The ‘season of good will’ is almost upon us, and if you would like to do something extra special and rewarding this Christmas, why not pack your bags and head off somewhere exotic on a volunteering vacation.
There are thousands of charities and organizations across the world that are desperate for an extra pair of hands, and while there is a demand for qualified professionals, you do not have to be a Vet, Doctor or Teacher to make a difference to the life of a person or animal.
If, like me, you love all creatures great and small, you might find the perfect volunteering holiday with WVS – The Worldwide Veterinary Service. Supporting animal welfare charities across the globe with volunteer teams, veterinary drugs, equipment and advice, this UK registered charity works hard to improve animal welfare and benefit the local communities.
There are several ‘non-vet’ volunteer positions currently available on their website, and as many offer food and board, they only thing you have to pay for is your flight. My favourites include:
- Volunteer placements at a bear sanctuary in Cambodia for 1-8 weeks
- Helping out at an animal shelter on the island of Sao Vicente, Cape Verde for a minimum of 15 days
- Volunteer for busy wildlife centre in Malawi to get involved with their wild animal rescue, rehabilitation and release program
- 30-day placement on the Caribbean Island of Grenada to work on a conservation project saving the critically endangered Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles.
We, unfortunately, cannot get away this Christmas, but are very much looking forward to helping our favourite charity, African Tails, when we visit South Africa in March. An organisation completely committed to curbing the over-population and suffering of abused and neglected township dogs, African Tails are always looking for foster homes, so if you live in the Western Cape region of South Africa – get in touch!
If you cannot get away during the festive season, but would like to help out, why not visit one of your local charities at home. They will certainly appreciate anything you can give, be it time, expertise, or simply warm blankets and food, and an hour of your time could make all the difference to someone less fortunate this Christmas.