Meet Wiwik Astutik, BOS Foundation’s incredible Volunteer Facilitator. Her passion and love for orangutans are truly inspiring, and it all started almost 30 years ago with a ravaging forest fire. 

Since when have you been working for BOS, and how did you get into your first role?
I started my first job in 1999, entering medical test data into the system. I waited three years for a chance to work at the BOS Foundation while staying at my brother’s house near the area where BOS released the first orangutans. When I moved to my brother’s place after finishing high school, there was a big forest fire, and many animals died. I saw an orangutan mum with her crying baby dying outside the forest, so I rushed to help. After this experience, I wanted to learn more about orangutans and work with them. That’s when I came across the BOS Foundation.

But entering data was just the beginning of your long career at BOS…
Yes, shortly after, I became a babysitter, caring for the orangutans in Forest School and on the playground. During that time, I assisted a scientist from Cambridge University who did research at the centre, as I was the only babysitter who spoke English. Before she left Samboja Lestari, she asked me what I would like to learn if I could attend university. At the time, I cared for an orangutan who was happy in a tiny cage but so stressed when outside. So, I said: “I want to learn more about my orangutans to understand them better. I want to study psychology.” So she paid for me to go to university.

Wiwik looks after our BOS Australia volunteers for six months each year.

What happened when you returned after four years?
I first became the Forest School Coordinator and, a few years later, the Animal Care Coordinator. Then, BOS started the Volunteer Program, and my boss asked me if I wanted to work for it. I immediately said yes because I love new experiences.

As the Volunteer Facilitator, what do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy making enrichment, collecting leaves, and building, for example, platforms and climbing structures for orangutans and sun bears. With the help of the volunteers, we can achieve so much more in a shorter time.

Always smiling – Wiwik’s enthusiasm and love for her job is infectious.

What are your most memorable moments working for BOS?
The releases. Seeing an orangutan you cared for being released into their real home makes me so happy, even though it’s sometimes hard to say goodbye.

How do you imagine the future?
I imagine fewer orangutans in cages. All orangutans who can be released will return to the wild, and those who can’t will live on sanctuary islands.

How Can You Help

There are lots of ways you can support orangutans and help ensure the survival of this precious ape.

Adopt an Orangutan

Adopt an Orangutan

Orangutans are endangered and at risk of extinction. Habitat destruction results in hundreds of orphaned orangutans, who rely on our care every year. You can help by adopting one. Their dedicated ‘nannies’ teach them everything they need to know for when it’s time to release them back to the wild. You can follow their progress through Forest School.

Adopt Now
Make a Donation

Make a Donation

Please help the Orangutans in their struggle for survival. Your donation is important and goes directly to BOS Indonesia. By donating, you are helping bring this noble yet endangered species back from the brink of extinction and on a path to freedom - from rescue to rehabilitation and release.

Donate Now
Visit Our Shop

Visit Our Shop

The perfect gift for any occasion! Choose from our selection of instant gifts that directly support our orangutans. You can buy a wheelbarrow, provide food for an orangutan for two months or lots more. You will receive a certificate, personalised with the name of your choice - perfect gift for you or a friend.

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