When you become a volunteer at Volunteer Programs Bali you are not only becoming part of our VP Bali Family, you will also become part of a local Balinese family. Now you probably think, how is that even possible?
Our mission at Volunteer Programs Bali is to support local communities and help them reach their fullest potential. At our school we do this through our English classes for the kids, providing learning and job opportunities for our staff and helpers and free transportation for children who live far.
But we also support other local families, being our local homestay. When we started our program we searched for a family in Ubud who has the facilities and space to host volunteers, but did not have the possibility and opportunity to make a business themselves. By accommodating the volunteers at their house, we can support them financially and they get the opportunity to work with foreigners and take on extra jobs like tours and transport.
Volunteering with Volunteer Programs Bali means that while you are building bright futures for Bali’s youth, you are also immersing yourself into the true daily life and traditions of the Balinese people.
It is with this in mind that all of our volunteers live in “homestay” accommodation. What is that actually, a local homestay? Well, a homestay is a bed & breakfast style space that is located in the compound of a Balinese family. So you literary stay in their home. This means that you stay in a small building or bungalow separate from the main house, but you stay in their home compound.
It is a truly unique experience to stay so close to a Balinese family. You will see and experience the daily activities and join ceremonies. Each room has 2 single beds (a double bed is available for couples), with a private bathroom attached.
Most of our volunteers will live together in one central homestay, with extra homestays as well for times when we have more volunteers. It is located in buzzing central Ubud, close to the market and Ubud Palace in a very cozy street full of small restaurants. Despite the location, the homestay is located far enough back from the street to provide the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of a genuine Balinese compound. You won’t even notice that you are in the center of a busy tourist town!
Each member of the family in our homestay is considered part of the VP Bali Family, with four generations of their loved ones sharing their home and traditions alongside our volunteers. We pride ourselves on the close relationships we have with local families, as we provide opportunities to help grow their businesses as we grow as an organization. This family will also coordinate with other homestays to accommodate extra volunteers, encouraging even more widespread support for small businesses within our community.
So how does that feel, living with a Balinese family? All our volunteers can agree on the fact that it truly is a once in a lifetime experience. From the moment you check in to start your placement, you get to be part of their daily life and traditions. Even though this does mean to wake up very early (the Balinese usually wake up around 5 am). Watching Ibu (mother) doing the offerings and cooking the meals, helping Wayan with cleaning up the garden, the kids are getting ready for school. All these daily routines are so special to witness and to be a part of. If you are lucky and there is a ceremony going on you get to be part of that as well!
The nice thing of Balinese families is that there is always someone at home. So no matter what time you come home, there is always someone to welcome you and to ask you how your day was. Every volunteer is considered as part of the family and memories are made every day. The natural and Balinese hospitality of the family will make you feel you never want to leave!
Want to know more? Click here to read about our volunteer testimonials.