Yogyakarta, Central Java
All Year: Yes
Host ID: 60568
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Last Updated: November 14, 2018
ABOUT OUR SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATION
We run an independent community learning centre serving vulnerable communities living on Indonesia’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi. It was founded in 2015 by a group of individuals concerned with the long term recovery of the communities worst affected by the major volcanic eruptions of 2010.
Our school houses a vibrant and well loved library where we run a host of activities to promote literacy and a love of reading. We also run classes in English, dance and IT skills as well as activities that help our students to learn about nature and develop their creativity.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
To help improve our capacity for long term volunteers to help at our school, we are now looking for someone with a lot of experience and confidence in construction, who might be interested to help us renovate one of the derelict teacher's cottages at the rear of our school.
We are hoping to find someone with a passion for sustainable, low impact building, and the ideal candidate for this post would be someone who has practical hands-on experience and understanding of construction and sustainable building concepts, and who now feels confident enough to try and create their own design in-keeping with the conditions of our village, the needs of our school, and from the materials available.
As the other volunteers from our organisation are mainly focused on our teaching and educational activities, we are really looking for someone who would feel confident enough to lead a small team of volunteers and/or work individually. The working day and timing of the whole project would be entirely up to you, although ideally I hope you would be able to to commit to continue the project until the condition of the building is comfortable enough that it can be used by our volunteers.
WHAT WE CAN OFFER AND ADDITIONAL INFO
So unfortunately we can only offer a small room in our very cosy, but small and basic house, which is where our volunteer team regularly meet to take drinks and have our post school cook and eat together. Its about 5 minutes from the school on a lovely quiet road surrounded by trees and bamboo and chickens and it is very lovely, but more of a big tent than a house, with a very simple concrete squat toilet/bathroom.
This is why this renovation project is so important for us right now so that we can begin to offer much more comfortable, long-term accommodation for our team and any future volunteers, (and yourself should you wish to stay on longer/come back and visit!)
-Other info: There's no wifi, but pretty good signal from Telkomsel network and we can help you to find a card and set up mobile internet if you've never done it before.
-we do have a massive and wonderful garden.
-we have two cats.
-smoking outside is fine. For non-smokers be warned that we often have guests from the village around who will smoke inside the living room and we won't be able to stop them.
-We have a semi productive garden which any of our volunteers are welcome to tuck into, and we tend to cook up a big meal together in the evening.
-For breakfast and lunch, it's up to you what you would like to do. Basically we always try to keep the kitchen stocked up with noodles, rice, eggs, and whatever vegetables, fruit, tempeh and tofu we are able to buy from the mobile market guy, and you are welcome to just help yourself to what's there and all the kitchen equipment.
-Eating out: there's only two restaurants in walking distance who usually have food on for lunch but not at night. It is very simple local cuisine (and delicious and cheap!) but can suddenly not be open for any reason.
-We are less than an hour from the city but public transport is limited. Best option is to take a motorcycle taxi which usually costs 75-100,000 IDR (about $7-$10), or you can sometimes hitch a ride with friends or volunteers that are coming to and fro the school.
-30 day stay is free for most nationalities
-for those wishing to stay over a months, you must pay $30 to get a visa-on-arrival which can then be extended for $30 for another 30 days.
-for volunteers wishing to stay for longer than a month, we can help you with organising the needed forms and getting to immigration office for the visa extension.
ABOUT OUR LOCATION
We are based in the small village of Pangukrejo, about 45 minutes outside of the bustling and vibrant city of Yogyakarta. The village is high up on the slopes of Mount Merapi, at approximately 1000m above sea level. It is full of small cottages, thick bamboo forests and sweeping valleys and it is the perfect place for anyone who loves tranquillity, trekking and nature. It is also a good base for visiting Yogya and the beaches of the south coast.
WHAT TO EXPECT AND IMPORTANT INFO
So this project was started by my husband and I at the end of 2015, and we have been living on Merapi ever since this time. Since then, we now have a team of nearly six volunteers who come to our school at least once or twice a week and will often stay over/hangout in our house.
To give me and my husband time to do our part-time jobs, we only open the school from Monday-Thursday, from late morning to early evening. In the mornings I like to go for walks, garden at home, play music or write. In the evenings, our volunteers will often come to our house and we usually prepare a big vegetarian meal together and just hangout. During the weekends I either do admin work for the school, go to my part-time job nearby, or go on a big hike/trip somewhere.
We do live in a small house right in the heart of this fairly traditional community. All of our neighbours and friends here are incredible people and very supportive of our activities in the school, but as the community is extremely small (approximately just 2-300 people) I do hope our volunteers will always endeavour to be friendly, polite and conscientious while out and about. You will become a local celebrity very quickly which at times may feel a little tiring, but you will also be equally amazing at how concerned our community will be to ensure your comfort and welfare.
So as I mentioned, our village and school project are all based upon wishing to support a community who were directly affected by volcanic eruptions in 2010, and this volcano is still very much active but that does not always mean there is potential for an eruption. It is incredibly well monitored, but staying in this area is not without its risks. I would advise any persons strongly considering this post to organise an informal Skype chat or even meet-up in Yogyakarta if you are local, so that I can make you fully aware of these risks before you make a final decision.
If you decide a long-term stay with us might not be ideal for you, but are still interested in supporting our school, we also have a wide range of short-term or part-time volunteer opportunities where you can live off-site and spend just 1-2 days a week with us instead. We are extremely flexible so just contact us, or check out our website for more info!