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Sun Bear Conservation Volunteering Project, Malaysia
Sun Bear Conservation Volunteering Project, Malaysia

Borneo, Malaysia

Sun Bear Conservation Volunteering Project, Malaysia

Trip Highlights

  • Volunteer for Sun-Bear Conservation Center in Malaysia
  • Learn more about the animals, their lives and how to conserve their natural habitat
  • Volunteers contribute in construction and renovation work, animal care, habitat conservation efforts and welfare 
  • Volunteers work for some of the smallest bears in the world 
  • Volunteers work on weekdays, weekends are free to explore around the country with fellow volunteers

Overview

Overview

Volunteering Solutions offers an amazing Short-Term Volunteering opportunity in Malaysia, where you'll get to spend 2 weeks at a Sun Bear Conservation Centre.

The Sun Bear Conservation Center is based approximately 19 km from Sandakan town. The center currently has 2 bear houses that are housing 28 bears as well as 1.14 hectares of natural forest enclosure where the bears can roam free during the day (and night). As a volunteer for this program, you will need to get down and dirty taking care of the smallest bears in the world, working to clean their dens and creating environmental and food enrichment. In addition to enriching the sun bears living condition, you will learn about sun bears in the stages of rehabilitation and the process of releasing them back into the wild.

Working alongside local people will enable you to experience and understand our Malaysian culture. You will also have time off to explore the beautiful surroundings of Sepilok and nearby towns and wildlife sanctuaries.

Perfect for students and backpackers, this project will give you first-hand international work experience and let you gain an insight about how these animals are conserved and taken care of. It'll be an incredible opportunity for you to understand and compare the situation of captive/rehab sun bears and those with threatened habitats as well as raise awareness on responsible living and traveling among tourists, local community, and students.


Program Requirements

Program Requirements

Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program. Every volunteer is required to show proof of vaccination of Covid 19,  Hepatitis A & B and doctor’s letter stating that the volunteer is free from Tuberculosis (results have to be dated less than 1 year from project date) prior to joining the program. There will be a Skype interview, and only after selection, your application will be confirmed. In case you are not selected to be a part of the concerned program, a full refund will be provided.


Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities

Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities


As a volunteer at the Conservation Centre, you'll have to carry out the following tasks:

Animal Husbandry - This involves cleaning the cages and feeding the bears. You will rotate working with different sun bears depending on the needs of the bears. You may not work with sun bears on a daily basis. Some daily maintenance work such as general maintenance (eg: painting) may be included.

Enrichment - The idea of enrichment is to stimulate the animals and improve their living conditions as much as possible, in order to provide them with something closer to their natural habitat. Volunteers will be involved in designing & preparing the enrichment procedures. The effectiveness of the enrichment items on animal's behavior will then be observed.

Construction - As a volunteer, you may be asked to design and work on small construction projects to improve the night dens/enclosures of selected animals. This may include assisting in building new exhibits and extensions to improve the conservation center facilities or improving existing exhibits by adding furniture/painting.

Education - There is an education centre and library at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Volunteers may be asked to talk to school children and visitors at the centre about sun bears, and how to conserve them. You may also be asked to prepare displays and update the blogs or do data entry of the Bear Behaviour Record & the Weekly Record.

Note: Not all activities will be included on your itinerary. Changes to the activities will occur subject to weather conditions, school calendar, community and project requirements.


Schedule

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival at Sandakan Airport and transfer to accommodation. Meet all your fellow volunteers during the Welcome dinner. A short Briefing Session will be held on this day.

Day 2 - Transfer to Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Orientation Session, details about the place, safety tour of the center.

Day 3 to Day 13 - Project work at the Center. Work hours: From 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (with a lunch break in between).
You’ll be free on the weekends, to explore by yourself!

Day 14 - Check out and transfer to Sandakan Airport.


Living

Living

Airport Transfers

The nearest airport to the project is Sandakan Airport (SDK), which is a domestic airport. Hence, you'll have to book your flights to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA/KLIA2) or Kota Kinabalu International Airport, and then take another flight to Sandakan Airport.

Accurate flight details (flight number, airline, departure city, time of departure and arrival) are crucial to ensure pick up at the correct time. 

Make sure that your flight arrives before 4:00 PM on the arrival date, and on the departure date, book a flight that departs after 11:00 AM from Sandakan Airport.

Accommodation

You'll be provided with dorm-style accommodation, where you need to share a room with 2 others, mostly based on the same-gender basis. There are shared warm water showers and toilets. A communal kitchen and basic cooking facilities are available. The washing machine is also available.

Note: Single Room subject to availability - please let us know beforehand, in case you want a private room for yourself.

Meals

Meal allowances will be provided to all the volunteers working for this project.

Orientation

There will be a detailed Program Orientation, that’ll enable you to know more about the conservation center and what kind of work is carried out there. You’ll also be guided and instructed on the ways in which you need to act and how you can provide your best services while being a part of this project. Our coordinators will be available 24/7, to offer any sort of assistance that you may require.

During your Free Time

During your free time, you can head out and explore Borneo’s wilderness and spend some time hiking through the jungles. Over the weekends, you can plan a trek to Kota Kinabalu and feel the eeriness of the rainforests.


Dates

Dates

2024

2025

January

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February

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October

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November

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December

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August

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September

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October

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November

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December

Past Date

Available

Unavailable

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Costs

Costs

2 Weeks £1085

Please Note: -An application fee of £179 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment.

What are you Paying for?

  • Pre Departure Information and Support
  • All facilities and equipment for work at the zoo
  • Conservation contribution to the project
  • 4 work T-shirts
  • All activities, tools & materials included in “Project Days"
  • Induction & orientation at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • 13 nights at designated shared accommodation
  • Meet & greet at Sandakan Airport (SDK), Malaysia
  • Arrival transfer from Sandakan Airport to project accommodation
  • Transfer from dormitory to project site accommodation
  • Departure transfer to Sandakan Airport in Sabah, Malaysia
  • Welcome dinner on arrival day in Sepilok
  • Meal allowance for all Project Days as indicated on itinerary / self-catering with basic cooking facilities provided
  • Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)

What's NOT included?

  • International Airfare
  • Visa Fees
  • Vaccinations
  • Medical & Travel Insurance
  • Any single supplement accommodation charges
  • Meals and accommodation when travelling independently or on off Days
  • Personal expenses

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