Blantyre SPCA is a non-profit organisation that rescues and rehomes dogs and cats and offers vaccinations and sterilisation 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 BSPCA Clinic and kennels in Blantyre as well as various different field clinics in rural areas. During April and May working alongside the Mission Rabies teams sterilising, treating dogs in need. 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.
The itinerary will vary depending on what day you arrive - but generally rest days are Thursdays & Fridays.
The weekends and bank holidays in Malawi are when the team will set up field clinics in and around Blanytre. These days are spent at local schools utilising empty class rooms for surgeries, operating conditions are extremely basic with no water or electricity. An average day on these weekend projects will be up at 7am - breakfast 7.30am and then be in the clinic for 8.30am. You will pack the trucks with all the necessary kit/instruments and supplies needed for the day and set up for surgery on arrival. Surgeries commence all day with a short lunch break and generally the last surgery is around 4pm. At the end of the day you return to the clinic, unpack, sterilise all the kit needed for the next day, organise medicines etc for the following day out in the field, where you will continue with the same routine.
During the week days you will be up at around 7.30am and in the clinic by 8.30am preparing for sterilisations and any other surgeries required - It is very helpful having these days based in the clinic as any required surgeries apart from sterilisations can better be performed there and animals can be hospitalised at the kennels of the BSPCA as long as necessary after their surgery.
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.
Please note that if we accommodate more than 4 volunteers, then additional volunteers will be staying at Doogles Back Packers at a cost of £12 a night.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Bug spray
- Ear plugs and eye mask
- 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.
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.
- www.fco.gov.uk - Website of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for travel advice generally and specifically by Country.
- www.lonelyplanet.com - For help travel advice
- www.nathnac.org - Useful information on immunisations required for travel
- www.mdtravelhealth.com - Helpful travel advice website, updated daily.
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.
|Sat 28th Oct 2017||Sat 11th Nov 2017|
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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: