Want to Become a Volunteer?

We have so many questions about "How to become a volunteer at Roslin Orphanage".

This page hopefully answers some of the questions what it is like to be a volunteer at Roslin Orphanage.

Please contact us as early as possible before coming. We need to clarify certain things first. 

Thank you

 


Welcome to the Roslin Orphanage!

Thank you for your interest and willingness to help.

The orphanage was founded in 2000 at a rented house and the building was completed and officially opened in 2002. It is run by Budi and Peggy Soehardi.  It is a labor of love, and is continually evolving and expanding to the point that it is now much more than just an orphanage.  From the beginning, their plan has been to break the cycle of poverty in the region through proper education.    With this in mind, the Soehardis have been working towards the goal of transforming the orphanage grounds into a place of learning and outreach, enabling the children the opportunity for a better future.  

The orphanage currently houses nearly 70 children (more children are waiting to join as soon as space is ready for them), and is continually expanding.  It was just a year ago that a proper dormitory for the boys was built, and just recently a dorm for the girls was also completed.  In addition to the dorms, there are other support buildings to be built within the next year as the plans for the orphanage continue to unfold.  There is much to be thankful for!

As you might imagine, the Soehardis are extremely busy with running the orphanage and planning/building for the future.  In addition to this, Budi also has a full-time job as an international commercial airline pilot, taking him to Los Angeles and New York every few weeks (for the last 9 years).  Because of their schedules and the strict daily operating schedule of the orphanage, it is requested that short-term volunteers try to plan their visits to come during the last two weeks of February, May, July, October, or December.  This will allow greater efficiency for volunteers as they come together with a common goal, and also be less disruptive to the daily work and activities of the orphanage.  

Please be aware that while Budi and Peggy will do their best to be at the orphanage during your visit, there is the possibility that they might be away due to unforeseen circumstances.  With that said, it is imperative that you have a plan/schedule for your time in Kupang.  Please be realistic in your goals and time spent for volunteering, and be aware that there may be several hours that you will be on your own without direction.  The staff at the orphanage will be happy to assist you, but most are quite limited in their English speaking.  This is why if there are other volunteers around, you can help each other to accomplish your goals for the children.  If you properly plan your volunteer time, the experience will be much more fulfilling for all involved.

There are many resources available to you as a volunteer.  There is a library, and there are workbooks for drawing, coloring, learning English, etc.  The children love to make crafts, to sing and dance, and to practice their English skills.  There is multimedia equipment to support their learning, as well as an electronic keyboard and several guitars.   There is also a photocopy shop near the orphanage.  You are welcome to bring any teaching aid or instrument you’d like.  

Although taxi service is available it is not the most economical method of transportation.  The Soehardis can arrange for a car and driver to take you around for $5/hour or $35 for the day (maybe more if the car being rent from outside and on your own).  In Kupang there are beautiful beaches as well as delicious food, day spas, markets, shopping, and mountainside tours.  We will be happy to provide you with a list of places to check out while you’re in Kupang.  

With so many children residing at the orphanage, Roslin is run on a strict schedule, with everyone having specific tasks to perform each day at a set time.  You are welcome to join in any of the day-to-day tasks that are performed.  Doing so may allow for one of the workers to tend to other needs of the orphanage that they wouldn’t be able to accomplish on a typical day. With that said, what follows is a schedule of how a typical day runs:

Daily Weekday Schedule

4:00am The staff at the orphanage are up early to begin breakfast preparations for the orphanage.  Breakfast typically consists of rice, egg, and vegetables.   Breakfast is cooked at the home stay (Hotel Christati) and is delivered to the orphanage by 5:30am.
    
The older children of the orphanage awake to perform their assigned duties until 5:30am.  This could include washing clothing, mopping floors, sweeping, cleaning bathrooms, and helping to gather and dress the younger children for the day.
 
5:30am The younger children wake up, and breakfast is served.
6:20am Some of the children leave for school
7-10:00am The remaining children have learning time at the orphanage
10:00am Primary 1 returns from school, and Primary grade 2 leave for school   
1:30pm All of the remaining children return from school, change clothes, and have lunch.
2-4pm Children do their homework.  The older children help to look after the younger children
4pm Bath time, chore time, laundry time
5pm Children sit down to have milk, and then primary school children have English lessons.
7pm Dinner for the children
7:30-8:30pm Free time
8:30pm Brush teeth
9:00pm Bedtime

Bringing Food to the Village

On a typical week, Peggy will go out twice into the villages to bring meals to the poor.   Approximately 500 – 600 meals are brought on each trip, and the meals consist of rice, egg, fish, and vegetables.  Preparations begin well in advance of the meals being delivered.  What follows is typical day of preparation.

2:00am-4:30am Shopping at the night market to buy the fresh vegetables
5:00am-7:30am Time for sleep
8:00am-12:00pm Food preparation – large quantities of vegetables need to be cleaned and cut for cooking.  This is done manually.
1:30pm-2:00pm Arrive at the village, and spend approximately 2-3 hours there.  Time is spent interacting with the villagers and donating food and clothing.   First-aid is also provided.  The villagers are taught proper sanitation methods.
5:00pm Arrive back at the orphanage, and rest for a few hours

Travel Notes

There are several airlines within Indonesia that fly to Kupang.  For those traveling internationally, it is best to first fly to either Jakarta , Surabaya or Bali, and then take one of the Indonesian airlines to Kupang.  The airlines that fly to Kupang are:  Garuda Indonesia, Merpati Airlines, Lion Airlines (twice a day) , Sriwijaya  ( twice a day) and Batavia Airlines ( twice a day) .  Most carriers have online booking on their websites.  Generally speaking, the further in advance that you purchase your ticket, the better the price will be.  Ticket prices usually run about USD $60-$100 for one way from Jakarta.  During the holiday season (Christmas, Easter, Muslim Fasting Month), the cost can fluctuate to as much as USD $ 200-$400 for one way.  
For the inter island flights there is TransNusa airlines based in Kupang.

Non-Indonesian visitors are required to get a Visitor Visa upon entry into Indonesia.  For a maximum stay of 30 days, the cost is USD $25.  For a maximum stay of 10 days, the cost is USD $15.  You will be required to purchase this visa upon landing at the airport and before clearing customs and immigration.  Please refer to the Indonesian immigration website for further information.

The orphanage is located just 10 minutes from the airport.  Staff from the orphanage will be able to pick you up and drop you off at the airport if this is communicated ahead of time.  If you require a car for personal use, a car and driver can be arranged at a cost of USD $5/per hour or USD $35 for one day (subject to change if the car is hired from elsewhere, and also depending the type of car required)

Bahasa Indonesia is the primary language in Kupang.  Budi and Peggy also speak English, Dutch, and Korean.  While children and staff at Roslin are always eager to learn English, there is still limited communication in this language.

Visitors are encouraged to check with their health-care providers for information on immunizations for when traveling abroad.  Typically most visitors will at least be required to take anti-malarial medication for time spent in West Timor. Bottled water is always provided to visitors, and pharmacies are located nearby the orphanage.  Please be responsible about your health while traveling abroad, and see your doctor for more information on immunizations for travel to West Timor.

Some Ideas for Helping Out

  • Feeding the newborns. During the night, the babies require to be fed every three hours.  
  • Teaching English. This could be through reading books, singing songs, helping with English activity books, or any other creative idea that you might have
  • Teaching Math    
  • Teaching Art
  • Teaching Songs
  • Teaching Music (there is a keyboard, recorder, and guitars available to teach on)
  • Teaching Dance
  • Help to clean the rooms
  • Help to wash the laundry
  • Help to feed the animals
  • Help with ongoing construction and maintenance
  • Helping out at the farm
  • Giving haircuts to the boys
  • Meal preparation
  • Gardening
  • Interior/Exterior Painting

Some Gift Ideas for the Orphanage

Please check with Peggy before distributing any gifts for the children.

Please know that you are NOT required or expected to bring gifts of any kind.  However if you wish to bring gifts or donations, here is a list of helpful items to donate:

  • Vitamins
  • Stationary for school
  • Baby clothing (for warm climate)
  • Baby shoes
  • Diapers (medium size)

In many cases, it is most efficient to purchase items while in Kupang (the city is about 11 km away), and then donate them to the orphanage.  Items such as fresh milk and eggs are always in need, and any donation of these items would be greatly appreciated.

Accomodations

There are a few options for where to stay when visiting Roslin Orphanage.

If you would like to volunteer for an extended period of time in exchange for free room and board, this can be arranged.  Although each case is reviewed individually, generally eight hours of work are required per day  (weekends excluded), and you will be given one of four rooms within the orphanage compound.  You will be provided with the same meals as the rest of the orphanage (typically rice, egg/fish, and vegetables).  Please note that these rooms do not have air conditioning.
If you would like to visit the orphanage for a few days and volunteer on your own schedule, there is a home-stay hotel that is part of Roslin Orphanage.  Budi and Peggy started this hotel as a way to earn income for the orphanage and also teach skills to the older children about hospitality and other skills.  The Hotel Christati offers private rooms, air conditioning, satellite television, in-room hot showers, and a main gathering area for meals or meetings.   It is located approximately half a kilometer from the orphanage, and free transportation to/from Roslin can be arranged.

The rates for the Hotel Christati are as follows:

1 night single occupancy (includes air conditioning and breakfast) 250 000 rupiah
1 night double occupancy (includes air conditioning and breakfast) 350 000 rupiah

If you prefer to stay on the beach at a cottage, this can be arranged.  The Palm Beach hotel is approximately 30 minutes from the orphanage, and is usually available for around $55 US dollars per night.  Transportation to and from the orphanage can be arranged for a minimal cost.    

For tourists and ex-pats, there is also an Internet bar and hostel located on the beach called Lavalon.  For more info, please see www.lavalontouristinfo.com

HOW TO APPLY

If you are interested in volunteering at Roslin Orphanage, please contact Capt. Budi Soehardi at budisoehardi@yahoo.com

Please give a brief introduction about yourself, and the date(s) that you would like to come.  Briefly explain how you think you could contribute to Roslin Orphanage as a volunteer.  Are there any special skills or talents that you would like to share with the children?  Is there something specific that you have in mind to do?  If coming with a group, how many volunteers are expected?

Additionally, please include contact info for yourself.  The scheduling process may take some time, so please try to contact us at least 2 months before your tentative visit.

Volunteers at the orphanage are asked to sign and abide by the volunteer guidelines included below, and to also sign a separate form which is a Disclosure of Risk: Agreement of Waiver, Release, and Hold Harmless

If staying for an extended period of time to volunteer (whether staying locally or in exchange for room and board), we ask that you fill out further paperwork that includes additional guidelines and agreements.  Please contact Captain Budi for more information.

VOLUNTEER GUIDELINES AND AGREEMENT

Thank you for your support of Roslin Orphanage.  We hope that your experience here will be mutually beneficial and rewarding for everyone involved.  

Since the focus of Roslin Orphanage is the welfare and protection of our children, we ask that you follow a few guidelines during your stay.  Be aware that at any time, your volunteering assignment may be terminated if you fail to comply with the volunteer guidelines set herein.

Our goal is to create a safe and loving environment for the children of Roslin that promotes their learning and spirit of togetherness.  Be aware that your presence at Roslin will have an impact on the children, Roslin itself, and the community at large.

Volunteers shall not take or allow children to go into their guestroom, or leave the orphanage alone with a child or a group of children under any circumstance.   Please conduct yourself as a positive role model to the impressionable children around you.

Please note that Roslin Orphanage is not responsible for illness or injury incurred while volunteering, and is not able to give medical advice.  Roslin Orphanage is not responsible for loss or damage of personal property.  

We thank you for your time and effort spent in helping to enrich the lives of the children at Roslin Orphanage.  We hope that it will be a fantastic experience for all involved.  Indeed, as our motto states, ‘Togetherness is our Strength’.

I have READ and AGREE to the guidelines set forth in the volunteer agreement and am aware that failure to adhere to it is a valid reason to terminate my volunteer assignment.


Print your name (as on passport):__________________________________________________________

Sign________________________________________________________________________date_______________

Arrival date________________________________Departure date_________________________________


Witness Signature________________________________________________________date_______________

Witness name (printed)_____________________________________________________________________

Witness address______________________________________________________________________________