody.

Ecoteer are now working with BCAS on a permanent volunteer program focusing on improving the English skills and environmental awareness of the children of the Palm Oil estates.  The program is starting on January 3rd 2011 at Melangking estate and hopefully in the future we will be able to host volunteers at Tomanggong and other estates in the future.

We hope this is the start of helping not only the children but the wildlife living in the rainforests surrounding the palm oil estates of Sabah.

For more information on the new volunteer program please go to teach english in Borneo

For information on other volunteering opportunities go to the following pages

Volunteer borneo

volunteer malaysia

volunteer asia

Volunteer Abroad

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