Learn More about Overseas Volunteer Work

Posted by Tracy Leske on November 25th, 2015

People around the world are becoming more knowledgeable about the plight of animals in the wild, and many of them are looking for opportunities to make a meaningful contribution to conservation efforts.A good way to get involved is to volunteer at the local shelter, or for the broader minded,volunteering overseas is an option and can provide a range of unique experiences for each individual. The kind of work volunteers can be involved in varies from the care and rehabilitation of animals to conservation efforts directed at protecting endangered and vulnerable species. Some organisations utilise their volunteers for the grunt work – sweeping paths, cutting up fruit and cleaning enclosures, while some require a more hands on approach where volunteers need to handle the animals for activities such as exercising the animals and bottle feeding. Despite the work, each volunteer contributes equally as these organisations would not be able to run without their help.

Overseas volunteer work offers a unique opportunity to travel to new locations and work with organisations that are directly involved in rehabilitation and conservation programs. When you are working at a shelter or wildlife hospital, volunteers are expected to be fully dedicated to the task they are assigned, and there are always an extra set of eyes watching you from an enclosure or pasture somewhere to make sure you are doing a superb job. It’s not all-work-and-no-play either. Volunteers get the opportunity to take part in various activities or visit nearby places of interest. For instance, volunteers based by the coastline get opportunities to visit the beach, go surfing, diving or enjoy various water sports.

Here are just a few advantages of volunteering overseas on a wildlife project:

Emotional Satisfaction

Working with animals offers a kind of satisfaction that no other work can. When you spend time with animals that has been injured or displaced, you are given a glimpse into the lives of these vulnerable creatures. To see an animal who has just been brought into a shelter to the time when they are released back into the wild, words cannot describe the feeling of pure joy.

Unique Exposure

Volunteering overseas takes you to some of the most unique places in the world, places you won’t find in a travel book. You get the opportunity to work alongside local volunteers in a country that is often different from your own and learn about these amazing people who dedicate their lives to helping animals. Volunteering with animals gives you a chance to learn about the plight of animals and how society needs to change on a global scale in order to share the earth fairly with all living creatures.


When you volunteer overseas, you may find yourself completely out of your comfort zone and seeking another volunteer to share your thoughts with. The experience will be totally new and in the process you will learn patience, acceptance and understanding of others. Working along side like-minded volunteers as well as people who have spent their lives caring for animals enables you to feel a sense of belonging and team spirit as you forge bonds as a result of your experiences.

Discover Your Hidden Strength

Many people volunteer with animals because they are conscious of giving back something to society, however it is more often the case, that the volunteer takes more than they give. Volunteering often helps individuals re-evaluate the priorities in their lives and enables them to examine and establish a future path that is in line with empathy, understanding and global responsibility. Lives are changed from the impact that working with animals in care brings, and sometimes, these experiences can drive an individual to make changes to their lives that last forever. In that sense, volunteer work may not be matched with anything else that person does. The impact left on the volunteer will shape that volunteer and in many cases, the people around them as well.

About the Author:

This article is written by Tracy Leske. She is the Director of Oceans2earth.org. It is a website of a non-political, non-religious organisation that provides opportunities for individuals to interact with people of diverse cultures. They offer amazing volunteering and adventure travel experiences for ethically minded animal and conservation lovers looking for the trip of a lifetime.

Tracy Leske

About the Author

Tracy Leske
Joined: July 13th, 2015
Articles Posted: 16

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