Volunteering at the Trust
After validating my baccalaureate, I decided to take a gap year in order to discover new cultures and experiences. My wish was to use my time profitably, and help NGO’s who had the same conviction as me, that education is the only tool to help future generations be responsible and conscious.
After some research and procedures, I arrived on the island of Sumatra nearly 1 month ago, more precisely in the village of Bukit Lawang. What immediately struck me was the kindness of the inhabitants who welcome volunteers with open arms. People are so sweet and full of kindness. The first value is respect, and that is what unites everyone. Things seems so simple and people take their time, as it should be everywhere.
In the Bukit Lawang Trust, my role is to teach Conservation lessons to children of all ages and Sustainable business lessons for adults. Students are always motivated and willing to learn more about what pushes you to give the best of yourself during this adventure. They love to play games; they are always respectful and joyful. Here, access to education is an opportunity and we should think the same in the western world.
You feel like you’re out of time.
During your free time, you can go and have an amazing swim in the river at 5 minutes’ walk of the school (much appreciated after a hot day!) but also wander around in the village of Bukit Lawang. On Fridays, there is an amazing food and clothes market which is so nice to visit! You can also do some jungle trekking; it is simply an amazing experience. Twice a week you can participate in aerobics/yoga sessions. Every Saturday people go out and meet up in one of the bars of the town. These evenings are usually very fun and allow people to meet and talk to each other around an amazing jam! I was pleasantly surprised to see so many other volunteers from all over the world based in other NGO’s in the region, it allows everyone talk about their own experience.
One point which seems essential to me to talk about, is the landscapes. They truly remind you of the beauty of nature: the importance of conservation and protecting this Fauna and Flora. It is becoming urgent to protect these species, which must now fight to survive. Surrounded by this vegetation, you feel like you’re out of time.
I strongly recommend without hesitation to volunteer at the Bukit Lawang Trust. This experience is incredible at all levels, especially humanly and culturally. You will experience much more than just a volunteer experience, you will live a life experience that will make you more aware about so many subjects, and the person you are. It will probably give you the desire to stay much longer than expected, or at least to come back very soon!
Conservation Volunteer from Mauritius