I have always known that during my time away, I plan to volunteer with animals. Upon researching what I wanted to do and where, I stumbled across this beauty: volunteering for 8 weeks in the Bornean jungle rehabilitating injured and orphaned orang-utans and releasing them back into the wild. Incredible. Awe-inspiring. Perfect.
Spending time in South-East Asia, working on a first-hand basis with animals; especially an endangered species, and jungle trekking are all high up on my bucket list. This project combines all three perfectly.
The Orang-Utan is one of the most endangered species on the planet. Found only in Borneo and Sumatra, the Orang-Utans’ survival is constantly threatened by forest fires, felling of trees, palm oil production, poaching and illegal hunting. They are losing their habitat and it’s mainly due to human ignorance.
I decided I wanted to do this. Then I freaked out a little, thought of all the things I was afraid of that this would entail and decided I didn’t want to. And then I remembered my new pact with myself and I took a deep breath, made a phone call and made a booking.
So, I find myself in the position whereby I am volunteering for eight weeks in summer 2016 at an orang-utan sanctuary in Borneo; one of only four orang-utan sanctuaries in the world, in order to personally help make a difference in their lives.
In brief, the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre, where I will be based, rescues abandoned, injured or orphaned Orang-Utans, as well as liberating animals from captivity. Once it has rescued an animal, it is nursed back to full fitness and health. Often the animals have to be taught how to fend for themselves and survive in the Wild. Once it’s been taught how to climb and forage for food, it is released back into the wild.
The Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre could not function without the help of volunteers. Without centres like this, the already endangered orang-utan may quickly become extinct. The support and manpower of volunteers is essential in working with local people, Malaysian authorities and universities, and international experts and charities to find a sustainable solution to the problem of orang-utan decline.
Now I need to raise the funds to get me there! It will cost £2,995 in total. 75% of which goes directly back into the conservation centre so I am trying to raise this £2,246 through sponsorship and fundraising events. Watch this space for cake sales, sponsored runs and walks and a few DJ nights as well!
I’m hoping to feel very at home with my fellow ginger cousins.
If you would like to sponsor me, you can do so by visiting the following site: http://www.gofundme.com/e45cu4