Where we are

Project Facts

  • To help improve dairy cow health care and nutrition for small holder farmers.
  • Start Date 2010
  • LOCATION Mukurweini, Kenya
  • KEY PARTNERS Wakulima Dairy Cooperative, Farmers Helping Farmers, Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI
  • BENEFICIARIES Farmers and their families

Dairy Extension Officer Trainer (Animal Nutrition)

Tittle: Dairy Extension Officer Trainer (Animal Nutrition)

Project: Volunteers for Healthy Animals and Healthy Communities (V4H2)                                                                                                                           


Job Title

Dairy Extension Officer Trainer (Animal Nutrition)



Partner Organization

Meru Dairy Co-operative Union

Placement location


Capital city

Comments: Meru is mainly an agricultural region in Kenya and dairy farming has been practiced in the region for ages. However the dairying has been in small scale.

Mid-sized town


Rural town/village



4 to 6 months

Start date

September (flexible)

Pre-departure Training Date/s

5 days in Ottawa (VWB covers all cost)

Eligibility requirements

Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only

Language Requirements






Please mention if the volunteer will need to work with a local translator for some of their duties:

Yes a translator is needed when working with farmers.

Academic Qualifications



·         Degree in Veterinary Medicine or Animal production.


·         Knowledge of dairy cow nutrition, health and diseases

·         Knowledge of cow care and comfort

Professional Background / Skills



Experience in dairy herd health and management.

·         Effective cross-cultural communication skills

·         Commitment to the principles of volunteer cooperation and familiarity with participatory approaches to development, including the promotion of gender equality, good governance and environmental sustainability

·         Knowledge of dairy cow nutrition, health and diseases


·         Experience in dairy management, cow nutrition

·         Previous international work / volunteer experience in COUNTRY or other developing country

Placement goal and objectives (preliminary)



Overall Goal:

To support dairy groups and their farmer members to produce saleable milk and improve their economic well-being.


1.     To provide training to extension officers, local farmers, the partner organisation, and animal health technicians in animal nutrition, watering, disease diagnosis, treatment and housing

2.     Assist in development of champion farmers and demonstration farms.

3.     To collect baseline information on nutrition, now health, local disease treatment

All volunteers are expected to promote gender equality, environmental sustainability and good governance within their placement responsibilities.

Volunteer Terms and Conditions

VWB covers the majority of the costs of being an overseas volunteer, including:

·         Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course in Ottawa

·         Return airfare to placement country and visa/permit costs

·         The cost of required vaccinations, anti-malarial medication and overseas emergency travel health insurance

·         A modest monthly living allowance (MLA) that will be paid into the volunteer’s bank account in Canada. The MLA is designed to be sufficient to cover simple housing, basic food requirements and other typical monthly living expenses.


VWB asks each volunteer to raise $500 prior their departure with the goal of $2,000 to contribute towards the overall project total costs.

About Veterinarians Without Borders

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 quality and affordable 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 offer a very real threat to human health on a wider scale.

Veterinarians without Borders/Vétérinaires sans Frontières (VWB/VSF-Canada) works for, and with, communities in need to foster the health of animals, people and the environments that sustain us. VWB/VSF-Canada works nationally and internationally to train animal health workers, increase food security, and improve animal & public health. VWB/VSF-Canada provides overseas volunteer placements for veterinarians and other animal & public health professionals.

About the Project: Volunteers for Healthy Animals and Healthy Communities (V4H2)

For ten years, Veterinarians Without Borders 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.   Volunteers for Healthy Animals and Healthy Communities (V4H2), a project funded through the Volunteer-Cooperation Program of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, 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 who raise livestock.   We 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.



A burgeoning population, years of both crippling drought and flooding, environmental degradation and the fall out of the HIV/AIDS epidemic have left many Kenyans struggling to survive. 

Big Challenges

Over 79% of Kenya's population are farmers or raise animals for their income; the vast majority of these are so poor, they can't meet their daily nutritional requirements. Without enough food, many families, and especially women and children, succumb to water-borne diseases, malaria and malnutrition. Rural women are particularly vulnerable, as they don't have equal access to social and economic assets. 

Where are we working?

In northern Kenya, the problems of rural poverty are especially pronounced. That's why VWB/VSF is working  in northern Kenya, to give women, children, families and the animals they raise a chance at a better life. 

Small Steps to Great Solutions

The difference between abject poverty and a reasonable livelihood can be as simple as a single dairy cow. With income from milk, families can afford school fees for children, improve nutrition and health care for both their families and their livestock and climb out of the spiral of poverty that grips so many rural Kenyans. 

In collaboration with Farmers Helping Farmers and the University of Prince Edward Island, VWB/VSF is helping improve dairy cow health care and nutrition for small holder farmers. In the Mukurweini area of Kenya, farmers sell miilk to the Wakulima Dairy. Volunteers from all three Canadian groups provide volunteer vets to help train village members, and particularly women, to better care for their cows, which are an integral source of income for many families in the area. 

Dairy cows also improve the status of women in villages, as they allow women to earn family income, better nourish themselves and their children and participate in community decision-making councils. 


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