Volunteers for Healthy Animals and Healthy Communities (V4H2), a project funded through the Volunteer-Cooperation Program of Global Affairs Canada, will allow VWB/VSF to substantially increase the number of Canadian volunteers it is able to send overseas. Over the next five years (2015 to 2020), 102 Canadian volunteers will work with local organizations and community partners in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Lao PDR, and Vietnam to help create integrated animal health systems that will help to strengthen the livelihoods and household nutrition of small scale farmers. VWB/VSF will be looking to recruit professors of veterinary medicine, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, animal and human nutritionists, laboratory experts, rural development specialists, food safety specialists, horticulturalists, community health workers, gender specialists and other professionals that respond to the specific needs identified by our local partners.
Building on a History of Volunteerism
In the global south, more than 90 per cent of food animals are raised by subsistence farmers yet these small-scale livestock producers, the majority of whom are women, have very limited access to animal health services. Aside from the risks associated with the loss of valuable livestock who provide important protein and/or income for poor households, zoonotic diseases that can be passed from animals to humans also offer a very real threat to human health. For ten years, Veterinarians Without Borders (VWB/VSF) has been sending Canadian Veterinarians and Vet students to poor communities around the world to help increase the knowledge and skills of small-scale farmers to keep their cows, chickens, goats, pigs, guinea fowl and other livestock healthy, well-fed and housed securely.