Today is International Volunteer Day and we wanted to take the opportunity, not only to thank our legions of passionate and knowledgeable volunteers, but also to highlight the many ways in which they offer us help and support. Every 5th of December, the United Nations celebrates the work of volunteers across the world and has been doing so since 1985.
There are many elements of the work of Wild Welfare that would be incredibly difficult to undertake without the help of volunteers and we are always grateful for their dedication and obvious commitment to animal welfare. Even our team of talented advisors who offer support and specialist knowledge do so on a voluntary basis.
Utilising the help of volunteers for activities such as language translations, knowledge exchanges and even tackling challenge events to raise funds ensures the continued success of our on-going work. A previous challenge event participant (termed a “Welfare Warrior”) who volunteered her time and energy to help us fundraise was Nikki Bhatia. She was one of several volunteers who ran a half marathon in aid of our work in 2020 and had the following to say about the experience:
“The event was brilliant! Raising money and running for Wild Welfare made it even better, it’s an extremely important cause and one that many overlook so I liked being able to highlight it.”
As part of our remit, Wild Welfare creates many resources on the subject of animal care and welfare, and we want to ensure that they are all as accessible as possible to multiple different audiences. This guarantees the information is reaching the communities, both human and animal, that need it the most. Overcoming language barriers can be difficult, but absolutely necessary as we continue to challenge and change the practices that compromise animal welfare across the globe. To do this we ask the help of our talented volunteers to help us translate them. Without their help we would never have been able to translate our Care For Us guides into six different languages (and counting), or other important documents such as our Core Fundamental Standard of Practice for Captive Wild Animals which forms the basis of our evidence-based procedures for systematic animal welfare assessment.
Recently we launched our Wild About Welfare digital education programme in Japanese and this would not have been possible without the help of several multilingual volunteers. Yuki Otani and Sayaka Mochizuki have both been instrumental in the translation of the interactive quizzes which form part of the digital education programme. There are eight different modules: welfare concepts, nutrition, environment, health, behaviour, enrichment, record keeping and zoos in the 21st century. Each of the modules took our volunteers around 10 hours to translate.
“I am convinced the translated educational resource is absolutely imperative to inform Japanese stakeholders who are eager to know about wild animal welfare. It is my pleasure to get involved in improving knowledge of welfare through resource translation and improving communications with people.” Yuki Otani
Additional translation work was also undertaken by other volunteers for the launch materials such as press releases and social media content. Translating the programme, along with our other resources into multiple different languages is essential to ensure that the advice contained within those resources is as accessible as possible.
Another of our talented and enthusiastic volunteers is Lorraine Miller who has extensive experience of animal management, specialising in primates. She has helped us both with knowledge exchanges, particularly regarding great apes, and fundraising research.
“I began volunteering for Wild Welfare in 2019, mainly in a fundraising capacity which involved researching grant and funding opportunities available to the charity. Since then I have also contributed to education and training materials for the organization. I really enjoy working with the team at Wild Welfare and feel the work is hugely beneficial to the welfare and management of animals in human care. I have been fortunate enough to work with numerous zoos and sanctuaries abroad in Asia, Africa and Central America who benefit hugely from outside knowledge, training and skills such as those provided by Wild Welfare. Not only do I feel as though I am contributing to a worthwhile cause I also gain a lot myself from volunteering. During my time with Wild Welfare I have developed my skills in research and fundraising and have learnt a great deal about subjects such as welfare assessments from some amazing welfare professionals. I hope to continue my work with Wild Welfare and to become more involved practically in the future.”
Our generous and skilled volunteers who are eager to donate their time and expertise all play a vital role in helpings Wild Welfare achieve its mission and we are eternally grateful to all of them for their help and support.
If you would like to volunteer your time or expertise to help Wild Welfare end the suffering of captive wild animals around the world, join in and get involved to help us ensure that every animal is able to thrive.
Notes to Editors
For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on firstname.lastname@example.org
Wild Welfare: Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare for captive wild animals. By working together with animal welfare organisations and captive wildlife facilities, including zoos, aquariums and sanctuaries, we achieve long-term and sustainable solutions to the most critical issues facing wild animals in captivity.
Our vision is a world where every captive wild animal is able to thrive and live a good life. Find out more at: wildwelfare.org. Registered charity in England and Wales No.1165941.