Orangutan volunteering in Borneo
Description from the holiday company
Orangutan volunteering in Borneo: the story of this holiday company
I created and ran my first company whilst studying business management at university. However, I have always believed you can do a lot more in business. When I had completed my degree, I decided to invest in another industry - one that would also be able to give back, benefiting communities and wildlife. I found a volunteering company that needed help and investment. The company already had the passion and the right people but it just needed the business accruement to take it to the next level. I wanted our tourism volunteer company to provide more hands to continue the incredible projects and keep donating to communities and conservation efforts. In two years we went from 200 volunteers to 1500 volunteers per annum. Most importantly, we run our own projects that we feel are in real need. We have grown to 38 trips and last year, I am proud to say, we were been able to donate £150 000 to projects around the world and provide even more passionate volunteers.
Responsible tourism: Orangutan volunteering in Borneo
This project, based in Borneo, involves work with a local wildlife centre to re-establish, rehabilitate and release orangutans into the wild. The orangutan sub-species, Pongo Pygmaeus Pygmaeus, is the most endangered of all the orangutan species and requires urgent action if it is to be saved from permanent extinction.
Many of the native orangutans that inhabit this area of Borneo are under threat from human intervention that disrupts their way of life and can often prove fatal. Baby orangutans are frequently left orphaned as their parents are slaughtered for meat, or killed due to the destruction of their natural habitat. Many orangutans are also captured to be sold in the pet trade, which often results in their mistreatment and abandonment when they become too much for their captors to handle.
This project strives to reverse this trend, and to repair the fractured relations between humans and orangutans that have such devastating consequences. Volunteers are vital to further the work with local people, Malaysian authorities and universities that the project carries out, working towards a sustainable solution to the problem of orangutan decline.
Through exhaustive work with communities and local authorities, this incredible species can be saved. As a volunteer, you will actively contribute to the day-to-day work involved in orangutan conservation, and play a vital role in the overall conservation of the most iconic species in this part of Borneo.
There is a common misconception that volunteering abroad must be a good thing and will positively benefit not just the volunteer but the host community and those involved. Unfortunately this is not always the case. The increased demand for volunteer placements in developing countries has been met by an influx of new projects and volunteer-sending organisations created purely to meet this demand. The result may cause devastating effects to local culture and result in the exploitation of both the volunteer and the host community.
This project strives to adhere to the strict Responsible Travel policy, and has been developed so that it addresses actual local needs and has the community’s needs at its heart. Understanding and respecting the host community is paramount to the success of any project as long term commitment, support and adoption of sound environment, economic and social practices. This project employs as many local people possible, making it sustainable socially as well as environmentally.