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OFI Communications Intern

Hiring Organization:
Orangutan Foundation International

Date Posted:

Position Description:
The Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) Volunteer Program offers individuals a rare opportunity to travel abroad and witness the impact and realities of wildlife and habitat protection, by working at OFI’s Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine in Pasir Panjang, Kalimantan. The OFI Communications Intern is an unpaid, volunteer based position designed to increase OFI’s impact and to offer participants a unique insider experience.

Orangutan Foundation International protects 6,000 wild orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park, in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Volunteers will work at the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine, which rehabilitates 340 young orangutans and prepares them for return to the wild.

About the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCC&Q):

The OCC&Q is situated in the village of Pasir Panjang, a fifteen minute drive from the small city of Pangkalan Bun. This city has an airport and is situated in the south of the province of Kalimantan Tengah, Borneo, Indonesia. Living conditions may be considered basic. Most of the locals speak rudimentary or no English. Languages are Indonesian and local Dayak dialect.

The OCC&Q houses 340 orphaned orangutans, most of who are being prepared for release. The majority of individuals are under ten years old. The Centre consists of a central clinic and units housing the older individuals, while the outlying juvenile units and the medical quarantine facility are set in the surrounding 80 hectare forest.

Most of the orangutans are very well-habituated to humans. They arrive in the OCC&Q by confiscation from homes, black markets, entertainment industry, and abusive zoos.

Life at the OCC&Q:

The staff working hours at the OCCQ are 7:00 to 16:00, with a lunch break at around noon. Volunteers are encouraged to keep these hours as well. If desired, the volunteer may take one day off a week. Living arrangements are typically with a local family homestay. Food and laundry services are provided by the homestay. The fare is simple but healthy (usually rice and vegetables or tofu).

OFI Communications Intern Job Description:

The OFI Communications Intern is a position well-suited to energetic and innovative individuals. The Communications Intern is an integral part of the OFI Team, acting as OFI’s eyes and ears in the field and helping to extend limited resources to maximum effect.

The Communication Intern’s dual background in both communication and conservation allows him or her to be at home amidst the confusion of the Orangutan Care Centre while translating the action to a public presentation for the global OFI community. This requires correct interpretation of events and engaging, appropriate presentation through various forms of communication media.
Communication Interns gain experience and insight, and contribute fresh thinking, into a critically important aspect of conservation – involvement of the international public.

OFI has a long and established history as a research, conservation and education organization. It is vitally important that this work continues to be brought to the attention of the public, and the friends and donors involved with OFI.
OFI interns fulfill tasks set out in a Work Plan defined by OFI. The intern is based in the Orangutan Care Centre and works closely with OFI’s North American staff and volunteer team.

Work Plan:

• Connect OFI donors who have adopted orangutans to their adoptees by getting to know the orangutans in the care centre, observing the behavior and personalities, communicating with the stuff for unique stories and quirks, photographing the orangutans; subsequently, compiling the information and presenting it in attractive format for the bi-annual updates.
• Co-supervise the on-the-spot orphan orangutan adoptions which visitors to the Care Centre can sign up for. This involves regularly sending new donor information to the OFI head office in Los Angeles.
• Participate in production of monthly eNewsletter and bi-annual printed PongoQuest newsletter. Specifically: write articles and collect other written and visual material, edit the newsletter, help with formatting, etc.
• Contribute material to OFI’s main website by writing diverse articles on events and news, as well as day-to-day points of interest, about work in the Care Centre. Articles are meant to be multi-faceted and diverse so as to appeal to the wide range or visitors to the website.
• Keep OFI’s other communication channels (Facebook page, MySpace, daily blog, Ning volunteer site) updated and current with material suitable to the channel’s audience (e.g. new arrivals to the centre, Photo of the Week).
• Photograph significant events, orangutans, OFI staff, jungle flora and fauna, and other subjects as needed by the OFI team. At the end of the internship, submit non-personal photography for OFI’s educational and marketing use and reference.
• Develop innovative ways to facilitate connections via creative journaling, YouTube video, and other means.
• Create blog entries, visuals, and other updates to help build the rich content that encourages OFI donors to adopt orangutans and to renew their adoptions
• Be the link between the OFI team in North America and the other OFI interns on the ground in Kalimantan. Be prepared to communicate regularly with OFI North America and its associates and partners in regards to various fundraising and outreach projects.
• Understand and promote OFI policies.
• Provide updates and feedback through weekly progress reports and a final end-of-internship report within one month of returning.
• Complete other tasks for OFI as needed.

The tasks outlined above are only the standard responsibility of the communications intern. Every tenure will also involve one or more special projects which will address the communication, outreach and fundraising needs of OFI on and off the field at the time.

Program Costs and Requirements:

Volunteer positions are unpaid. The volunteer is responsible for flights, internal transportation, visas and health insurance. Successful applicants will receive an assignment of four to six months. OFI will organize a homestay with a host family. Room and board ranges from $200-$250 USD a month. The complete cost of a four-month volunteer experience originating from North America is approximately $3,400 USD.

The following documents are required from all volunteers prior to departure:

Proof of vaccinations of: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tetanus (Vaccination book scans/photocopies, or a health certificate from a doctor)
Negative tests results from the following diseases:
Proof of travel medical insurance (including emergency evacuation)
Signed work contract
Signed confidentiality agreement


Admission to the volunteer program is competitive. To apply, please follow these steps:

All applicants must be members in good standing of OFI. To join OFI, please visit: The fee is $35 for a student or senior membership.

Fill out the Long-term volunteer application form at:

Submit the following documents to
-Proof of OFI membership
-Cover letter
-Two references

You will receive a return reply from one of our volunteer coordinators. Please note that all of our volunteer coordinators are themselves volunteers, so please be patient if there is an occasional communications delay.

Successful OFI Interns tend to share certain skills and characteristics:

-Experience traveling, working or volunteering in developing, tropical nations
-Cultural sensitivity, understanding, and adaptability
-High degree of flexibility, open-mindedness, creativity and optimism
-Strong interest in orangutans and other endangered wildlife
-Dedication to working in field conditions
-Ability and commitment to fundraise for the trip

Job-Specific Requirements:

• Excellent writing skills
• Strong interest in orangutans and other endangered wildlife
• Familiarity and comfort with various web applications
• Ability to keep timely and professional correspondence with remote work partners
• Dedication to working in field conditions
• Experience in working with teams of people of very diverse backgrounds and personalities
• Some experience with photography and video filming, and ability to bring own camera with video capabilities to the field.
• Sincere interest in the history and culture of Southeast Asia
• Ideally some communication ability in Bahasa Indonesia with the willingness to learn daily throughout the volunteer tenure
• Background in environmental sciences

Term of Appointment:
6 months

Application Deadline:
Rolling. We are looking to fill this position ASAP!

See application instructions in the job description above.

Contact Information:
Ruth Linsky
824 South Wellesley Avenue
Los Angeles, MA 90049


E-mail Address:

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