10-21 November 2020
Cost: $2495 Canadian
Come with us to Nepal and visit two dog welfare programs! Join AEI co-founders, Nora and Heather, as we explore and re-explore the roof top of the world. A full 10 day itinerary will have us volunteering at two animal welfare programs, visiting ancient temples and stupas, participating in Kukhar Tihar (blessing of the dogs), touring fair trade women’s co-ops, trekking to see the oldest inscription in Nepal and more! Why two clinics? We thought spending time with two groups would allow volunteers to see two very different but equally effective ways to lower the suffering of animals and spread humane welfare through the Kathhmandu Valley. We will be working with local medical teams and helping on various programs that can use our help. From grooming the dogs and cleaning their cages to building enclosures and participating in rescues - you don’t have to be a vet or a vet nurse to help animals! During our time off we will be visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Kathmandu Valley while enjoying local customs, foods and traditions. Staying in two homestays means that we get to participate in local Nepali culture while also making sure our tourist dollars go towards friends and supporters of the animal welfare centres.
There are thousands of dogs living on the streets in Nepal. These dogs suffer from neglect, starvation, injuries and disease. They also pose a health threat to people - every year, around 200 Nepali people die of rabies and 16,000 are treated for dog bites. In an effort to control the street dog population, city governments poison large numbers of street dogs each year. Not only is this is a horrific death for the dogs, it has been proven to be ineffective at lowering the overall numbers. Dog populations normally return to their original size within the year - since killing the dogs does not stop the remaining dogs from breeding.
Our partners began their work to provide an alternative to the government’s policy of culling dogs and ignoring the critically sick and injured animals. They now provide a very important, much needed service to the people and animals of the Kathmandu Valley. These are professional, non-governmental organizations involved in welfare, well-being, safety and protection of animals that are a crucial part of our society. They were established by a group of professional veterinary doctors and animal lovers intent on helping stray dogs suffering in their community. With the help of volunteers like you, these organizations rescues street dogs, treats and vaccinates the dogs, and controls the population through a sterilization program. They also focus on educating the community on the importance of keeping street dogs healthy and promoting rabies awareness.
Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the programs. Since we are working with two different clinics, our roles will be mainly husbandry and support. Our local vet teams will be doing all the medical procedures while we help with the feeding, cleaning and socialising of these dogs. You do not need veterinary experience to volunteer. Expedition volunteers will always be working with Nora and Heather and will be part of a group! Together we will help with feeding the dogs, cleaning, grooming, and bathing the dogs at the shelter, exercising and walking the dogs and assisting the team in other activities.
Since we are only in Nepal for a short time, we will be volunteering during mornings and spending the afternoons visiting temples, museums and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Make sure you bring your most comfortable walking shoes! Our first 5 days will be in Kathmandu and our last 5 will be in Bhaktapur (all in country transportation is included). We will be participating in a guided hike through some of the beautiful foothills of the Kathmandu Valley to visit the oldest Nepali inscription in the world - dated 464 AD!
We will be staying in two different home stays. While in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur we will be staying with local families who are supporters of both our dog rescue centres. All of our home stay families are closely associated with the rescue centre and are an important part of the team. We believe home stays are not only safe, but offer you an amazing way to connect with the community. The lodge and the home stay are within easy walking distance of the rescue centre and local tourist spots. All meals are provided. You will be sharing a room with another volunteer.
Do you have questions about safety? We have answers right here! Remember, you are travelling with a group and will have a leader and a local volunteer coordinator with you 24/7!
Airport pick up and drop off (at the closest airport), accommodation, meals, on-site training, donation to Placement Partner, AEI Travel Manual, all in country travel, guides fees and tips, entrance fees to UNESCO sites, potable water at all times, Nora and Heather as 24/7 team leaders, emergency support while at placement, carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 travel and emergency assistance, enrolment with the Global Travel Academy to earn a certificate in International Volunteering. This 3-hour online course is curated by travel professionals and is designed to help you get the most out of your adventure.
All accomodation, meals, site entrance, tours, in country travel and tips are included (any alcohol is extra).
Flights, entry visa costs, international and domestic airport taxes, immunizations and medications. Note: The rabies vaccine is recommended but not required for this Experience however, if volunteers are interested in becoming rabies vaccinated, the average cost is $600- $1000 in North America.
What is Serious
The dog rescue program is run out of a local veterinary clinic, allowing the project veterinarians to offer a high level of medical care. The team works hard to treat as many sick and injured dogs as possible. Without proper nutrition or a good home street dogs are susceptible to illnesses, and a large number of the animals have mange, ticks and other diseases. Many injured dogs are also brought to his clinic for emergency treatment and care. This is a tremendous improvement, for in the past these injured dogs were ignored and left to die in the streets. All dogs brought to the centre are neutered/spayed and vaccinated and then tagged so they can be easily identified once they are released. Adoption is becoming more common in Nepal, and efforts are made to find homes for the dogs when possible. Community education programs are improving public perception of street dogs, and making a real difference to the lives of these animals. With your help, the team can continue to offer these services and make Bhaktapur a cruelty-free region for dogs living on the streets.
What is Fun
Your visit to Nepal will be an experience you will never forget. Nepal is a beautiful country, offering breathtaking scenery, countless sacred sites and a rich culture. The city of Bhaktapur is known as 'Nepal's Cultural Gem' and this is where you will be staying. Bhaktapur is one of the three royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is filled with monuments, palaces and temples with elaborate carvings, gilded roofs, and open courtyards. You will have many opportunities to explore the area and see Nepali life unfold around you. Staying right in the community - either in the lodge or at a home stay, is an amazing way to feel like part of the family from day one and to experience authentic Nepal.
At the clinic you will work side by side with the dog rescue team and the other international volunteers. You will soon discover that we have so much in common, all sharing a passion for helping street dogs and making their lives better. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to provide for an animal in need and to make a difference for that dog. Join our team in Nepal for a life changing adventure!
Meet your leaders: Nora Livingstone! Nora is an experienced canoe/mountaineering guide and volunteer coordinator. Having guiding trips in the mountains of Italy, the rivers of Ontario and two animal conservation trips in Greece and Kenya, she is excited about another adventure in Nepal! This will be her 4th AEI expedition and her 2nd time in Nepal.
Dr. Heather Reid! Dr. Heather is a wildlife veterinarian with over 20 years experience. She has worked with more than 200 species of native wild animals in Canada’s busiest wildlife hospital. Whenever possible, Dr. Reid takes her clinical skills out of the hospital and into the field where she can work with wildlife in their natural habitat. Her work with conservation research projects has ranged from salamanders to wolverines and has taken her deep into the wilds of Canada’s forests.
Dates and Details
We will be arriving 10 November and departing for home on 21 November.
Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!