An estimated 1 billion people worldwide volunteer each year, constituting a powerful global force tackling the many challenges we face in our world today. On International Volunteer Day, instituted by the United Nations and celebrated on 5 December each year, we recognize these selfless modern-day heroes and the contribution they make to a better world for all, including conserving our planet’s endangered wildlife.
In addition to the countless man-hours, skills and tourism-spend volunteers contribute, international volunteering contributes towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, fosters mutually-beneficial cultural exchange and increases awareness of the pressing issues of our time.
“Certainly, one of these pressing issues is conserving our wildlife for future generations, in the face of poaching and wildlife crime. Thankfully, volunteers are standing up to turn the tide in wildlife conservation – ordinary citizens willing to travel to far-away lands, roll up their sleeves and save our wildlife. These volunteers are making a real and tangible difference in protecting and conserving our wildlife, while also changing their own lives for the better,” says Earl Smith, CEO of Volunteer Southern Africa.
“We have witnessed first-hand the impact volunteers make, having hosted more than 9,500 volunteers from 25 countries. Our Volunteer Southern Africa volunteers have helped to rehabilitate more than 1,100 animals, donating countless manhours and contributing significant tourism spend to diverse wildlife conservation projects across Southern Africa,” adds Smith.
On the forefront of facilitating safe and ethical wildlife conservation volunteering, Volunteer Southern Africa takes great pride in professionally recruiting, hosting and looking after volunteers during their stay at a wildlife conservation program that ignites their passion and changes their lives for the better, while making a real contribution to the global effort to conserve our planet’s most iconic wildlife.
“It truly is the travel and volunteer experience of a lifetime – as evidenced by the fact that more than 850 of our volunteers return again and again,” says Smith. “Together with these wildlife champions, we at Volunteer Southern Africa are making a significant impact on wildlife conservation – on the ground, where it counts – leaving a lasting and bio-diverse legacy to future generations. We invite you to join us!”