Volunteering in Bali.

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First of all this isn’t a question, but a little advice to those who may want to volunteer in Bali, Indonesia (as well as a little bit of unashamed promotion for an excellent cause). I apologise, I know this is a q&a forum and I know this will probably get pulled, but I really want to spread the word for this amazing place, and hopefully those who want to volunteer may get a bit of helpful advice.

The Bali Animal Welfare Organisation (BAWA) is based in Bali, Indonesia, and is an amazing non profit organisation that does a lot of essential and much needed work to help the dogs and cats of Bali. Based primarily in Ubud where they have a shop face on Monkey Forest road and a clinic just a short distance away, they also run a 24 hour animal ambulance that tries to cover as much of Bali as possible. They inoculate, feed, spay and home Bali’s dogs and cats with a strong foster and rehoming programme, and do a lot to try and relieve animal suffering and overpopulation and minimise the spread of rabies. The clinics and the ambulance service are vastly underfunded and under resourced, but are doing an absolutely remarkable and wonderful job despite this thanks to the skill and dedication of both its permanent and volunteer staff.

If you want to volunteer your time to help this amazing not for profit NGO, then it would be hugely appreciated by the staff there, as well as the gorgeous dogs and cats!

It is easy to do too, and unlike the plethora of vultures that call themselves voluntourism companies, you don’t have to pay a fortune for the privilege. (In fact if you WERE going to pay one of those companies, come and help out here and donate the money directly instead!)

All you need to do is turn up, ensure that your rabies and tetanus shots are current and up to date, and that you won’t go to any other animal sanctuary or shelter whilst you are there (to try and minimise the spread of disease). They also ask that you commit to at least 2 weeks. That’s it.

If you are a vet or a vet nurse, or work with animals in another capacity then obviously your skills and time is much in demand and would be infinitely appreciated.

But even if you are not qualified professionals and simply want to help the puppies and kittens at the clinic always appreciate a little taking care of! The day to day care of the animals, including bathing, walking, feeding, playing and the odd cuddle or three is always needed. There are always too many animals, not enough people. So if you think you can help in any way then please do so.

The dogs and cats are also in constant need of food, blankets, toys, collars and a whole host of other essential supplies, and BAWA have a wish list of items that they need the most at any given time on their website. If you can bring any supplies with you from home or buy them in Bali, then you can drop them off at BAWA headquarters or at the clinic itself in Ubud.

Alternatively you could always simply fundraise or donate directly through their website.

Whatever you decide to do, if you are an animal lover you have to show your support to these wonderful, kind hearted people and help these animals who deserve just a little bit of care and attention. The staff and volunteers at BAWA are doing a fantastic job taking care of the dogs and cats (and occasionally snakes and monkeys too) of Bali, and are performing an essential public health service. So if you are in Bali and you can spare the time, please help. If you can’t then consider helping in other ways because they truly are doing a wonderful job, but they can’t do it without help.




Michael Huxley 10/06/13    VolunteeringBali Link Report

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Nice. My hot button are those orgs that want 2000£/fortnight to allow you the privilege of volunteering.

Not to dilute your post but here`s an org that I know personally who has compiled a list of orgs that are what can be considered “good”, i.e. They do what they say they do AND IF they charge, it will only a modest amount (below Rs6000 INR/month for room and board). Most of the orgs in this list are in India. I happen to be with one on their list for the last 4 1/2 years.


PirateAt50 10/06/13    Link Report

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Thanks Pirate. No you aren’t diluting my post at all mate.

Those damn orgs that charge really get on my nerves too. There will always be naive people to exploit I suppose.

Michael Huxley 10/06/13    Link Report

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Hi Pirate.

I can understand your frustration regarding those companies that charge an arm and a leg, just for the opportunity to volunteer.

I used to be a travel agent and I would never feel entirely comfortable talking, let alone recommending, these companies. Sure, the cause is good, but the means – extracting hard earned cash from would be volunteers – well, let’s just say I don’t think it is fair at all.

Whenever I asked the sales reps of these companies the reason why they charge so much, they basically said that the cost is high because as a volunteer, you don’t actually want to be placing any kind of financial burden on the host. The program fee is meant to offset the cost of hosting you.

However, it seems like these volunteer opportunities are really just disguises for making people donate money to the hosts. I mean, how can it cost thousands of dollars for a host in Bali to provide basic accommodation and food for a would be volunteer for just 2 weeks?

I am not saying that donating is a bad thing – of course not. But people are not looking to donate, but to volunteer, And there is a BIG difference here.

Anyway, just want to give me two cents here.


Sean G. Lyndel 05/07/13    Link Report

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Sean I agree with you mate, apart from the point about the donation to the hosts. In my experience those fees are so high because the org wants to offset their profit margins, very little if anything gets to the cause/community, and thats before we get into the whole staged poverty argument. These damn orgs are just bad news. Unfortunately they also take a lot of attention away from genuine organisations and causes.

Michael Huxley 05/07/13    Link Report

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