Dog and Cat Shelter Assistant

Agency
·
founded in 2014
Kira
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Coordinator | Kira
Coordinator | Kira
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Enjoy the walks with the animals close to the beautiful arusha national park
Be yourself and grow beyond yourself!
Have a wonderful time and help the staff to provide for the animals
Immerse yourself in African culture by getting in touch with lots of locals.
Make new experiences and enjoy your African dream.
Support the team at the shelter with the handling and care of the strays. Take the dog on walks next to a beautiful national park. Provide medical care and training. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

We are STEP Africa – Exchange for Change, a Tanzanian social enterprise that was founded in German-Tanzanian cooperation in 2014. We organize and supervise meaningful and ethical volunteer placements and internships in Arusha, Northern Tanzania. Till date we have hosted over 500 interns and volunteers from all over the world.

With our programs we aim to contribute towards international understanding and give our participants intercultural and global ability to act. With the support of our participants we are committed to worthy projects and initiatives in Tanzania. We believe that working together in intercultural teams by exchanging ideas and viewpoints will let everyone involved, Organizations such as volunteers and interns, benefit in the long run.

Our team combines relevant qualifications and many years of experience in project coordination, volunteer mediation and social work in Tanzania and abroad. Our supervisors are available as contact persons on site at any time for our volunteers and projects. We offer our volunteers the opportunity to use their knowledge in Tanzania to get involved in meaningful projects and to gain valuable professional experience in different fields such as Social Work, Women’s Rights, Primary Schools, Daycare Center, Health Care, Animal Welfare and Environmental Protection.

We firmly believe in the power of change through intercultural exchange. With our programs we promote and demand equal rights and cultural tolerance. We place our volunteers exclusively in projects in which they can gain valuable experience for their future. Our volunteers do not replace local employees. Volunteers are assistants who offer support to local staff and, for example, perform tasks for which there is otherwise too little time. It is important to us that we only place our volunteers in projects that share our values towards international volunteering.

Our Volunteers are encouraged to start fundraisers for their respective institutions in Tanzania before, during or after their stay in Arusha. We have experienced great success with this in the past and present and saw our volunteers making great impacts in this area as well. We are connected to several European NGOs founded by our former volunteers that are continuing to support and promote their former work institutions here in Tanzania.

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Project description 

Mbwa wa Africa ("African dog") is a small animal shelter on the edge of the Arusha National Park, which was founded in 2012 by two Germans. The shelter takes in injured and abused street dogs, treats them and then places them in responsible hands. In the first year, more than 100 dogs were brought off the streets and placed in a species-appropriate home. Often also cats are taken into the shelter until they have found a good home.

The shelter is the only one of its kind in Arusha. With an estimated street dog population of over 100,000 dogs in Arusha alone, it is understandable that the shelter is constantly overcrowded. For this reason, Mbwa wa Africa plans to build a larger animal shelter in the future, which can offer more dogs a safe haven. A suitable piece of land was already purchased and in the first phase the construction of a veterinary clinic is planned. Mbwa wa Africa is also carrying out systematic castration and vaccination campaigns to put an end to the government's current practice of regularly shooting street dogs to control the population. The biggest challenge of the shelter is to find a new and above all appropriate and safe new home for the dogs. For most people in Tanzania, dogs have less the status of a family member than that of a protective dog. As a result, they are often kept on chains or locked up during the day so that they become particularly aggressive at night. For this reason, the team is always happy when their dogs find families or future owners all around their world that are willing to adopt a street dog from Tanzania.

STEP Africa offers you the opportunity to volunteer for animal protection in Tanzania. This project is also particularly suitable for volunteers who come from the veterinary field or are aiming for a corresponding education / degree. All volunteers are always welcome in the shelter!

Many of the dogs are traumatized and require special attention and care. Orphaned puppies are sometimes also taken in and need to be fed and cared for regularly. All dogs are walked twice a day, and helping hands are always needed here too. The care of sick and injured dogs, as well as the teaching of basic commands are among the tasks of volunteers.

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Further important Information: 

Fundraising
The animal shelter is a charity organization and does not receive additional public funds but solely relies on local and international sponsors and supporters. Running a shelter and mobile clinic is far from cheap as many staff have to be paid, as well as food and high medical bills. Raising funds in addition to your volunteer work is of course not a must but we highly encourage our volunteers to start a little fundraiser before, during or after their stay in Arusha. We have experienced great success with this in the past and present and saw our volunteers making great impacts. Besides of this it is very rewarding to see with your own eyes how far even a little amount of money can go. Several of our former volunteers even started NGOs and associations in their home countries and are continuing to support and promote their former work institutions here in Tanzania. 

The shelter mainly needs good bandages (self-adhesive bandages, etc.), pantanths and penthanol cream, disinfectant sprays and diapers to be able to take good care of their injured dogs. Toys, leashes, collars and treats are not absolutely necessary, but are still welcome. Donations of money are in good hands at the shelter and are urgently needed for operations, medication, the purchase of wheelchairs for paralyzed dogs, food, etc.


Preparation
Preparing for a volunteering assignment abroad isn't always a simple task as there is a lot to keep in mind. Our team will be there for you along the way. We have our own STEP Africa preparation area. Once you apply and we confirm your application you will get online access to this area where you find a detailed 90 pages preparation handbook as well as many further updates & information and the contacts of other volunteers travelling at the same time as you. In case of any questions you will always be able to reach us via E-Mail or Phone / WhatsApp. 

On the Ground Support and Emergency Availability
The whole STEP Africa Team is on the ground in Tanzania. We are like an extended family and you will always be able to talk to us in case of any problems, questions or if you simply want to have a chat. We are there for you! Of course we are available 24/7 in case of any emergency.

Vaccinations/ Medical Care in Tanzania
We recommend that you consult your trusted travel doctor for individual advice on travel vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. There aren't any mandatory vaccinations for entering Tanzania and the risk of contracting malaria is considered very low in Arusha due to the altitude. If you plan a trip to the island of Zanzibar, you will need to get a yellow fever shot as it is mandatory there. 

Arusha has some good private medical facilities, so in case you fall ill you will be in safe hands. 

In order to work at Mbwa wa Africa Animal Rescue you need to have an up to date Rabies Vaccination.

Booking of Flights and Insurances
Booking your flights and respective travel insurance is not included in our fees and will be your own responsibility. This however is an advantage for you, as you will be able to scan for the best and most affordable offers from your home country or country of residence. Of course we are always happy to help and offer advice in case you are unsure what is the best solution for you. 

Visa
In order to volunteer in Tanzania you will need a Visa for Humanitarian and Charity Activities which costs $100 for US-citizens and $50 for citizens of all other countries. This visa is valid for 3 months. Those planning to stay for up to 6 months will need a visa extension which costs $300 ($250 for non US-citizens respectively)

COVID-19

Tanzania received the "Safe Travels Stamp" from the World Travel and Tourism Council. There are no entry restrictions or quarantine when entering the country though some airlines require PCR and / or rapid tests before check-in. Both tests are available in Arusha as well. Tanzania has chosen a slightly different approach during the pandemic and decided to remain mostly open in order to allow economic activities to continue. Approaches such as lockdowns seem to be right for many western countries but in a developing country like Tanzania where there isn't any functioning social security system such measures can do more harm than good. Of course also in tanzania hygiene measures were raised and regular hand washing, sanitizing and checking of body temperature are conducted. You may choose to wear a mask in daily life. All our projects are open and grateful to receive volunteers, especially during these challenging times. 

Typical day

A normal day at the shelter starts at 9 o’clock. One way takes about one hour so you should leave your hostel at round about 7.30 o’clock to use the public transport and a motorbike taxi to arrive the shelter. The transport will cost you about $5 per day.  

At the shelter you have many different tasks, every day is different. Usually you start your day with taking the dogs for a walk, they try to walk every dog twice a day, which is not always possible because of the amount of dogs they have. After you take care of the injured dogs, give medicine and nurse them or train the dogs and their behavior to socialize them so they’re have a better opportunity to get adopted, doing physio for example in the pool with disabled dogs, washing the dogs and puppies, feed the puppies, help to vaccinate, build new beds/games for the dogs or repair the wheelchairs. Your working hours are variable. You are always welcome. 

There are also helping hands needed for the systematic castration and vaccination campaigns.

Free-time activities

The project is based in Arusha, Tanzania. There are several free time activities volunteers can engage in. We organize Safaris, mountain climbs and shorter tours like hiking, horse riding, visit to a nearby massai village, trip to the hotsprings and waterfalls, coffee tours, etc. to the nearer surroundings at affordable rates. We always make sure, that all guides and staffs are being paid fair wages. At the same time there are lots of things you can do during your free time or at the weekends in Arusha itself. There are different markets like second hand market, spice markets or massai market, as well as typical african restaurants and bars. Furthermore, the area you will live is very beautiful and you can either go to a lake and do canoeing or you can go to a lodge with a pool near to the hostel to relax for little money. Our other volunteers from the hostel will be happy to show you everything and if you join them at your free weekends!

Concert/
Music
Sightseeing
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Climbing
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking
Museum/
Opera
Sports
Riding
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Required Documents
CV und introduction letter
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 16:00

What's Included

Services by STEP Africa

The STEP Africa Program Fees are calculated as follows: 

− A one time application fee which includes 2 way airport transfers, pre-departure support, preparation handbooks, orientation day and project support 

− Program fees to stay at the STEP Africa House (including breakfast and dinner from monday to friday), on-the-ground support and supervision by the STEP Africa Team (our office is in Tanzania!) and 24h emergency contact. 

Important Note: To keep it transparent we do not add any donation to our program fees (which are entirely used for your preparation, supervision and accommodation) but encourage you to raise some funds among your family and friends prior to your arrival or once you have arrived in Tanzania. Any small or big amount is highly appreciated and you are entirely free to decide on how you want to utilize your donation within the project. By doing so you will see how much of a difference donations can make and its a great feeling to see this first hand. We understand volunteering as a holistic approach of helping each other and learning from one another and while you will do amazing daily work as a volunteer we want you to also understand that no project can entirely survive if it wasn't for financial support as well. 

Airport Pickup at Kilimanjaro International Airport

Airport Pick-up is included in the costs. Volunteers can be picked up at any day and night time. Possible Arrival Airports are Kilimanjaro International Airport and Arusha Airport.

Accommodation

Our STEP Africa House – located in the quiet and central suburb of Njiro, Arusha – is the “headquarters” of our Organization. It’s the home away from home for all our volunteers and interns during their time in Tanzania. Our office is also in the house, and our Swahili teacher comes here to teach his lessons. The hostel is a cozy guest house just a few minutes away from the hussle and bussle of Tanzanian life. It is in a central yet quiet location, a few hundred meters from the closest bus connections, 1 km from supermarkets, the Njiro Complex with restaurants, cinema & more and a short ten-minute drive to the city center of Arusha. All of our projects can be easily accessed from here. At the STEP House you will always meet like-minded people with whom you can exchange experiences and gather new ideas for your project. A typical Tanzanian breakfast is served consisting of white bread and black tea and other side dishes such as eggs, fruits and mandazi (Tanzanian baking specialty) and delicious local dishes for dinner (vegetarians are served separately!). We want you to feel comfortable in our House, which is why we attach great importance to a friendly and personal atmosphere. In the cozy backyard and in the garden you can relax from busy day at your project and the sometimes exhausting African everyday life.

The house consists of a total of seven bedrooms (dorm rooms with bunk beds and two double rooms). There is also a kitchen with a fridge for our volunteers, an oven, bathrooms, a common room equipped with comfortable sofas and a TV, as well as a covered dining area with numerous tables and benches outside.

Dorm Room Guesthouse Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Food (breakfast and dinner) is provided from Monday to Friday at the STEP Africa House. The breakfast includes tea, white bread, butter, jam, peanutbutter and an african special of the day like Mandazi or cooked banana. Our house mother cookes delicious typical tanzania dinner for you e.g. rice with beans or chapati. During the weekends volunteers can use the kitchen for cooking or eat in one of the several restaurants in and around Arusha. Safe filtered drinking water as well as the fridges in the kitchen are available for all volunteers. Even as a vegetarian/ vegan, you will not have any problems at the hostel or on the streets in the restaurants.

 

 

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Kilimanjaro. We assist you to find cheap flights to Tanzania.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Tanzania provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Tanzania you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Tanzania.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

We do not have specific arrival dates. You can join our program throughout the year and on any day of the week / month. Our driver can pick you from Kilimanjaro Airport at any day or night time. The airport shuttle is already included in our program fees, so we do not charge extra costs. The day following your arrival you will receive a detailed orientation from us. Our supervisor will show you Arusha town, you will get a local SIM card, go together to an ATM and you will get the chance to go buy anything necessary at the supermarket. The weekday following your orientation day is usually your first day at the project. On your first day you will be joined by one of our lovely team members.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
4 - 26 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$600
5 weeks
$720
6 weeks
$840
7 weeks
$960
8 weeks
$1,080
9 weeks
$1,200
10 weeks
$1,320
11 weeks
$1,440
12 weeks
$1,560
13 weeks
$1,680
14 weeks
$1,800
15 weeks
$1,920
16 weeks
$2,040
17 weeks
$2,160
18 weeks
$2,280
19 weeks
$2,400
20 weeks
$2,520
21 weeks
$2,640
22 weeks
$2,760
23 weeks
$2,880
24 weeks
$3,000
25 weeks
$3,120
26 weeks (max. stay)
$3,240
Average fees
$137 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. STEP Africa will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with STEP Africa during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if STEP Africa cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by STEP Africa.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Dog and Cat Shelter Assistant

Support the team at the shelter with the handling and care of the strays. Take the dog on walks next to a beautiful national park. Provide medical care and training.

$137/week

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