Our Approach

Our mission is to work for, and with, communities in need to foster the health of animals, people and the environments that sustain us.

This is what we call an ecosystem approach to health. Ecohealth: one health for everyone, everywhere.

How do we do it?

  • We focus on animal health care as integrally tied to human and ecosystem health. By treating all three, we create sustainable solutions for the planet.
  • We respect people, culture, local knowledge, human rights, laws and customs, animal welfare, and the environment.
  • We are guided by the communities we work with and we are committed to participatory and inclusive approaches to development. We believe that sustainable solutions are most often created when locally identified and owned.
  • Our work happens on the ground in every program country: in community meetings, training local people on animal health care, delivering vaccinations, helping to form co-ops, training women, children and families in food production, nutrition, husbandry and disease control.
  • Our projects are built to be repeatable and to promote sustainability over the long term, so that communities can grow independent and strong and act as models for others.
  • We are committed to sharing our expertise and knowledge and continuously learning from our partners.

    Our supporters believe in us; they enable us to make our dreams for the planet into reality: together, we can create a better future for all.

Ecohealth and One Health

From the beginning, VWB/VSF has been careful to keep an eye on The Big Picture in designing and implementing projects around the world. VWB/VSF's approach is best defined by the related concepts of Ecohealth and One Health, which suggest that people and animals can only be healthy if the environment they live in is healthy. That means that the air and water need to be clean, that the soil is healthy enough to support the plants that, in turn, support human and animal life, and that animals, both wild and domestic, are healthy, are available as a source of food, and are not transmitting diseases to humans. In practical terms, VWB/VSF projects address all three elements -- human health, animal health, and environmental health -- in balance.

What sets this approach apart from earlier ecological thinking is that it puts humans squarely in the middle of the frame. It is based on natural sciences, but it also takes human behaviour into account, and ensures that people and communities are involved in the decisions that affect their health and environment. The animals that are the focus of VWB/VSF's work bring value to humans as a source of food, income, traction, and companionship, but they are both affected by, and affect the environment in which they exist. They are part of a delicate balance that includes soil, water, topography, population density, markets, culture, and tradition. 


Big Picture - Big IssuesExplore some of the issues that challenge us.
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VWB-VSF Canada Headquarters
420 – 700 Industrial Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario  K1G 0Y9

+1-613-857-0521 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.