Teaching & community project in Malaysia

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Departure information

This project can be tailor made throughout the year
Vacation type

Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Teaching & community project in Malaysia


We have partnered with Reef Check Malaysia to install a biomate composting machine in the village and we are running weekly recycling competitions at the school. Both programmes will help to reduce the waste created in the islands, reducing the issue of waste before it enters the sea. The compost we sell to the resorts is used to generate an income which we will use to employ villagers in the composting scheme, creating an environmental alternative income.

On a weekly basis we will be organising a village clean up involving interested villagers and tourists, cleaning the village will have several benefits not just environmentally but it will increase the health of the village and also make it more attractive to visiting tourists.

Increasing the children's environmental awareness is paramount as they will become the future resort employees, snorkel guides and boatmen. Each week we host a Environmental, English and Eco Snorkel clubs for the school children going to the primary school in the Perhentian Islands. The volunteers are given a thorough briefing regarding Malay culture and are encouraged to take part in extra cultural experiences like learning to speak Arabic or learning the basics to the Malaysian martial art silat.

The volunteer house holds a maximum of 8 volunteers at any one time and all visiting are given a thorough briefing regarding cultural sensitivities. At the volunteer house we have started recycling and some of the villagers are starting to take note. Once a week we run a village clean up where we encourage the villagers and tourists to join in. We provide free drinks for all.


The aim of the project is to increase the quality of life of the villagers and to instill a sense of stewardship towards the islands environment in the villagers. The project is developing various opportunities for the villagers to gain an extra income for example Malay Dinners, selling of compost and plants to resorts, improved restaurant menus and a cleaner village to attract more tourists to visit the village. In July 2012 we are inviting a successful community based group who come from a similar cultural background to share their story and what they do. The purpose of the visit is to encourage a similar community group amongst the villagers of Perhentian.

Our volunteers benefit the villagers not only through paid services (volunteers eat at village owned restaurants, eat once a week in a families home and use local snorkel guides) but enables the village children to improve their English and allows volunteers to culturally immerse themselves facilitating respect. We also have funds to redecorate 5 houses in the village, we will support only the most needy of families.

We work closely with the villagehead and one project he wants us to conduct is to restore the beach so beach sports such as volleyball and football can be played once again by the youth in the early evenings.

1 Reviews of Teaching & community project in Malaysia

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 03 Jul 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The friendliness of the children and other volunteers, club activities with the students, snorkelling and the traditional Malay dinner.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take light weight clothes (including swimming costumes) that cover knees and shoulders. Be aware that it will be very hot and there is no air conditioning.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The students seemed to enjoy the club activities but only time will tell whether attitudes to the environment change. It was good to see English club move on from just teaching nouns - conversation in sentences will be of more benefit. Education is already a higher priority in Malaysia than Australia when one considers that every child gets a laptop at around 10 years of age on the Perhentian Islands but not until around 15 years of age in Australia (only since 2009).

Having houses painted would give people a psychological lift. The veggie garden is a good idea but it is yet to be seen whether the plants survive.

I doubt the impact of one week counters the environmental damage of the air travel but maybe it was not so bad since I was visiting Singapore any way.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A great experience but one week was enough for a 60 year old like myself.

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