Volunteer Experience | Environmental & Wildlife

Malaysia: Construction & Cultural Exchange

Kuching, Malaysia


Location: Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia

Duration: Minimum 1 week

Start Dates: Project is on-going, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability. Placements start each Monday

Cost: €275 Euros per week – see Costs section for more details

Includes: all food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities

Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations


  • Get to know the amazing island of Borneo, its people, culture, food and environment
  • Flexible placement, tailored according to your interests and abilities.
  • Test your teamwork and creative skills by building long-houses using traditional construction methods and beautifying local schools!
Costs Explained


Malaysia is a beautiful country filled with contrasts – culturally and geographically diverse, with dynamic cities and peaceful beaches, authentic small villages and pristine rainforests. Essentially split between the mainland peninsula and the island of Borneo, Malaysia is incredibly ethnically and spiritually diverse with a combination of Malays, Chinese and Indians and indigenous groups practising many religions from Buddhism, Islam and Christianity to Hinduism and Taoism.

The projects takes place in Kuching – the capital city of Sarawak, one of two Malaysian states on Borneo and the gateway to its many natural wonders. It’s a charming and enticing city with old colonial architecture juxtaposed with modern towers. It offers a lot to see and do and provides easy access to the nearby attractions.

This project focuses on providing renovation and construction support to Kuching’s community centres – schools, playgrounds, public libraries etc. In addition to beautifying schools you will work on building traditional long-houses which are becoming more and more popular in Malaysia. The reason is that they are very cool to live in due to the insulating qualities of the clay but also because they are fun to build! You will get a chance to gain new skills and to put your team-work skills to the test.

The construction of authentic long-houses brings to new life the traditional practices of the community. The traditional construction methods which use original designs and materials, have been passed down by many generations. In addition to keeping the culture of the community alive, it is an ecological alternative which contributes to the environment as well as to a healthier lifestyle.

The project gives you an opportunity to make a difference in the life of the community and to help making their living conditions better while teaching you new skills.

Introductory Week

Your adventure can start with a optional week of culture and adventure, to prepare you for your placement!

Start this action-packed off well with a filling breakfast, after which you will receive and introduction to the week ahead. After lunch, we’ll take you on a walking tour around Kuching, exploring all the sights, sounds and colours that make this town come alive. The evening will be full of fun with a welcome party!

Today you’ll explore Kuching by bike, followed by a boat trip along the river before ending the day with an authentic Malay dinner.

What would a culture week be without learning the local lingo? Today you will be given a short lesson in Bahasa Malaysia, as well as learn about traditional culture and local customs, all of which will come in very handy once you start your volunteer projects.

Your cultural education continues as we visit a local village taking in the architecture and the food. After lunch we head to gorgeous Damal Beach to watch the sun set.

Malaysia and Borneo are world famous for it’s many natural wonders and endemic wildlife. Today we’ll visit the beautiful Semonggoh Wildlife Park and Fairy caves, before returning to the volunteer house in the evening for dinner.

On the last day of the culture week you’ll visit the local bazaar where you can find and try out the local produce brought in by farmers from the surrounding countryside. The rest of the day will be free to enjoy as you wish and reflect on the week’s experiences.

***The schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***

Book with Confidence

Daily Life

The project runs from Monday to Friday and you should expect to be involved in heavy work for around 4 to 5 hours each day. Each morning you will gather at the school where you will be divided into groups and briefed on currents tasks by the project co-ordinator and staff at the school.

Lunch is provided at nearby roadside restaurants. On the way back to your accommodations you have the option to stop off in the local town.

***The schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***

Fundraising Help

Travel and Accommodation

You will be staying in a standard semi-detached typical home located in a residential area called Kali Garden in Kuching. The lockable rooms are shared between 4 to 8 people on a single-gender basis and are furnished with fans and shared bathrooms. Wifi is available in public areas.

There are three meals provided during weekdays and two meal on the weekends. Malaysia is famous for it’s cuisine and you can expect a very diverse and flavourful combination of meals including noodles, fried rice, cereals, vegetables and fruit. Tea, coffee and purified water are available in the house.

There is a small park behind the house where you can jog and exercise along with the residents. There is also a Malay village and a fishing village nearby. Within a 2 kilometer radius of the house you can find a supermarket, a gym, swimming pool, salon, laundromat, cinema, money exchange, ATM, sim card shop and photocopy shops.

Premium Support Upgrade


  • Minimum age 18.
  • Passion and enthusiasm to get to know the country and lots of energy and creativity.
  • No previous skills are necessary, however, you will need to speak English at a conversational level.
  • Minimum 1 week
  • CRB Police check (or equivalent) showing that you have no previous criminal convictions
  • Necessary vaccinations.
  • Necessary flight & visas.
  • Full travel & medical insurance. Full assistance will be provided in getting everything you will need ready if you choose our Premium Support.


€275 EUR per week

* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 1 week deposit

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support and project activities.

Private rooms are available for an additional €100 per week.

What’s not included:

Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

Note: Map coordinates are approximate

Past Participants Say

Rumana Begum
United Kingdom
Nomad Rating
Project Impact
Extra Activities
  Week One So, I started my voluntary placement in Kuching in August this year. It was my first time flying solo and the furthest I had travelled. Malaysia was beautiful. It was very exotic and tropical and a world away from the cold grey busy roads of London. I was met by a representative at the airport who took me to the volunteer house...
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