If you are looking for a way to give back to the community and spend your time doing something for others but you aren’t quite sure what, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to think of what to do and how to do it. Volunteering is the usual thing that many people do to help give back to the community and many charities the world over enjoy success through the help of volunteers, but which charity is right for you? If you’re an animal lover, read on to learn about volunteering at Animal Sanctuaries.
What Kind Of Sanctuary?
First off, are you thinking of volunteering at home or abroad? This is the most important question to consider as it will vastly determine the kind of sanctuary and the types of animals you will likely be dealing with. Sanctuaries at home may include volunteering at your local SPCA or a sanctuary that specifies in helping wilder animals, such as otters, donkeys and the like, so have a look around at what is in your region.
If you’re volunteering abroad, the possibilities are endless. Sanctuaries are set up world wide to help with specific conservation efforts relating to local animals like elephants, cheetahs, rhinos and tigers. The more endangered or at risk a species, the more likely you will find a sanctuary for them in their native country. For example, elephant sanctuaries throughout Africa and South East Asia are prominent, so you will have no issue finding a sanctuary to volunteer at.
Beware the Fee Mongers
Yes, the fee mongers. There are many organisations out there these days that would have you believe that you need to pay thousands upon thousands for the privilege of volunteering for a week or two at sanctuaries abroad. While for some of them you do (sanctuaries for elephants and tigers usually have large fees because they’re so popular), by doing your own thorough research, it’s possible to find many organisations that are happy to have someone interested in helping even clean cages or feed animals for no cost to you. You might even get a couple meals or a free place to stay out of it. Some places may expect volunteers to pay for the cost of hosting the volunteer (ie: for a room and food) throughout the duration which is pretty standard stuff, but the minute you’re being asked for $4,000 to volunteer for one week, something might be amiss.
For volunteering options that won’t expect you to fork out thousands, check out WWOOFING, WorkAway or HelpX, three websites that put volunteers in touch with people needing help in any area (think helping build things, fixing up houses, teaching English and even helping with animals on a farm/sanctuary). While we can’t promise elephants, we can promise that you won’t have to pay exorbitant fees to volunteer either with other animals or in other capacities. Some hosts may require small fees to cover your food, but sometimes this is given freely in exchange for your volunteering, so it’s worth really looking around at your options.
So there you have a couple of useful bits of information for those looking to volunteer at animal sanctuaries. Across the world sanctuaries are becoming more and more prominent and widespread due to mankind’s growing need for conservation of these animals, so with a bit of work on your end, you will surely find something that you’re keen to do.