Volunteer vets (l to r) Laura-Anne Kutryk, Dallas New, Catherine Wright, Jessica Gonzalez,and Karen Leppelmann and gender specialist Jane Connolly during briefings for VWB/VSF assignments in Ghana and Kenya.
Embracing a spirit of giving and adventure
At various times during the year individuals or groups of two or three find themselves checking in at Canadian airports bound for destinations that most of us have never heard of, much less planned to visit. They are destined for Northern Ghana, Tanzania, rural Kenya, Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam. And while they may be heading off in different directions at different times, they share a powerful bond. They are volunteers with VWB/VSF and they all share a common willingness to give of their time and skills to make life better for hard working people who struggle to make a living in remote corners of the world. Some may be apprehensive as they head off, but they are all ready to embrace the challenge and adventure of working outside their comfort zones in order to make the world a better place.
VWB/VSF has always been a volunteer driven organization. For a time after it was created it was run exclusively by volunteers, and it has always depended on the generous spirit of Canadian veterinarians and other professionals to deliver support and programming around the world. Over the past two years, an agreement with the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada has allowed VWB/VSF to tap more deeply into the wealth of skills and talents available in Canada. VWB/VSF is currently sending between 30 and 40 individuals overseas every year to share their skills and build local capacity. That includes a team of veterinary students who spend the summer months working overseas.
We are always on the lookout for people willing to contribute their time and talents to a very important cause. New opportunities are being posted on a regular basis to our volunteer pages. Or contact our program staff to learn more.
VWB/VSF’s First 10 Years
If you have ever wondered how Veterinarians Without Borders/Vétérinaires sans frontières Canada came to be, the answer is now available in this definitive article by David Waltner-Toews, Enid Stiles, John VanLeeuwen, and Erin Fraser, all of whom were instrumental in founding the organization and guiding it through its first 10 years.