Indonesia is an archipelago consisting of more than 17,500 islands. It is a complex and diverse developing country in terms of geographic, ethnic, social and cultural conditions.
Two hundred and thirty-eight million people live in Indonesia, it's the fourth largest democracy in the world, with the world's largest Muslim population; it has a fast-growing economy and is a country with the potential for significant regional and global influence. However, Indonesia also has significant pockets of people living in poverty, with half of the population considered ‘near poor’, and more than 19 million living below the national poverty line.
The three characteristics of poverty in Indonesia are:
- High vulnerability – many households are clustered around the national income poverty line of about US$1.55 a day, making many of the 'non-poor' vulnerable to poverty
- Non-income related poverty – many people who may not be 'income poor' still lack access to basic services and have poor human development outcomes. Access to safe water is low, and access to sanitation is a crucial problem
- Huge regional differences – there are big differences between the different islands and regions due to the vast size and varying conditions in the Indonesian archipelago.
VSO has operated in Indonesia since 1968, with a development programme working through long-term, expert international volunteers in health, education, secure livelihoods and disability. Over that time, VSO has brought more than 1,000 professionals to Indonesia to work as volunteers and has provided more than 3 million hours of capacity-building through those volunteers.
VSO recognises that volunteering is not a new or western concept. In Indonesia, mutual support and communal effort have always been an integral part of the culture and are reflected in long-existing traditional values and systems. The contributions of Indonesians participating in volunteering activities are critical to the continued development of the country.
VSO’s vision in Indonesia is a peaceful and just society, where an inclusive culture of volunteering for sustainable development is valued and supported by citizens and their governments. To achieve this, VSO Indonesia aims to work in partnership with government, civil society, media and private sector organisations to promote and support a culture of volunteering for sustainable development.
Recognising that the context of development in Indonesia has changed significantly over the last decade, VSO is now refocusing its programme to:
promote and support Indonesian people to engage in their own development, through volunteering in Indonesia and overseas from Indonesia.
share knowledge of volunteering best practice, brokering partnerships and providing a range of consultancy services and international volunteer accompaniment to government, non-government and corporate sectors.
contribute to the development of government policy and experiential learning of best practices that encourage volunteering, corporate responsibility and international cooperation.
VSO’s programme in Indonesia aims to bring together the talent that exists in Indonesia to fight poverty and disadvantage through volunteering.
Find out more on the VSO Indonesia website.
Get in touch with VSO Indonesia at:
PO Box 3212, Denpasar 80002, Bali, Indonesia
Find out about volunteering
By volunteering abroad with VSO you get to put your skills, energy and personal qualities to work helping people break out of poverty. Interested in volunteering abroad?