Blog

Volunteering

Aims:
• Our Homestay aims to promote a cultural exchange between volunteers and local Sembalun families who are each given a valuable window of insight into each other’s cultures.
• Our Community Development program strives to assist the local community in encountering the rapid changes brought on by development.
• Our Education program encourages character building of the younger generations via encouraging literacy and building awareness of social issues within the community.
• Our Environmental program promotes the prevention and conservation of natural resources from overexploitation. This is achieved by promoting environmental awareness, and through activities such as assisting local governments in identifying illegal loggers and their economic and social backgrounds.
• Our Organic Farming program is being encouraged as a viable alternative to current unsustainable farming practices such as over fertilization. This program also endeavors to assist local farmers in all aspects of marketing their product.
• Our Entrepreneurship program is designed to encourage younger generations of Sembalun to pursue alternative economic opportunities through entrepreneurship in order to increase their social and economic stability.
• Our Ecotourism program is intent on developing a framework for locally based eco-friendly projects such as organic farming and community clean-up projects. Ideally these will have the potential to attract local and international tourists to Sembalun, and help in preserving the environment.
• Sembalun holds an abundance of social and natural capital which has yet to be acknowledged. Our Skills program provides a means for the community to appreciate these resources as a vehicle through which a better quality of life may be obtained.

You are welcome to help us develop one of our major aims, for example in Education. You will be assigned a certain age group to teach, relevant to your interests. You are free to arrange your own schedule, create your own lesson plans and activities, and apply your own teaching techniques and assessment methods at the end of the program. We (the volunteers and the CDC) will use the assessment results to measure the success of your volunteering program which we will use as a model for upcoming volunteers. If you consider that your schedule is too loose, you are welcome to take another program as your minor.

Major And Focus:

Education
Here is the list of classes from where you can choose your major volunteering programs.
No. Class Age group Location
1. After school-beginner 7 to 12 years old CDC
2. After school-intermediate 12 to 16 years old CDC
3. After school-advance CDC
4. English for trekking Guides and porters 17 to 40 years old Lebak Lauk, Baret Desa
5. Housewives 17 to 40 years old Lebak Lauk, Baret Desa
6. After-hour Farmers 17 to 50 years old Lebak Lauk, Baret Desa
7. Orphanage 7 to 15 years old Lebak Lauk
8. Elementary school 9 to 12 years old Kec. sembalun
9. Junior High School 13 to 15 years old Kec. Sembalun
10. Senior High School 15 to 18 years old Kec. sembalun

Environtment
This program aims to address the environmental issues of logging and waste management. A long history of legal and illegal logging has resulted in alarming environmental degradation. For many years, logging has provided Sembalun families with a means to supplement income, firewood, building supplies, and most importantly has allowed the production of land for agriculture. Large areas of land have experienced deforestation since the 1970s for garlic and crop production. This deforestation has resulted in an increasing scarcity of water resources. In order to counter this negative effect of deforestation we would like to work with volunteers on the implementation of a water management strategy and reforestation. Deforestation has also resulted in a decrease in soil quality around the village, which is in part also due to over fertilization. We are calling volunteers to help us create new strategies and build awareness on the negative consequences of logging and waste management. Currently there is no waste management system in place, and a lack of environmental education means that people frequently dispose of their waste in damaging areas such as rivers and drains. Volunteers who can offer different perspectives on waste management and can give inspiration to help us change the attitudes of people in Sembalun are welcome to join this program.

Organic Farming
This program aims to offer an alternative solution to current farming practices. A long history of chemical fertilization in the gardens and fields has negatively affected soil quality in the region. The soil reached its saturation point in 1997 when garlic production came to an abrupt halt; the soil could not absorb any more chemical fertilization. Before 1997 garlic was the most important product of Sembalun; farmers had to change their production methods to continue earning income. With the production of new types of vegetables came the use of new types of chemical fertilization, which allowed the soil to continue producing vegetables. After ten years of new fertilization methods, farmers were able to grow garlic again, with varying success. However, environmental degradation is an ongoing consequence of current chemical fertilization methods, and soil quality is still very low. Farmers in Sembalun are still dependent in chemical fertilization; it is our aim to encourage these farmers to gradually change their use of chemical to organic fertilization. We intend to do this slowly, to convince the people of Sembalun of the potential success and environmental friendliness of organic methods. The production of organic fertilizers is our long term aim. We would like to formulate a strategy to build collective awareness about the production and use of organic fertilization in Sembalun. We would love volunteers with agricultural or organic backgrounds to help us in our mission to encourage organic farming.

Entrepreneurship
This program intends to encourage the Sembalun community, especially the younger generation, to be independent. Currently, there is prejudice towards governmental jobs; that working as a civil servant is the best and only way to ensure future financial stability. We want to inspire our community to create their own livelihoods without needing to assimilate to governmental and big company standards. It is also hoped that increases in local entrepreneurs will assist to maintain our local economic sustainability. In order to achieve this goal, we intend to give information about business opportunities, to give the community skills to perceive potential local resources. Independently we intend to collect data on potential local products in Sembalun in order to give our community opportunities to secure independence. We welcome volunteers with backgrounds in research, business, or community motivation to help us with this goal.

Ecotourism
This program aims to encourage the preservation of nature in Sembalun while opening avenues of employment through tourism. We believe that when our previously mentioned goals are met, such as community education, environmental preservation and organic farming, our village will be ready to cater for environmentally friendly tourism. In order to promote ecotourism in Sembalun, we need to build community awareness about the importance of environmentally friendly practices, and the importance of preserving those practices once they are achieved. Volunteers who have backgrounds in tourism and the environment are welcome to help us enjoy nature while promoting tourism in our village.

Skill and Creativity
In combination with our entrepreneurship program, this program aims to identify and develop the hidden skills and creativity within our community. Sembalun is rich with human and natural resources, which can sometimes be difficult for us to perceive. We hope that volunteers can assist us in discovering new opportunities in Sembalun with their outside perspectives. This program also aims to promote fair trade within our community and the market. Community education of new marketing ideas is an important aspect of our work, and we would like to encourage entrepreneurs to see the importance of local wisdom during the production process. We welcome volunteers with market or business backgrounds, and would love to help volunteers who are ready to help us motivate our talented community!

Minor Volunteer Focus
• Working in the rice fields with your host family or other villagers
• Learning hand weaving with our mothers
• Learning Bahasa Indonesia or Sasak with CDC member
• Traditional Music Instruments (Gamelan)
• Traditional Dancing
• Traditional culinary (cooking)

You will also experience variety of extra activities which will help you enjoy and integrate into Sembalun life such as; attending local ceremonies, weddings, births, parties, hair cutting, circumcisions. There will also some spontaneous activities like visiting natural high lights; waterfalls, high grasslands, surrounding mountains, lookouts, beaches, rivers, and expanses of rice fields and where-ever else you can think of!

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