Responsible tourism: Jungle trekking expedition & volunteering, Malaysia
In this volunteering programme, both projects involved are focused on conserving the environment either directly or indirectly. For the first project which is the jungle trek expedition to set up camera trap, the main aim is to capture photographic evidence of endangered mammals in the hope that the area will be listed as a protect area for these animals. Through this project, we also aim to educate the local community about the importance of protecting the wildlife in the jungle through educating their children and sharing the knowledge and information which has been gathered from the expedition.
In the second part of the programme where volunteers volunteer at Perhentian Island, this project focus on educating the community on the importance of sustainable living and sustainable tourism. Our volunteers educate the community through the after school clubs which is being held for the children to teach them English, increase their environmental awareness and teach them about good snorkeling practices.
Volunteers also encourage and discuss with the adult community to create environmental and culturally sustainable business plans which could improve the local economy which the community could benefit from it. The activities include managing the community garden, organizing composting activities etc. We hope that the adult community see the value in the organic waste to turn them into compost to fertilize the community garden. From there the community could sell the produce from the garden in their local food stalls.
For the first two weeks, we introduce the volunteers to the Orang Asli village which are the native tribes who lives in the forest. The main purpose of this activity would be to provide an opportunity for the volunteers to meet our native tribes and experience their way of living which is living harmoniously with the environment. Through this, the native tribes also are able to sell souviniers to the volunteers such as ornamental miniature blow pipes, ornamental fishing nets and many more. After the jungle trekking expedition, volunteers will also be taken around Ipoh to explore the local tourist attractions such as the temples, the caves, local food vendors etc which will benefit the local economy directly.
On Perhentian Island, all food, transportation and accommodation are arranged using locally own stalls/ business owners. As we do not prepare our own meals, the meals are prepared by the stalls which are managed by the villagers on the island. This goes the same for our boat transportation and the volunteer's accommodation.
On the island, we also support our community through providing education to the school children int he form of after school clubs such as English Club, Environmental Club and Eco-snorkeling club. Through this, we hope that the children are able to improve on their English which will help them in their studies and also encourage the villagers to live a sustainable life.