Volunteer Program – Gianpaolo’s trip to Bali
Our Volunteer Time Off program is part of the Community Engagement area of our 360 Wellbeing strategy. Our VTO program encourages our employees to share their passion in the broader community and are entitled to 20 days of paid volunteer leave per year to spend time at a non-profit organization or charity.
At the end of last year Gianpaolo, Affiliate Manager at Mr Green – Part of William Hill, spent a month volunteering at a turtle conservation center in Bali, Indonesia.
Read Gianpaolo’s blog post about his experience:
Last November, I travelled to Serangan island, Bali, Indonesia to help at the TCEC (Turtle Conservation Center and Education Center). For the last few decades, Serangan island has been the largest black market for sea turtle products. Massive trade and poaching has caused the sea turtle population to not only be destroyed around Bali, but has also caused a huge ecological impact on the regions in Indonesia.
TCEC was developed in 2006 and provides education, conservation, research, and fundraising to protect and give turtles a chance to survive. TCEC also provides a fantastic opportunity for tourists to adopt a baby turtle (for a small donation) and then release it into the sea.
Throughout the volunteer program, I was able to help TCEC with the following:
- Turtle rescue – inspecting areas where it was suspected to be locations of illegal turtle trading, with the help of local authorities.
- Monitoring health – monitored the health condition of the turtle hatches, the babies or the eggs which were being conserved.
- Feeding – preparing food and feeding the turtles.
- Maintenance – maintenance of the tanks by cleaning and keeping the premises secure and healthy for the turtles.
- Educating visitors – I was a conservation representative where I educated visitors about the life of sea turtles in Bali and TCEC’s conservation program.
Over the month, I learned a lot about turtle conservation and it was especially rewarding to not only rescue the turtles and take care of the baby turtles until they were big enough to be released into the sea, but it was also highly rewarding to share all my knowledge and passion to the enthusiastic visitors who were so open to learn about the conservation project.
In my spare time, with the help of a scooter (my best friend) and Google maps, I managed to ride around 3,000km to visit the most prominent of the 20,000 Balinese temples. I crossed mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, ate delicious local food, saw lots of sights, and fully immersed myself into the Balinese culture.
Since I was young, I realized that respecting and helping nature and wildlife was extremely fulfilling and doing volunteer work around the world has always on my bucket list, however, I haven’t had the time or support. But thanks to the VTO program, I can now remove it from my bucket list!