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Volunteer with WVS and help provide veterinary care to animals in need in Malawi

BSPCA Blantyre, Malawi 2019

Blantyre SPCA is a non-profit organisation that rescues and rehomes dogs and cats and offers free vaccinations, sterilisation and other treatments to stray animals or those from low-income households. 

The Blantyre SPCA offers veterinary help to the local Blantyre community and also the rural communities in the surrounding area, giving help and advice to animal owners.  Some of their other activities include providing veterinary care to sick and injured animals, working with police to prevent illegal animal vending, animal welfare lobbying and education of the general public about animal care. 

The BSPCA is located near the centre of Blantyre but offers outreach clinics to rural areas when vets and veterinary nurses are available, this gives volunteer the chance to see the stunning countryside and meet the locals.  Volunteering with the BSPCA is not only rewarding from a veterinary perspective but you can see first-hand the results of the spay and neuter campaign with local families showing their appreciation of your work. 

Volunteers will be working at the well equipped clinic at the BSPCA Blantyre and possibly also at various different field clinics in rural areas.  Volunteers should be prepared to work in basic facilities as common locations for clinics include classrooms without electricity or running water.

For more of an insight into what is involved you can also read past blog entries written by our International Veterinary Manager, Dagmar Mayer. 

Malawi is not well known as a tourist area, but there are amazing opportunities to visit Lake Malawi and the National Park which you can arrange for your rest days.

  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Location
  • Requirements
  • Notes

Itinerary

Hardly any dogs from within the poor communities in Blantyre would have access to veterinary care without our help! Since WVS has equpped the clinic at the BSPCA we were able to help countless dogs who would otherwise not get help. During your stay you will be based at the clinic at the BSPCA and we will also organise outreach clinics at local primary schools if possible on weeeknds or during school holidays. 

At the clinic we are sterilising a lot of dogs but we also treat other injuries. A lot of dogs suffer from severe open wounds, broken legs, tumors and TVTs (transmissible veneral tumors, which are transmitted when affected dogs are mating). Your work can be very rewarding and you can make a real difference as most of the dogs you see would otherwise never see a vet in its lifetime! 

 

Accommodation

Accommodation is provided at a volunteer apartment within the grounds of the BSPCA. This consists of a 2 bedroom self catering apartment and can cater for up to 4 volunteers.  Both bedrooms have ensuite bathroom facilities and there is also a kitchen with an oven, washing machine and tumble dryer.  Please make sure you keep the apartment tidy.   No smoking within the apartment.

Evening meals can be purchased locally as there is a good selection of restaurants catering for all tastes and budgets. There are also a variety of shops available where you can purchase items to cook your own meals.

Food and drink costs are to be covered by the volunteers.

Country Malawi

The trip is located in Malawi, near the centre of Blantyre. Malawi is not well known as a tourist area, but there are amazing opportunities to visit Lake Malawi and the National Park which you can arrange for your rest days.

Requirements

Volunteers will be working at the BSPCA Clinic and kennels in Blantyre as well as various different field clinics in rural areas. Volunteers should therefore be prepared to work in basic facilities and be adaptable to the equipment / facilities available. Common locations for clinics include classrooms without electricity or running water and tented clinics out in the field.

Volunteer veterinarians should have a minimum of 5 years post qualification experience with strong surgical skills and vet nurses are required to have a minimum of 3 years experience - this is non negotiable.

You should also be confident in handling emergency surgical situations given the field conditions that you will be working in. 

Expected working hours will vary but will generally be from 8am – 6pm each day with some time off to relax in the evenings. There will also be opportunities to explore Blantyre and you can arrange excursions for your rest days. Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of two weeks volunteering and can sometimes stay for longer periods if they wish. 

Volunteers will participate in providing sterilisation, vets will assist with other surgeries as needed such as amputations, treating TVT's and general animal care to stray animals and animals from low-income households.

Important Notes

Included

  • Accommodation (up to 4 volunteers at a time)
  • Pick-ups and transfers
  • UK office support
  • 24/7 emergency support on the ground from Red24
  • Discount at Cotswold Outdoors
  • Discount on travel insurance from Go Walkabout

Not Included

  • Accommodation for more than 4 volunteers (additional housed at nearby hostel)
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Vaccinations

What to pack

Volunteers should take practical / comfortable clothes to work in e.g (scrubs). If you would like to purchase a WVS scrub top please contact the office or visit our online shop.

  • Practical / comfortable clothes to work in (eg. scrubs)
  • Wet weather gear and warm clothing for the evenings
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Ear plugs and eye mask
  • Headlamp
  • Toiletries
  • Prescriptions & over-the-counter medication (eg. Imodium, Paracetemol etc)

The project may be extremely short on certain supplies and would likely be very grateful for donations. Please get in touch with us to find out if there is anything in particular that would be helpful to bring with you. If you have any spare room in your bag on the outbound flight, it would be highly appreciated if you are able to bring some spare supplies to use during your trip. This is at your discretion and entirely optional.

Travel Insurance

It is essential that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance for this project which also covers you for veterinary work. We recommend Go Walkabout who offer tailor made travel insurance policies for WVS volunteers. Please note that fully paid members of WVS also receive a 10% discount on Go Walkabout policies.

Health & Vaccinations

This information should be used as a guide only. For up to date information on immunisations please consult your doctor. You will need to allow plenty of time before travelling for your immunisations to be effective. DO NOT LEAVE THIS UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. As you will be working with animals the Rabies and Tetanus vaccines are essential. We have provided links below to websites with useful information on immunisations and travel advice which we highly recommend that you visit.

Visas

​UK passport holders are required to obtain a visa before travelling. Please visit the Foreign Commonwealth Office website for further details: www.fco.gov.uk. All WVS volunteers are required to organise their own visas.

Trip dates

There are trip dates available throughout the year. Please speak to a member of the team on +44 (0)1725 557225.

Join us… Interested?

Benefits of volunteering with WVS

WVS is a registered UK charity with a dedicated team to support you before you travel and during your trip. There are many benefits to joining a WVS team and these include:

  • A Trip Pack giving you all the details you need before you travel
  • 24/7 emergency support from the WVS office and Red24
  • 10% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
  • Discounted travel insurance from Go Walkabout 
  • And, you will be making a massive difference to animals and local communities
  • Vet
  • Vet Nurse
Details 14 days
Spaces available
Cost £50 admin fee
+ Flights from UK to Blantyre (£700 approx) + For teams over 4, additional volunteers will be housed for £12 p/night + £250 fundraising contribution
Details Minimum 14 days
Spaces available
Cost £50 (WVS admin fee)
+ Flights from UK to Blantyre (£700 approx) + For teams over 4, additional volunteers will be housed for £12 p/night + £250 fundraising contribution
Country Malawi
Animals

Questions? Call us now:

+44 (0)1725 557225