Harriet’s News whilst volunteering in Indonesia

Harriet’s News whilst volunteering in Indonesia

Posted by Sam Hopkins on 3rd Feb 2014

Earlier this month, our Project Developer and Project Leader Harriet was able to travel to Singapore and Indonesia, visiting the Asia for Animals Conference and the IAR Orangutan Project in Ketapang. We managed to ask her a few questions on her return, and here are her answers!

How was the conference and why was it important that you went?

It was really important that I went, as I was able to meet some of the biggest names in animal welfare and work closely with the charity International Animal Rescue, who we work with on a number of projects. The conference is one of the world's biggest animal welfare conferences, and Animal advocates from over 30 countries, representing over 150 organisations, were there. During my week in Singapore, I was able to attend workshops on 'Wildlife Trade' and a whole day on 'Human and Animal Conflict' workshops. This is a main focus when I am developing projects (for example The Great Gorilla Project, The Great Tiger Project and The Great Elephant Project) so I found these talks very informative.The conference also had a major focus on marine issues, which was really useful to talk about as it is definitely an area which we are looking to expand on. I was also able to speak to some animal rescue centres within Asia, and we are working together to develop future projects, Keep your eyes peeled!

How was your trip to the IAR Project in Ketapang and what did you experience whilst being there?

It was really great to visit Ketapang, as I was able to see first-hand what volunteering in Indonesia is like and what the volunteers get up to while seeing what fantastic work they have done over the past couple of years completing phase 1 of building the centre. I was able to spend a day in the actual facility, seeing the orangutans which are resident there and seeing the rehabilitation process in the flesh. I was also able to get involved with some of activities that our volunteers get involved with, creating enrichment ('happy sacks' – treat filled bags hidden in the trees!) and seeing all the behind the scenes work which staff are involved in. The staff here are so dedicated, and it was amazing to see the work that they do for these beautiful animals. I also travelled to the orangutan release site at the jungle camp, which is in a remote location up the river. We managed to see plenty of proboscis monkeys en route, which was pretty exciting. I did also manage to fall in the river, which of course made both staff and volunteers hoot with laughter! Following my trip to IAR, I was also able to explore other areas of Indonesia, looking at potential further projects which may need developing (including with sun bears!). Indonesia really is a beautiful country with wonderful people, and it was fantastic to see more of it. I hope it won't be long before I am back there!


To find out more about the conference, please click here. For further details on the IAR Orangutan Project in Ketapang, please click here!


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