Veterinary nurse

founded in 2008
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Coordinator | Silvia
Coordinator | Silvia
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Save hundreds of lives, taking care of puppies and kittens and of adult cats and dogs
Make the difference at our very busy clinic
Help our veterinarians during the castration campaigns
Monitor operated animals during waking up (up to 35 per day)
Assist the miracle of recovery of rescued animals
A nurse can help at our clinic by taking care of ill animals, administering therapies, monitoring the operated animals. And she can also carry out deworming campaigns. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 23+

At Simabo's vet clinic we always appreciate help from professional nurses!

Simabo was the first free veterinarian clinic in Cabo Verde. We offer help to the local people who want their dogs and cats to be spayed/neutered, dewormed and treated.

Skills for non vets

  • Able to do stand stressful situations
  • Speaking Portuguese is helpful but not essencial
  • Good manual skills
  • Good organizational skills

What to expect?

  • You will see a lot of ill and wounded animals, some of them will also die or will need to be put to sleep.
  • Complete immersion in the local community...

Tasks for non-vet volunteers helping at the clinic include:

  • make sure that every part of the clinic (rooms, reception, bathroom, kennels for the animals, shelves, tables, chairs, etc.) is always clean and tidy. There is cleaning staff available to do this, but they need supervision. This will be your main task. Do not forget that cleanness and tidiness are as important as medication in a clinic environment where ill animals are coming and going.
  • make sure that the dogs waiting in the cages/kennels (either operation, ore recovery, or to be picked up after operation, or adoption, or for any other reason) are clean or are cleaned as soon as possible (they can't be cleaned while they are asleep, or if they are nervous, or if they are in pain, etc. )
  • make sure that the dogs who happen to be closed in the cages for long hours can go out to wee and poo before they do it in the cages. If that is not possible, please make sure to clean the animals and the cages asap.
  • make sure that animals that are in the cages for a long time (sometimes a couple of days, up to a week, receive food and water at the right time, are kept clean, go out when needed, etc.
  • cats in a cage for a long time need a small litter box as well as a bedding. Please make sure that cats that are due to stay at the clinic for a longer time are relocated to a bigger cage with enough space for a litter box and a bed
  • be always very careful with opening the animals in the cages. Most of the animals are very tame, we rarely use a muzzle to treat a dog, but they might try to run away when you open the cage. So never open more than one cage at a time, try to open the cages only after closing the door, ask for help if an animal seems willing to run away, always keep a lead at hand so that you can put it on the dog as soon as his head shows up from the kennel door. The lead is your working tool, it is your responsibility to have it ready when you need it, not to leave it around or loose it.
  • make sure that there is always water in the bowls for the animals in the waiting room
  • make sure that Simabo, the black and white cat that lives at the clinic, has always a clean litter box, water and food
  • make sure that the bathrooms are always clean and with a clean towel, the same for the lavatory in the operating room.
  • always make sure to have all you need to clean, and that everything is available at the right time
  • be aware that water is at a premium in Cape Verde, so you will be asked to develop the ability to clean with as little water as possible
  • be aware that our clinic is organized in a way that we need a second nurse with only on rare occasions. So your help as a nurse will be useful only after you have completed your main tasks, that is to keep the clinic clean and tidy and to take care of the animals there
  • Please avoid to be distracted by nursing tasks before you have completed your specific tasks.
  • The clinic is open to the public from 9 to 13 and from 16 to 19. You will be able to access it at any time to complete your tasks. There might be situations when it will be necessary for you to be there in the early morning or late in the evening, if any animal requires special care. Some animals are not left at the clinic during night, they might need to be taken to the office or to the pharmacy. Please be aware of critical situations.

We are extremely grateful to all non vet volunteers who will help at the clinic, as their contribution can make a great difference to the animals, to the people waiting with their animals and also to our staff and voluntary vets.

Typical day

Information given in the Time Commitment session of this program are only orientative and they are not binding: the free day can be on any day of the week (may be on the weekend, maybe not) and the working time is usually per shift: one morning shift from 7,30 to 12,30 OR one afternoon shift from 13,30 to 18,30.

The clinic is open to the public from 9AM to 1PM and then again from 4PM to 7PM.

Sometimes surgeries are numerous and need to be completed during the lunch break.
As we rely on a local nurse who is available during normal opening hours, the voluntary nurse is expected to be available especially in the early morning, during lunch time and on week ends or on holidays. This means that she will have a day off during the week. Being our clinic very near to the beach and to the old town, it won't be difficult to make the most of your free time, even if it is short or fragmented.
A nurse will also help the vet to consult our dogs at the shelter (which is separate from the clinic) and might administer the therapies passed by him, going to the shelter if and when necessary.
Voluntary nurses will administer antiparasitarian medicines during deworming campaigns in the villages of the island and help the vets during castration campaigns in the outskirts of town or in the villages on the coast of Sao Vicente.
Last but not least, in absence of the vet, the nurse will accompany the driver to pick up wounded or ill dogs from the street or also private houses, upon call.  
In our experience, volunteering nurses are always very motivated and work long hours by their own choice. It is true that they really make a difference to the animals that arrive at the clinic and this is very rewarding.

- changes in shifts must be communicated with a week notice and be authorized- changes in shifts can't leave shifts uncovered

- we'll make our best to give you the morning shift on the last working day of one week and the afternoon shift of the first working day of the following week, so that you have 2 days and 2 nights off and you can visit another island if you like.  

Free-time activities

The island is famous for its music and its partying vibe! So night activity is guaranteed! 

On the island you can find a diving center (in town), a windsurfing school and a kitesurfing school. 
Capoeira is also widely practiced and can be learned with 2 groups in lessons held in the late afternoon.
Hiking paths are very simple to follow. Every volunteer who likes hiking can't miss visiting the neighboring island, Santo Antao, with its beautiful mountains and trekking paths. 
If you are not so keen on hiking, you can rent a bicycle, an electrical bicycle or a scooter at local shops.

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 23 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Education Requirements
Veterinary nurse at Nurse qualification degree level
Required Documents
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
In addition to the usual requirements , nurses are expressly required to be tolerant, diplomatic, and possess a cooperative spirit (both with local staff, whose contribution is indispensable, and with other volunteers). Also, nurses must have a willingness to understand a different culture other than their own.
We handle both stray animals and animals with owners/guardians who have no other place to go. It is important to know how to communicate even though there may be language barriers.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 08:30 - 19:00

What's Included

Services by Simabo

The weekly fee covers

- pick up from the airport at the arrival
- accommodation in a single or double room if travelling alone or in a bigger room if travelling in group (shared bathroom).
- use of the communal kitchen at our nearby hostel 
- advice to organize visits to other islands, especially Santo Antao, with hotel and ferry/flights reservations  
- one tour of the island of Sao Vicente with our staff, usually with a deworming or spaying/neutering campaign

Airport Pickup at Cesaria Evora International Airport

Our driver will wait for you in the airport arrival hall with a sign with your name! Driving time to town is about 10 min. 

Be prepared to stay in a row for paying the "airport fee" that costs 32 euros. You can avoid this applying via Internet and paying in advance by credit card. All info to accomplish this will be provided in due time. EU citizens are not required to have/pay a visa, only non-EU citizens will have to buy one at the airport for 25 euros. 

No vaccinations are required nor recommended. Rabies doesn't exist in Cape Verde. 


Accommodation for volunteers is available in single rooms with shared bathroom in our volunteer house or in double or triple rooms with shared bathroom in the hostel. Both are located just a couple of meters away from our clinic, the beach, and the main square of Mindelo. Extra fee is charged for a single room in the hostel.
Volunteers can prepare their own food in the hostel kitchen, where paying guests are hosted to raise funds for the project.
At the hostel volunteers can meet any kind of travellers and together they can plan trips, excursions, parties, dinners, anything that makes fun and makes your volunteering time unforgettable. 

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
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. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cesaria Evora International Airport (VXE) in Sao Vicente. We assist you to find cheap flights to Cape Verde.
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 Cape Verde provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Cape Verde you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Cape Verde.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

We accept voluntary nurses all year round according to availability. Usually we accept one nurse at a time. 

The best months to come are from April or mid-July and from the beginning of October to mid-December, because of the temperature and also because of the cost of the flights, that can be expensive in the high season (Christmas, August).
Carnaval is a highlight of Mindelo's life, volunteers are always welcome at that time of the year. 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 4 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$105 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Simabo 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 Simabo 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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Veterinary nurse

A nurse can help at our clinic by taking care of ill animals, administering therapies, monitoring the operated animals. And she can also carry out deworming campaigns.


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