Hi there, I am Jana from Germany and volunteered three years one after the other at the VMF.
In 2016 I met Josie and Dave at an Animal Rights Conference in Europe. I promised to come and one year later I booked a flight to South Africa. Can’t deny with a fast beating heart in order to what expect and what not. Yes, there are lots of places in the world I could spent time working with wild animals but when it comes to veganism hardly no suitable place to find. Often the age you can join volunteer projects is limited. The VMF welcomes people of all ages. Unfortunately most wildlife projects have a black spot on the vegan issue and can’t get the connection. You can’t eat animal products and call yourself an animal lover. Choose compassion over cruelty. Speciesism is not to be debated – it has to be smashed.
Everytime I leave the VMF I took a heavy heart and a suitcase full of memories with me. Like a heartbeat drives you mad in the stillness of remembering what you had and what you lost. Yes, the first days in the bushland had been a struggle. Patience, serenity and humour should be your first choice consultants. Vegan meals and jokes with the local staff compensate exhausting work shifts under the African heat. Every monkey is worth it. Thankful for every personal encounter and experience. It’s gonna take a lot to take me away from the met diamond hearted people and adorable furry ones. Hold the line. We’re not done.
As a fulltime employer paid vacation days are limited, I know. But I recommend a minimum stay of 3 to 4 weeks.
Even from abroad you can support the VMF by hosting screenings, spread the word in your surroundings, etc. Let’s dream big and get the Vervet Forest realized – the animals need you!