Borneo island community volunteering, 1 month

“Volunteer within an isolated island community and at Camp Bongkud on the mainland where you'll be teaching, building and helping kids in an educational setting.”


2 weeks on Mantanani Island | 2 weeks near Mount Kinabalu | help build a kindergarten | help teach conversational English | organise games and activities | help improve education infrastructure | tea plantations | Buddhist temples | WW2 memorials | optional activities include: snorkelling, kayaking and swimming |

Description of Borneo island community volunteering, 1 month

If you’re looking to make a difference abroad as a volunteer, Borneo is a superb place to consider as although things at first glance may look rosy on the Southeast Asian island, the truth is far more challenging to accept.

Several social, financial and environmental issues are facing local people, which is why Borneo volunteer projects are designed to put responsible travellers exactly where they’re needed most.

Surrounding our volunteer base camp is a community that needs your help with chances to improve waste disposal, educational amenities and trying to prevent unsustainable levels of fishing all essential for helping to create better lives for local people.

Throughout your month away from home you’ll be helping to teach conversational English to local children alongside organising fun games and activities to keep kids happy and active as they learn. You’ll also find lots of opportunities to rest and relax as you make new friends and soak up the sunshine with the beaches of Mantanani providing the perfect place to hang out and get involved in watersports such as snorkelling and sea kayaking.

The second half of the programme, weeks three and four, takes you away from Mantanani and back to the mainland where you’ll be living and working at Camp Bongkud within the realm of Mt Kinabalu.

We’re building a pre-school centre here and with your help we’re looking to create an excellent educational structure that can be put in place to help children and their families for many more years to come.

This region of Southeast Asia is swathed in tea plantations, temples to Buddhism and monuments to those who lost their lives in WW2 and if you’re looking to make a difference and become part of the community then volunteer Borneo and find out how you can really change lives for the better.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Check dates

2018: 8 May, 13 Sep

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Borneo island community volunteering, 1 month


The health of our oceans, rivers and forests is crucial to our survival and wellbeing, yet unsustainable human activities are putting increasing pressure on our planet. As a company, we are constantly developing new and innovative solutions to tackle the challenges posed by climate change through exploration of sustainable ‘green’ options. Our environmental projects protect the environment and help people use the resources they need without compromising them for future generations.

As an organisation, we are carbon neutral. In Borneo, we minimise the use of harmful substances such as pesticides, cleaning products and paints, substituting them for innocuous and environmentally friendly products. The use and disposal of chemicals is properly managed.

Camp Mantanani is designed to minimise pollution from noise, light, run-off, erosion, ozone-damaging compounds and air and soil contaminants. We choose only environmentally friendly products for building materials, capital goods, food and consumables.

We have worked closely with the community on Mantanani to implement sustainable fishing methods and educate them on the impact of coral reef damage. To date, our volunteers have cleared 15 tonnes of marine refuse from fragile coastlines around the world. Simple beach clean ups achieve an enormous amount and go a long way to educate future generations as to the real value of conserving our marine ecosystems.


All of the camp locations that you stay in during your programme are staffed by members of the surrounding communities. Our projects are ongoing and sustainable, allowing us to commit to permanent employment for locals.

We employ staff transparently, creating a diverse workforce in terms of gender, ethnicity, age and disability. We pay all our employees fairly and treat ethically, respecting International and/or national legal protection of employees. By working in areas where tourism is less established, we contribute to the even distribution of income and economic growth. Most of our fresh produce and project materials are source from sustainable, local supplies.

The small isolated community of Mantanani remains one of the poorest in the region with high levels of unemployment. Many families have set up homestay initiatives to generate income for their families. You’ll help by continuing the development of a purpose built office & reception to welcome guests and expand this initiative.

Bongkud village has a small kindergarten that uses a small church building. However, the population of young children in the village is growing fast and the current kindergarten is becoming overcrowded. You’ll help by continuing the development of a purpose built kindergarten, providing a stimulating and safe environment where these young children can learn and play.

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