In many parts of the world, young people are often the main force of change in society. In the warm and friendly city of Malang, East Java, you will work with students to make a positive impact through Ruang Belajar Aqil, a youth-driven sustainable development organization.
The organization assists in researching market demands and facilitating learning processes for underserved communities on need-based projects, such as science fairs for underprivileged children age 6 -12 years in surrounding communities. Volunteers would help coordinate these events and teach elementary science to children!
The organization also implements women and youth empowerment initiatives, so your volunteer activities can include improving literacy among mothers and social entrepreneurship training for youth. Additionally, this NGO is in the process of developing community-based tourism according to the potential of the location and the inhabiting community. Their philosophy is that development can and should be from the people, by the people, and for the people. Your role as a volunteer is to listen to the needs of the community you would serve and work with them to create solutions that will continue long after you’ve returned home.
In this vein, you will work with a team to observe and engage in discussions with communities to identify issues to be overcome through collaboration. You’ll gain a plethora of first-hand experience in building trust and partnerships directly with communities, as well as managing the organization in its headquarters.
As an international volunteer, you will join this tight-knit society in tackling the daily tasks of the organization, such as archiving and making inventories. You will also take part in conducting research and facilitating community service projects in the field. You don’t need to have all the answers – you will have the community and experts on the ground to guide you. Furthermore, this does not mean the program is “all work and no play” as the community will take you through fun, bonding activities such as cooking and eating lunch together every week. You can become a part of a new family, a new community, and a movement for a better future, all at the same time.
No required minimum level of education. Basic knowledge of research methods will be an advantage. Programs are operated in English. Ability to speak Bahasa Indonesia will be an advantage, though you are not required to be able to speak Bahasa. You will learn some basic Bahasa Indonesia once you arrive in Indonesia and opportunities to engage at your volunteer work assignment and in the community in Bahasa, Indonesia.
You are expected to have basic skills such as photography/video shooting, social media/blogging, creative writing, home economic skills, cooking, gardening, basic presentation/public speaking, computer/web design, accounting, etc. However, you are NOT required to be an expert on the above skills as your role is imparting aspirations for the community and coaching them to help improve their skills and influencing others for their chances to live a better life.
Where you’ll stay
During this program, you will be living with a host family to immerse yourself in Indonesian culture. All host families are carefully selected and trained in hosting students. Living with host families is part of the immersion experience, giving volunteers the chance to learn what it’s like to be a local. If you’re like most AFSers, your host family will become like a real family. Not only will you gain an intimate and authentic experience of East Java and Indonesian cultures, but you’ll also gain close connections that can last a lifetime.
Meals (breakfast and dinner) will be provided by the host family. Lunch during weekdays will be at the project site where usually people bring lunch from home or buy from food stalls/restaurants around the office area. Prices are relatively affordable, starting from USD 2 – USD 3 per meal. A typical Indonesian meal consists of steamed rice and one or two main dishes made of fish, meat, chicken, or vegetables.