Your Medical History
Your safety is the most important thing to us, therefore it’s important that you are in good physical and mental health before you depart for Indonesia. If, during your placement, your health deteriorates we will do our best to support you. However, we may feel it necessary, for your own safety, to remove you from placement.
Before your placement, we’ll ask you to fill in a form on your Participant Portal in which we will ask you to list any previous or ongoing medical issues we should know about. This information will be kept confidential and shared only with project managers and your designated coordinator in Indonesia.
If you have any long-term, pre-existing health conditions we will need a letter from your doctor clearing you to participate in the placement. We are an equal opportunities organisation, but due to in-country operational constraints there are limits on the amount of specialised support we can provide.
During the working week, outside of weekends, your homestay will provide you with breakfast and dinner. If you have any food allergies, please let your homestay family know, but unfortunately they can’t cater to specific dietary requirements. You will need to be responsible for monitoring your own diet.
The more prepared you are, the less pressure you feel. Get a good guidebook or read up on Indonesian and Balinese customs and local laws to avoid any cultural faux pas or unfortunate police encounters. The Rough Guide or the Lonely Planet guidebooks cost roughly £15 but a lot of information is also available via their websites: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/indonesia/ Sharing is caring; we encourage volunteers to leave their guidebooks behind so future volunteers can check them out too.
SLV.Global put the safety of volunteers as our highest priority. Our in country team constantly monitor the situation in Bali to ensure that our team remain safe and are working in appropriate areas. SLV.Global follows the advice from the Foreign Office to ensure the safety of our volunteers. Indonesia is a sprawling nation with complex tribal and religious differences. This is part of what provides the nation with such a rich culture but has also led to challenges in the past. Our staff team place safety as our number 1 priority from planning through to implementation and in our daily work. Volunteers are encouraged to check FCO Travel before they depart.
Indonesia, as with any other country, has its risks. Being a responsible and conscientious traveller will stand you in good stead and help you keep safe whilst in country. Always travel in groups and minimally pairs. When travelling after dark its always best not to walk and to get motorized transport instead.
At the weekends make sure you check any accommodation on Trip Advisor as they will have the most recent reviews. At times, the information in guidebooks about accommodation can be out of date. Please make sure you have all Project Managers’ phone numbers stored in your phone in case of emergency.
Upon entering Indonesia you’ll be greeted with a huge sign that says ‘possession of narcotics is punishable by death.’ So just don’t risk it. If you get in trouble for drugs you are on your own; there’s nothing we can do for you.
Alcohol on the other hand is widespread in Indonesia and Bali particularly. However, during the week you are not permitted to drink or to store any alcohol at your homestay. Tourists in local communities can often have a bad reputation due to the influence of alcohol and this is not something we want to be known for.
If anyone is taking drugs or drinking in their local area, they will be removed from the placement immediately, as that behaviour will damage our reputation in the community.
What you do at the weekend as far as drinking is your choice, but keep your wits about you. Please don’t get out of control; let your hair down, but be careful.
We ask you to only smoke in the designated areas of your homestay and at weekends. If people in the community, see you smoking they are unlikely to let their children attend our classes because of the negative association attached to cigarettes.
We hope you don’t feel unwell whilst on placement, but sometimes that happens and we’ll do all we can to make sure you’re well looked after. Tell your coordinator as soon as you feel unwell so we can get you the right treatment. If you are hospitalised, please call your family. We won’t do this unless you’re unconscious or unless it’s a major emergency.
Dehydration is the number one cause of illness and hospitalisation for volunteers on our placements and it is not fun. To avoid this happening to you, please drink lots of water, at least 4 litres a day and supplement your diet with hydration sachets. Rehydration sachets are cheap and widely available in Bali, they’re not tasty, but they do the job.
We may take you to a western hospital for treatment if it’s required, so make sure your travel insurance covers that.
At the beginning of your placement in Bali we have to inform the local authorities of your presence in the community. We will be submitting photocopies to the local authorities when you arrive, on your behalf.
Getting a new passport in Bali can be a long and difficult process so it is important to keep it safe.
Your Homestay Family
You’ll be given the address and phone number of your homestay upon arrival in the country, please store this information in a phone or somewhere safe for future reference. Although giving gifts at projects is inappropriate, bringing a gift to your homestay family is a really nice gesture. A popular choice is tins of biscuits or souvenirs with something representative of your country or hometown on them, like a mug or tea towel. They always go down well, especially if the family has children.
It’s important to remember that these individuals are hosting you in their family home. Please treat the homestay with respect and keep the common areas and bedrooms clean. We strongly recommend bringing a padlock to lock up your suitcase. As these are family homes be prepared to share wardrobes, dressers or use your suitcase as storage. We recommend not storing large sums of money in your room or taking valuables to Indonesia. SLV.Global cannot be held responsible for any lost or stolen possessions or money whilst on placement.
It is normal for your homestay to have pets, but they’re unlikely to be trained, so please don’t tease or feed the animals as they may become overexcited and cause accidental injury. Please be careful with your belongings and shut your doors to avoid your possessions being damaged by the animals in residence - no one wants chewed up sandals! SLV.Global does not take responsibility for items damaged in homestays.
Relationships: We wish to be seen as professionals in all aspects of our life in Indonesia. Please refrain from overt public displays of affection for one another.
This especially applies in your homestay and in your local area. If you find true love in Bali, well done! We’d never stand in your way, but your love and affection for each other needs to be kept on the downlow and to the weekend.
If you are travelling to Indonesia with your loved one, you won’t be able to stay in the same homestay for the aforementioned reasons. Physical displays of affection do not promote a professional atmosphere and can make daily life a little awkward for other participants. We expect that you can control yourselves whilst on placement. It makes it all the more romantic if you have to wait until Friday evening for that cuddle.
Dynamics: We understand that sometimes living with people might be a new experience and adjusting may take time. It is challenging to be living with 5-19 other people at a time and we are sensitive to this.
However, it is part of the placement and as adults we expect you to get along. You don’t like everyone, but you need to remain professional. However, if you feel like your emotional wellbeing is at risk or you feel unsafe, please let someone know. Bullying is totally unacceptable on our placements and anyone found to be victimizing another volunteer will be removed from the placement, but this has never happened, because our volunteers are lovely.
The majority of embassies in Indonesia are located in the capital in Jakarta. However, there are a number of consulate generals located in Bali.
If any situation arises whereby you may need consular support our in country team will assist you in locating your nearest embassy or consulate.
A full list of foreign embassies and consulates in Indonesia and Bali can be found here.