Volunteer in Malaysia

Let us help you get started to volunteer  in Malaysia. Learn about and assist conservation projects
in this amazing country

Ultimate guide to Volunteer in Malaysia

“Why should l volunteer in Malaysia?”, you ask? Well, Malaysia is home to over 62 different ethnic groups. This makes it a blend of multicultural communities. Consequently there are various traditions, religions, cultures and of course, cuisines. Malaysians are also very passionate about their food and will fight for it. (see: crispy rendang controversy. But most of all, Malaysians love to show you their world through food and their generous hospitality.

High biodiversity

Malaysia is also a nature lover’s paradise and is the 12th most biodiverse country in the world.  Consequently the virgin rainforests in Peninsular Malaysia (Taman Negara, Royal Belum etc) are thought to be one of the oldest in the world. Malaysia also has plenty of beaches and islands to explore. It is rich in biodiversity with orangutans, Malayan Tigers, elephants (Asian and Bornean), gibbons, hornbills, whale sharks, leopard sharks, green turtles and more. 

Malaysia’s diverse culture makes it a wonder for history buffs. It is a paradise for conservationists, researchers, adventurers, wanderers and tourists. Volunteering in Malaysia provides you with the opportunity to explore this beautiful landscape.  

Now the question is, why shouldn’t you volunteer in Malaysia! 

Volunteer & Travel responsibly

It is important that each of us travel and volunteer responsibly to preserve and protect our environment as we explore it. While travel provides us with the means to explore and admire all that Mother Nature has to offer, it can also cause the destruction of all its beauty. That is why, we urge that all travellers be mindful of the way that they travel and be a responsible traveller. 

If you want any tips on how to volunteer with animals click the link.

 

Read on for volunteering tips and volunteer projects in Malaysia.

Perhentian turtle conservation volunteer project

Great! Where should I volunteer?

Glad you asked! There are a lot of different organizations and causes that you can support depending on your interests.

Virtual Volunteering with Malaysian NGOs

You might be thinking, “I can’t go anywhere right now”.  “We are on lockdown due to the Coronavirus!”.  “I can’t take leave from my work or school”.  “I can’t afford to travel”, or “I don’t feel like physically being around people”. Whatever it is that hinders you from physically volunteering. Well, now you can,  you can volunteer virtually!

“Do I need to have a VR set?” No, silly! All you need is your time, laptop and an internet connection. Virtual volunteering means that you get to channel your help to an organization even from the comforts of your own home. This is even more relevant and crucial now as the Covid-19 pandemic hinders us from moving around freely. 

Types of virtual volunteering

There are many types of work that you can do. You can help with online fundraising, be an online ambassador and help with data entry.  Maybe you can even help web design or social media promotion. Other roles include copywriting, blogging, editing materials, email marketing.  See, there are many ways you can help from home. 

We, at Fuze Ecoteer, offer virtual volunteering. We welcome volunteers with many interests including marketing, content writing, web design, video editing, photography and graphic design. If you fancy yourself as a salesman you can help be an eco product distributor. Send us an email at adventure@fuze-ecoteer.com if you are interested to be part of our FE family.

volunteer Projects in Malaysia

PEEP short eco-programme for family

volunteer with your family in Malaysia

Travelling with your family is both a challenging and rewarding experience. As you would have to plan all the logistics involved and find something that everybody will enjoy. However, once that is all planned out, it is one of the most rewarding experiences to have as a family.  As you will get to work on a cause close to your hearts and make an impact together. What is a better souvenir than shared experience and beautiful memories together?

How do I choose the right volunteer project for my family?

When travelling with your family, be sure to travel responsibly. Choose organizations or programmes that are ethical. This can mean that the organizations are not exploiting wildlife such as promoting interactions with tigers or elephant rides. They are not exploiting children such as orphanage volunteering. The organisation are keen to involve and work with their local community.

Moreover, there will be so many different things that you and your family will be exposed to. For example, you would be in a different setting with different climate and timezone. Most likely a different culture and traditions and different food. Sometimes, things such as toilets can be different! It is best to do your research beforehand to have a better understanding of the place you would visit. Then you need to discuss it with your family before you book anything.

Family volunteering as a team

Next, you should not be the only one committed to this trip! Make sure all family members are in this together with you. As family volunteering is different from normal holidays where you sit and relax leisurely. Your teamwork is of the utmost importance when volunteering as a family. Remember that each and every family member has something to offer in their own way. Family volunteering is a great time to learn together and build confidence as a family.

More often than not, when booking a volunteering programme, most things are covered in the programme fee. However, this is different for each programme. Make sure you know what is covered in your programme fee. Plan for the things that are not. Operators are usually happy to help you when they can. However, if there are questions that they can’t answer, look for reviews or ask to contact their previous volunteers.

Where can I volunteer with my family in Malaysia?

The Perhentian Eco-Education Project (PEEP) is the most suitable Fuze Ecoteer project for family volunteering. We understand that families want to do activities together whilst learning and having fun. All your meals, accommodation and transportation will be settled. However, if you want private accommodation we can up grade for you. Allergies will be noted and taken care of. 

We know that different family members have different input to bring to the table. So, we make it a point to discuss and listen to everybody’s suggestions. Furthermore, working with children usually brings out the best in people. Their zest for life and curiosity sparks a distant wonder in adults and other children.

At our PEEP programme, you will get to plan lessons and teach the Eco Club members. Similarly, you will learn from them,  they will teach you about Coral Watch and Kayak Patrols. Furthermore, experience the art of making ‘Kuih’ (traditional Malay dessert) and taste authentic Malay cooking. When you visit a local house and enjoy a Malay Dinner. Now is the time to see who is adventurous and who is not in trying new dishes!

Check out PEEP programme here: https://www.fuze-ecoteer.com/astra-portfolio/perhentian-eco-education-volunteer-project/

Traveling in Malaysia

What are the Dos and Donts when in Malaysia?

Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures and tradition. Consequently, there are different rules that apply depending on where you are. It is also a predominantly Muslim community. As a result, there are some general rules of thumb when visiting Malaysia:

 

1. Be sure to dress appropriately.

This is an important rule to remember especially when visiting sacred places. Be sure to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. The weather in Malaysia is also usually warm and sunny. As a result, wearing clothing that covers your skin would be good to avoid sunburn. Wearing clothing that is made with breathable materials like cotton is a good choice as well.

 

2. Point with your thumb

When interacting with people. Always remember it is more polite to point at someone with your thumb rather than your index finger. When walking in front of people there are a few things to remember. Above all it is important to bend down a little as a sign of respect.

 

3. Try a variety of food

Do try the variety of food that Malaysia has to offer. From Malay cuisine (that differs according to states) to Chinese, Indian, Nyonya/Peranakan cooking, Iban delicacies and more. Try our King of Fruits, the mighty Durian or our Queen of Fruits, the grand Mangosteen. Whether you like it or not, it sure is an experience to try. If you are big on desserts, we have an array of ‘kuih’ (traditional desserts) for you to try.  Certainly give our Ais Batu Campur (ABC) (which is shaved ice with evaporated milk, rose syrup and other additions such as red bean, cendol, cincau and more) a try! Food alone is worth an adventure in Malaysia!

 

4. Try to speak some Malay language

It is always pleasing to locals when you speak the same language that they do. Although most Malaysians can speak English, it would be a great experience for you to pick up some Malay. It is a fairly easy language to learn. Learn some basic phrases to make it easier for you to communicate when travelling here.

 

First of all, do your research about the different cultures in Malaysia to understand more. Not only will it aid you during your travels, but it is also exciting and beautiful to learn.

Travel essentials in Malaysia

Sustainable tourism and volunteering

I want to support sustainable tourism. How do I travel and volunteer responsibly

Whether you volunteer in Malaysia or another country it is important you are a responsible traveller. What we mean by responsible traveller is that you think about the impacts of your actions whilst travelling. How you impact the community and places you visit. Does your travel benefit or detriment the environment.

You might think, that is a lot to think about for one single trip. You are right! However, it is not difficult, undoable nor impractical and most importantly, it is not impossible. The positives of doing it outweighs the negative. Well, you will find all that you need here so the negatives of travelling are taken care of.

What should I know?

Look after yourself

First and foremost, you have to know how to take care of yourself when travelling. Use all the tips, notes and advice that you receive before you travel. Things such as, keep your money in a safe place. Wear a hat when it’s hot outside. Let someone know where you are when travelling alone. Looking after yourself is your first step to being a responsible traveller.

Will I benefit the project?

Being a responsible volunteer, means that you think of how your time and money will be spent. What are you and the project getting out of it? Will your presence benefit their work or cause harm? How will you interact with the community? Are the children vulnerable? What is the impact of your travels to the environment? Focus on reducing your carbon footprint? How do you reduce your consumption and usage of plastic?

How and Where do you spend your money

Other than your interactions with the project and how you carry yourself.  It is also important to think about where and how you spend your money. Is the project worth investing on? The project is sustainable? Sustainable means that it supports a worthy cause. Does it employ and/or empower the local community. Does it care about the impact of their project.

Ask the project before you go

Are the answers to these questions in the affirmative. Yes, then you should really consider choosing that project! If it is a mixture of yes and no, it is not a reason to reject them completely. Consider if the yes’s outweigh the no’s. Then think about how you can minimize the negative impacts when you are there. Also consider if  they are taking steps to do the same (but are just not completely there yet).

Do keep in mind that you are volunteering to help make a change and the project is also working on a worthy cause. The interactions between the organization and the volunteers is important. Volunteers bring in more ideas, feedback and give more manpower. 

Read about the benefits of sustainable tourism here: https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/benefits-of-sustainable-tourism

Watch the video below about why you shouldn’t feed fish.

Support our causes and buy some merchandise

You can support the Fuze Ecoteer projects and supported organisations by buying their merchandise.  A minimum of 60% of your fee goes directly towards the conservation cause linked to that product.  The other percentage is for production costs.

Turtle Adoption

You can adopt one of our turtles in the Perhentian islands.  Through our turtle photo ID database we have identified over 260 turtles that have been seen around the Perhentian Islands.  Support our important conservation and adopt today.

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