People from all over the world come to Bali for many reasons. Some come for exploration purposes, some for work purposes, and often for the purpose of accompanying a partner who has to move to the country.
Whatever the reason for the extension of their stay in Indonesia, some expats may find that at some point they begin to feel comfortable and even at home in this complex and diverse society. It can be a driving force for finding ways to spend leisure time in a way that promotes the social well-being and well-being of those facing adversity.
Of course, volunteering in Bali is also an end in itself and many people are trying to offer their skills and knowledge by moving to the country as volunteers. This article aims to provide information regarding legal considerations for those who intend to relocate to Indonesia as volunteers and also for those who wish to add to their experience by volunteering.
As with positions held by foreigners, anyone wishing to volunteer in Bali needs to be aware of legal issues, especially those related to visas.
First and foremost, it should be noted that, as mentioned in the previous article on hiring foreigners, the Indonesian Government has policies that encourage the recruitment of local residents rather than foreigners to reduce unemployment concerns. This also applies to volunteers.
This means that you will not be able to arrive in Indonesia on a tourist visa and legally spend your time on anything work-related, even if it is unpaid work. In fact, as a foreigner, you are not allowed to volunteer if you don’t have a proper work visa. This is a very important immigration issue to consider when thinking about relocation.
To volunteer, you must get a KITAS. It should be noted that employers have to pay taxes to the local Ministry of Manpower to employ foreigners. As a result, you must ensure that the organization you wish to volunteer with pays this tax otherwise you will volunteer illegally.
If you choose to volunteer illegally, be aware that you may face deportation and fines. The Indonesian government strictly enforces this rule.
It is sometimes recommended that you get a Socio-Cultural Visit Visa (SosBud), as it allows for extended stays. It is understandable why this is seen as an option, because with Visa on Arrival, no type of work is allowed during your stay. With regard to social / cultural visas, it is important that you communicate openly with the organizations that suggest you apply to volunteer. For example, the East Bali Poverty Project could sponsor social / cultural visas for voluntary purposes
Supporting a Bali charity is the best way to pay for what the beautiful island has given us. In fact, many charity groups in Bali work to help disadvantaged families and / or children, protect wildlife and conserve habitat, and rehabilitate wild animals. If you are thinking of making a meaningful contribution to Bali, there are many organizations that do charity work for a good cause.
For starters, here are some of commendable charities worth learning about, lending a helping hand for good causes. Join them, will you?
- Yayasan Solemen
Yayasan Solemen Indonesia, an Indonesian registered non-profit Foundation, was formed in October 2010 to raise awareness and provide funds to support accredited agencies and projects for the disadvantaged in Bali. Sole Man Robert declared his intention to be barefoot until SOLEMEN had raised one million US Dollars. The reason for being barefoot is “to be in solidarity with those who don’t have a choice to wear or not wear shoes”. Solemen‘s first ‘awareness’ 535 km barefoot walk around Bali was not just a ‘walk’. The Solemen held frequent health education checks and made presentations in schools, orphanages and villages together with a medical team from Anak Anak Bali. Solemen Indonesia (Solemen), an Indonesian registered non-profit charity primarily focusing our efforts on helping the disadvantaged in Bali, Indonesia
- Bali Kids Foundation ( Yayasan Anak-Anak Bali )
Bali Kids Foundation was initially developed as a haven for orphans seeking medical attention. The center, which was founded in 2005, aims to provide free medical care for local children and poor families. Bali Kids Foundation runs regular mobile services wherein volunteers travel to various villages to treat kids. The mobile service also works with local orphanages and educates management staff about health, hygiene, and dealing with abused kids. Tag along on one of these trips to meet some amazing kids.
- Yayasan Kasih Peduli Anak
The organization provides homes and education for displaced children a to give them an opportunity to have a better future. YKPA additonally holds programs to teach kids about AIDS and how to avoid sexual abuse, while also finding time to support young women who suffered from abuse by giving them a home and special short-term care and protection from their abusers. The group additionally helps abused victims gain legal protection and assists in reporting crimes, something that many women are still very reluctant to do. And on top of all that, the organization offers education programs for the disabled through the organization’s livelihood project. At the moment, YKPA houses about 30 children and they are looking after 20 other children who are still on the streets.
- East Bali Proverty Project
Here’s a fact that not many of us are aware of: the eastern region of Bali is characteristically drier than the rest of the island and has a lot more people living in poverty. There are very few schools and health facilities in the region and sanitation infrastructure is also quite limited. A 1998 study revealed that almost all residents of the remote mountain villages in East Bali do not know how to read or write. Even worse, malnutrition among children was rampant. The East Bali Poverty Project is an independent non-profit organization that aims to help the local community by providing assistance and educational programs related to nutrition, agriculture and health care.With the philosophy of “helping people to help themselves”, all programmes are designed as models that can be replicated, and executed by local people who transfer knowledge directly, and appropriate technology within their communities.
- Yayasan Senyum Bali
Founded in 2005, Yayasan Senyum Bali focuses on health assistance to people in need of Craniofacial surgery , such as cleft lip and palate as well as tumors, traumas and rare syndromes. It also establishes partnerships with other organisations to assist disadvantaged patients for transfers between their homes and hospitals, and even has its own patient house in Denpasar. When a case is diagnosed as emergency, the foundation will also arrange for legal documents and flights for patients to be flown to the Australian Cranio-facial Unit in Adelaide for immediate surgeries. You can help through donation of cash or essential goods, or a purchase from their gift shop.
- Bali Animal Welfare Association
Now this one is for the four-legged! The Bali Animal Welfare Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to easing overpopulation by providing medical care and spaying/neutering to Bali’s furry friends. The organization was established in 2007 and since has cared for thousands of animals in Bali. BAWA organizes adoption and street feeding programs and provides educational presentations about animal welfare in local schools and communities, as well as vaccinating animals against rabies and other diseases. The organization’s sister non-profit Bali Street Dog Fund, is the Aussie branch of BAWA raising money to provide veterinary care for stray cats and dogs. There are many ways to volunteer and raise money for BAWA so contact them to see what you can do to help.
- Friends of the National Parks Foundation
As an independent charitable organization founded by Balinese ornithologist Dr. Bayu Wirayudha in 1997, FNPF aims to protect the wildlife, restore habitats, and educate local communities through projects that protect the forests in the Kalimantan region, in Bali’s Mt. Batukaru as well as forests in the Nusa Penida Island. Dr. Wirayudha and his conservation group are working painstakingly to breed the critically endangered Bali Starling. If you’re interested in supporting the FNPF, take your family on one of the foundation’s eco-tours or simply donate at designated areas at any of FNPF’s conservation sites. You can also volunteer onsite or purchase merchandise with proceeds used to fund FNPF’s many programs.