Volunteer Abroad Volunteering in North America

Taking care of rescue horses

Prior to departure

Do I need specific requirements or abilities to apply for this project?

To be able to join our animal welfare project in Canada you need to be 18 years of age and have a good level of English. You should be physically fit, and we also need a certificate from your doctor stating your current health status as you will be involved in physical work on the farm. It is important that you are highly motivated to be part of a dedicated animal welfare project which requires the commitment of all people involved in the project. You should enjoy living and working with a team, but also be able to work independently. Depending on your nationality and your duration of stay you may need to apply for a visa or you can simply travel to Canada with an ETA. Please inform yourself via the foreign department’s website for the visa standards or ask the NATUCATE team directly.

The application process includes an application form and an interview.

What services are included?

Before you will start your journey to Canada, we will support you in organizing your volunteer stay and help you arrange flights as well as the ETA/visa application. During your time in the project you will be accommodated in a guesthouse with a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen. There are staff members of the project in Canada which will support you and you can also contact NATUCATE 24/7 if you have any questions. Moreover, our partner’s staff will take care of your airport transfer. Flights, visa fees and meals are not included in the project fee.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

You need to get travel health insurance before starting your volunteer work. Due to the physical work during the project it is important that you are fit and healthy. People who suffer from allergies against animals or certain cleaning detergents which cannot be treated with medication should consider joining another volunteer project. Tetanus vaccination is a must. Furthermore, we recommend you being vaccinated against Hepatitis A/B, Diphtheria, Morbilli, Mumps and Rubella, whooping cough, influenza, polio and pneumococcus. You should bring a small first-aid kit with you, containing plasters, painkillers, electrolytes, medication against allergies and diarrhea and other specific medication which you might need. We advise you to talk with a doctor about your travel plans and ask for his advice. You also should inform yourself via the website of the foreign department about the current travel and security situation in Canada.

How long can I take part in the project?

You can volunteer for 8 to 12 weeks.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

For your time in the project you should pack long, robust pants as well as sturdy and waterproof boots. Winter and fall can be very wet and cold, so you should bring warm and waterproof clothing. In general, but especially in the summer months, clothing in layers is recommended. You will be spending most of your time outdoors, which means you should pack clothes that can get dirty. We also recommend you bring sneakers, a cap or hat for sun protection, sunscreen, sunglasses, a head lamp, a lunch box, water bottle and insect repellant. You should not forget to pack your passport, driver’s license (if you have one), alarm clock, mobile phone/laptop and other items which you want to ring for your leisure time.

Arrival

How do I arrive at my destination, do I have to organize it myself?

We can support you searching for flights. You need to fly to Calgary International Airport (YYC) which is a 1,5-hour drive north of the project location – depending on the weather and road conditions. After your arrival at the airport you will be picked up and driven to the ranch. During your drive to the farm you will stop at a supermarket where you can buy some groceries for the first days of your stay. After your stay in the project you will be driven back to the airport.

During the project

What are my main tasks during the project?

Depending on your knowledge and experience your volunteer tasks can vary. People who have experience with horses will primarily help with feeding, handling and grooming of the horses. Less experienced volunteers will be involved in taking care of the smaller animals, cleaning and construction work as well as administrative tasks.

What is the group size like in general?

There can be up to 4 volunteers.

Life on site

What is the accommodation like?

Together with the other volunteers you will be living on the horse ranch in a small guesthouse. You will share the sleeping room, bathroom and kitchen with the others. There is also a small library which you can use.

How is the food provided?

The volunteers are responsible for their own meals and grocery shopping. A staff member of the ranch will drive you to the supermarket in a nearby town on a regular basis. You can use the fully equipped kitchen to prepare your daily meals by yourself or with the other volunteers.

How are work time and free time divided?

You will work Mondays through Fridays, approx. from 9 AM until 5 PM. Evenings and weekends are off and you have time for your own activities.

What can I do during my free time?

In agreement with the staff on the ranch it is possible to organize day or weekend trips to explore Canada a bit further. The ranch is not far from first class ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains and the city of Calgary is always worth a visit. The area that surrounds the ranch is a beautiful place as well – just walking and hiking in the area is quite lovely.

Do I have a contact person on site?

Yes, there is a contact person on site while you are volunteering on the farm. You can also contact the NATUCATE team 24/7.

What expenses do I have to expect during the project? Can I withdraw cash on site and do I have to pay in local currency?

Volunteers should plan enough money for the trip to buy groceries as you are responsible for your own meals. Depending on the free time activities which you have planned you need to calculate accordingly.

The official currency in Canada is the Canadian dollar. A couple of weeks before your departure you can ask your bank to order you a certain amount in Canadian dollars which you can take with you. You also have the possibility to withdraw money at the airport in Calgary. We recommend you bringing a credit card so that you can withdraw money at the airport or in a nearby town.

How can I contact family and friends at home?

There is mobile phone reception on the farm but very limited. You can use the internet with a smartphone and a Canadian SIM Card, but this connection is also limited. The house of the project owners has a phone which you can use if you need to make an urgent call to your family.

What's the climate like?

The region in Alberta where the project is located has a cool and moderate climate. The winter months are especially cold, and the amount of rainfall is rather high, even in November, which is the driest month of the year. Regarding your clothes, you should be prepared for all weather.

What happens in case of an emergency?

The closest town is approximately a 20 min drive away. In case of an emergency the participant will be picked up by an ambulance and brought to the hospital. Before your journey starts, please check with your travel health insurance if they also cover ambulance rides.

Are there any rules or restrictions?

Smoking in the barns or buildings is not permitted. The moderate consumption of alcohol is allowed, but only in your free time. If you drink alcohol during your working hours or consume other drugs you will be immediately suspended from the project – with no refund.

Do you have further questions that you did not find here?

Then call us at +49 241-91994357 or send an e-mail to info@natucate.com

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Volunteering in Canada

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