I had an amazing time at the VMF. I had been thinking about volunteering with animals in a foreign country for a while. So I went to a fundraiser of the VMF in Belgium and started following them on Facebook. When I heard that the food is all vegan, it really made sense for me to volunteer because I have been vegan for 3 years.
During my 1 month stay at the VMF I did a lot of different things: preparing the food, washing bowls, doing top section (filling up the water bowls and giving forage to the monkeys in the introcages), doing integration of monkeys into troops together with an intern or staff member, watching baby orphans and giving them milk, etc. My favourite things to do were baby shifts, integration and doing top section. It was really interesting watching the monkeys, seeing the differences and see how they all have their own character and differ from each other.
Vervet monkeys are so lovely and the foundation works very hard to give these monkeys a good life. They get integrated in different troops and can play and groom each other. The orphan babies that arrive at the foundation are often very scared and cry for their moms. The staff and volunteers reassure them and introduce them to the foster moms so they can be integrated in one of the troops.
During my stay I also had a few days off that I could use for travelling. I used them to visit Kruger and Blyde River Canyon which I enjoyed a lot. The people at the foundation are all very welcoming and friendly which makes it even more great. It really was an experience of a lifetime and I will definitely try to come back to this lovely place!