The tradition of volunteering in Indonesia is often reflected in the spirit of Gotong Royong (Working Together). This is deeply embedded in Indonesian society and culture. It is manifested by building a house for the most vulnerable; building a mosque in the most remote areas; helping a family in need; jointly preparing for the planting season; or providing support in times of natural disasters. It is also manifested by communities sharing and participating in cultural ceremonies, such as birth celebrations, weddings and funerals.
At the policy level, the Indonesian Government places volunteerism under the responsibility of the Ministry of Manpower. In addition, there is a Sub-Directorate on Development of Volunteer Work within the Directorate of Systems Development for Work Opportunities in the Ministry of Labor. The Government has established volunteer centres in various parts of the country for nationals who want to volunteer their skills and knowledge. In these centres they receive training and information on volunteerism.
Since 1978, UNV has been an active partner in Indonesia’s development. Close to 400 UNV volunteers have served in the country, and their role and contribution to development is well appreciated. UNV has contributed to improving and providing better access to health care, shelter, resources and livelihood development; improving operational processes and coordination mechanisms of host institutions; and developing community and women’s empowerment.
UNV is currently integrating Volunteerism for Development (V4D) in various UNDP programmes/projects, as well as in several UN joint programmes/projects. There are currently 12 international and 42 national UNV volunteers working in the country.
Through the deployment of International UNV volunteers, UNV is also supporting various organizations and UN agencies (UNHCR, UN OCHA, UNDP, WFP) for positions that range from a National UNV Human Rights officer to an International UNV Reporting Officer and an International UNV Head of Sub-offices.