Individual grants for Volunteering is a grant we provide for young people aged 11-25 who want to participate in a volunteering project! The grant can be used for a project in the UK or abroad and helps assist a young person taking part in the project with a one-off grant of up to £400 per person. We see so many examples of great ways this grant is used to empower young people and communities on a variety of initiatives, and we wanted to share how Ellie used her grant to volunteer for North Bali Reef Conservation and to contribute to the North Bali community positively.
Ellie, spent three weeks volunteering for the North Bali Reef Conservation, where she built artificial structures to combat the destruction of the reefs near and around Tianyar- a small fishing village in northern Bali.
Throughout those three weeks, Ellie learnt a wide variety of skills, including how to create artificial reef structures from concrete with the help of the local fisherman, working in a team to carry out the reef equipment to the boats and go out to sea to push the artificial reef off onto the seabed. She also had the opportunity to dive underwater and see the progression of artificial reefs created by previous program volunteers. From this, she could see the difference in the growth and the amount of fish surrounding the reef.
Volunteering aside, Ellie formed a deeper connection with the island, the community and the volunteers involved in the programme. On the weekends, Ellie explored the islands of Indonesia and spent time playing games, such as volleyball and cards, with the locals and volunteers.
Overall this has been a positive and transformative experience for Ellie and the organisation she was working with. The replenishment of the reefs brought back marine life and a better ecosystem. The money paid for the programme was also used for an education programme at the local school and for fishermen in the North Bali community.
It was undoubtedly an insightful experience for Ellie. In her words, “I really learnt the value of the individual. Although our work was team-based, if one player didn’t play the part, things didn’t go as planned. For instance, when we were carrying structured from the concrete site to the beachfront, the structures were hung by their legs and attached to a bamboo rod. We held these on our shoulders and had to squat to pick them up and carry them about 50m. If one person was slower or didn’t put in the same effort, the task would become impossible. It really taught me to pull my own weight and understand the importance of putting in all your effort, even if you’re in a team.”
Want to volunteer to create a positive experience for everyone? Take a look at our Individual grants for Volunteering page to find out more info on how to apply for the grant!