2018 Construction Team Short-Term Volunteer Program

Orangutan Foundation International has volunteer opportunities available for active individuals who want to get their hands dirty and help save one of the earth’s most bio-diverse areas. Come to Borneo, the world’s oldest rainforest, and help OFI build a much-needed structure! You may be building a bridge, an enclosure, an infant orangutan jungle gym, or another structure to help OFI continue our work to save orangutans in the rainforest.


Field volunteers complete projects that aid critically important aspects of our on-the-ground programs. The Field Construction Volunteer Program was developed because concerned individuals asked to participate directly in the work. We believe that together we can ensure that wild orangutans do not become extinct in our lifetimes.


Dates for 2018:

  • Team 1: July 15th – August 4th
  • Team 2: August 15th – September 1st


Volunteer projects will take place at one of the following sites*:

  • The Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ)
  • In the Dayak village of Pasir Panjang
  • Camp Leakey
  • Guard posts within protected forests
  • Remote release sites
  • And other sites to be determined


*The projects will not be confirmed until later in the year and will be specific to the needs at that time.


A Volunteer’s Typical Day:

7:00am – 8:00am: Breakfast

8:00am: Work begins

12:00pm: Lunch break

1:00pm: Work

5:00pm: Work ends, time to bathe

7:00pm: Dinner

7:30pm: Discussion of day’s events and discussion of next day’s work

9:00pm: Bed (at volunteer’s discretion)


Click here for a downloadable brochure:



For more information, you can read the FAQ here: https://orangutan.org/volunteer/construction-program/faqs/


Be ready for:

  • Hands-on manual work in a hot, humid, equatorial environment
  • Buzzing, biting insects and the rare venomous snake
  • Basic, remote, isolated living conditions: no running hot water, rudimentary toilet and shower facilities
  • Possibly sleeping in the middle of the forest in temporary shelters
  • 3 meals per day (rice and vegetables, possibly supplemented by eggs, chicken, tofu, or fish)
  • Construction work: building, carrying, sawing, cutting, etc. – heavy lifting required!


The Basics: In order to participate in our Volunteer Program:

  • Volunteers do not need experience in the field, just a willingness to help, a sincere interest in forest conservation and orangutan survival, and a passion for the work OFI does.
  • Volunteers are expected to work approximately 8 hours per day with one day of rest on Sunday. This volunteer experience should not be viewed as a “holiday.”
  • You must be a member of the Orangutan Foundation International.
  • You must be 18 years of age or above.
  • You must be in good physical condition and be prepared for hands-on manual work in a hot, steamy, equatorial environment that may occasionally have buzzing and biting insects and other inconveniences as well as the occasional danger (such as the rare venomous snake).
  • Volunteers should also be cognizant that Borneo’s endemic diseases consist of such tropical diseases as malaria, dengue, typhus, hepatitis, etc.


Volunteers are responsible for their own vaccinations and should bring anti-malarial prophylactics and medication as well as medicines for common conditions such as diarrhea. OFI will NOT accept applicants who do not show proof of valid vaccinations against the following diseases: tetanus, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and potentially others, depending on alert levels at the time. We also require negative tuberculosis test results for orangutan health and safety reasons.



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Volunteering with Orangutan Foundation International (OFI)

Orangutan Foundation International protects 6,000 wild orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park, in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Facilities include 16 guard posts throughout the park and numerous staffed feeding stations in addition to the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ), which is currently rehabilitating over 300 young orangutans and preparing them for return to the wild. The majority of individuals are under 10 years old. The Care Center consists of a central clinic and units housing the older individuals, while the outlying juvenile and infant units and the medical quarantine facility are set in the surrounding 80 hectare forest. Most of the orangutans are very well-habituated to humans. They arrive in the OCCQ by confiscation from homes, black markets, entertainment industry, and abusive zoos.

Volunteering for OFI can have a big impact on your life and on the lives of the thousands of orangutans we fight to protect. Each year, OFI is grateful to receive many kind inquiries from volunteers willing to spend weeks, months, even years in Kalimantan, helping at the Orangutan Care Center or in Tanjung Puting National Park. For our successful long-term volunteers, OFI is pleased to be able to offer letters of reference that will serve as testimony of their dedication to our organization and the quality of the contribution they have made to our cause. Volunteers are expected to submit a final report on what they have learned, experienced, and accomplished during their tenure with OFI.

  • Address Kalimantan Tengah
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