Work with International Animal Rescue on the rehabilitation of Indonesia’s beautiful orangutans
International Animal Rescue was created with one sole purpose: to come to the aid of suffering animals around the world. This involves the rescue of animals in danger and, wherever possible, the return of rescued animals to their natural environment and the provision of permanent sanctuary for animals that can no longer survive in the wild. In 2010, IAR finalized plans to construct an orangutan rehabilitation sanctuary in Ketapang, Indonesia. The staff at this centre strive to house, rehabilitate and release orphaned or injured orangutans back into the wild. In August 2011, construction began on Phase 1, thanks to a £400,000 investment and the help of many volunteers. Phase 1 was completed in early 2013, and Phase 2, which will include many more orangutan enclosures, is currently in progress.
This orangutan project is certainly one of the most ambitious and costly, but is also one of the most vital orangutan rehabilitation projects in Indonesia. Although challenging and work-intensive, the completion of the centre will make an immeasurable difference to the conservation of Borneo's orangutans.
This truly is an incredibly rewarding orangutan project to be involved in, and all volunteers will leave feeling that they have actively contributed to the ongoing work of a remarkable conservation project. Please take some time to watch the video on this page (see the videos tab below), where Alan Knight OBE and his colleagues explain the inspiring work carried out by the staff and volunteers of this centre.
"I am delighted that we will be working closely with the team at The Great Projects and look forward to the Great Projects' volunteers helping us build a future for orangutans in Ketapang, West Kalimantan through their award winning volunteer programme." Alan Knight OBE - CEO International Animal Rescue
Please note itineraries are subject to change and what follows is only a rough guideline.
IAR is currently using a temporary centre in Ketapang, West Kalimantan to care for rescued orangutans while they work to establish a permanent orangutan rescue and rehabilitation facility. Volunteers taking part in this project are vital in moving forward the construction of this orangutan sanctuary. Their hard work and positive attitude drives the work towards completion.
Phase one of the new centre is now complete with all the buildings operational, but the centre is growing. With the purchase of adjacent land to be used as pre release islands and the ever increasing numbers of rescued orangutans, volunteers taking part in this project are vital in expanding and improving the centre and continually moving it forward as a centre in which abandoned and injured orangutans can find a home, temporary or otherwise.
Alan Knight OBE, the CEO of IAR is very excited to be working with volunteers who take part in this endeavor through The Great Projects, and told us " I am delighted that we will be working closely with the team at The Great Projects and look forward to the IAR Orangutan Project volunteers helping us build a future for orangutans in Ketapang, West Kalimantan through their award winning orangutan volunteer programme."
We're always thrilled to receive news and updates from our old volunteers, and this week we were thrilled to receive a video from Michelle Cullen - an ex-volunteer who joined both the 'IAR Orangutan Project' and the 'Great Orangutan Project'.
With Orangutan Awareness Week(10th – 16th November) just around the corner, we thought that for this month's 'Feature of the Month' it would be fitting to bring you an orangutan based story to feast your eyes on – and what a story it is. As most of you will already know, the IAR Orangutan Rescue Centre in Ketapang is one of the world's leading orangutan rescue and rehabilitation centres and volunteers see the work and dedication of all the staff there on our 28 day 'IAR Orangutan Project'.Read More
This orangutan volunteer programme is designed to support International Animal Rescue, by helping with the build of a fully functional orangutan rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary in the middle of Indonesia's lush jungle.
On Arrival volunteers will stay firstly in a hotel in Kuching, then another hotel in Pontianak, before being transferred to the project accommodation, which consists of locally-rented houses near the centre site. These will be shared with other volunteers, and provide toilets, showers and bed linen, as well as communal areas. There are also cooking facilities in the volunteer houses where meals can be prepared. Please note that whilst this accommodation is not luxurious, it is completely practical.
Three meals per day will provided for you during your time here. Breakfast will consist of cereal, fruit and tea and coffee, where as lunch and dinner will be more prepared meals. Please note that if volunteers have a day off at the weekend then they will need to pay for a meal in a nearby restaurant. Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are not included, so you will need to make sure that you have enough spending money for these and other snacks.
This project requires a fairly high level of fitness, as the majority of the volunteering work involves physical labour in fairly high and humid temperatures. All volunteers will also need a positive mental attitude, commitment to the cause and its aims and ability to work well as part of a team.
Vaccinations required will depend entirely on the medical history of each volunteer. Therefore it is essential that you consult your GP regarding this issue prior to departure. We also thoroughly recommend that you check Fit For Travel’s website in conjunction with visiting your GP.
Volunteers should arrive at Kuching airport on the project start day between 7am - 5pm, where they will be met by a project representative and taken to each of the sites and accommodations in turn.
Volunteers joining this project will need to apply for a Social/Cultural visa for Indonesia before travel. You will need to send your completed application form, along with all relevant documentation, to your nearest Indonesian Embassy and you will receive a visa for 90 days which will be valid from the date of issue.
We will provide volunteers with an invitation letter from our charity partners, International Animal Rescue, which they will need to attach to their visa application.
For help with your visa application please click here.
The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah. 1 IDR is approximately 0.00006 GBP, 0.00009 USD and 0.00007 EUR
The itinerary was great and it was great to see that our physical work was important to the project.
Maxine Lister, 2014
The project is run so well and I was fortunate enough to be part of the February group. We all put in 100% every day and by the end of the month to be able to walk away with smiles on our faces knowing we had made a small difference for these gorgeous orangutans. It was a magical experience and one I will do again.
Renae Dickinson, 2013
I loved everything about this orangutan project. I left Ketapang feeling that I had made a difference and knowing that the orangutans are in great hands. The work done by project orangutan and IAR is amazing and I'm planning my next trip back!
Kristi Smith, 2013
This is such a special orangutan project, being involved in the construction of such an important and enriching centre for rescued orangutans. I spent all of March there and I felt so lucky to have been able to work with such amazing people. The team at IAR Ketapang work tirelessly to provide the best care for the orangutans. This project isn't about spending time with orangutans (although you are fortunate to see them and provide them with enrichment) it is about establishing and preparing a sanctuary that can provide a good home and a bit of freedom (in the outdoor forest enclosure) for rescued orangutans. I had an amazing time and would 100% recommend this trip to anyone that is willing to get their hands dirty, work hard and to learn new skills and lessons along the way. If you want to see first-hand what your hard work has achieved then this is the project for you.
Erin Brass, 2013
What an amazing experience this was, working alongside volunteers and local people, all battling to provide a better life for the orangutan and knowing my money will help to fund a new, safe environment and my physical efforts will help enhance their world in between! This orangutan project is so progressive I can't wait to go back in a year or so and see how far everything has moved on… Incredible efforts, but sadly, so greatly needed... Well done IAR!
Ann Rankin, 2013
Find out about the destination of this trip and the exciting things it has to offer.