Find out how volunteers are protecting African wildlife & providing essential medical care to the San Bushmen community

Posted by WorkingAbroad Projects on Thursday, 19th March 2015

Cheetah release at Kanaan volunteer site

At our Wildlife Conservation & San Bushmen Community Project, Namibia, volunteers have the opportunity to contribute in several work domains & locations, depending on the amount of time spent at the project. If your passion is to work up close with a wide range of wildlife, then you can choose to become a wildlife conservation volunteer at the wildlife sanctuary taking care of wounded and orphaned animals, which includes everything from baboons, wild dogs and sheep to lions, ostriches and cheetahs.

Eventually, the animals at the sanctuary are released back into the wild at Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate in the middle of the Namib desert. An important part in the conservation of the animals is the research conducted at the release site, and here research volunteers help assist in collecting important data, while exploring the terrain and otherwise offering their help in any project that would need their assistance. Volunteers also get the chance to assist at the winery, which is among the only three in Namibia and is bottling some of the world’s driest wine.  

A baby gets a check up at the San Bushman clinic

While Namibia is another African country famous for its incredible diverse wildlife, this is not the only focus of the project. The San bushmen in Namibia are considered to be one of the oldest cultures in the world, yet as the people have been driven away from their lands, their reliance on regular paid jobs have increased. However, the San are lacking the educational skills, which directly relates to their poor health with a life expectancy of  just 48 years. The project works closely with their community providing education, accommodation, health care and employment opportunities via their Lifeline clinic and Clever Cubs School. Here, you are able to join as a volunteer at the Medical Clinic programme, where you will be providing free medical treatment to the local San population in a rural area of Namibia.  

So what can you expect as a volunteer? During the week, one will work from early in the morning till late afternoon engaging on three different kinds of activities. You will also have to work some hours during the weekend, yet here there is also more leisure time for you to see more of what Namibia has to offer, and spend time getting to know the people that you work with every day. Essentially, the longer time spent on the project, the more time you will have to see incredible places such as Etosha National Park, the Namib desert and the skeleton coast of Swakopmund, among many other options.   

What essentially makes Namibia rare, and an example for other African countries to follow, is the dedication of the people to find a way to live with wildlife. Yes, altercations happen between people and wild animals, which is why projects like this in Namibia exist to prevent animals and people from being hurt and/or killed in these instances. You will get to witness a rare occurrence in today’s Africa, which is wildlife living in harmony with the population, like it was meant to.

I hope that any doubts you might have had in joining this project have turned into more reasons to join, and maybe you and I will get the chance to work together with many other passionate volunteers and local staff in the beautiful country of Namibia.

By WorkingAbroad blog writer Charlotte Laursen

Author: WorkingAbroad Projects

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