Be a part of an amazing 10,000 dog vaccination drive to help eliminate of rabies in the whole state of Goa!
For a third year we are returning to Goa to continue our rabies elimination work through mass vaccination of dogs, following our successful six-month 20,000 dog sterilisation drive in 2014 and hugely successful drives in 2015 and 2016. Rabies takes 60,000 lives annually, a majority of which are children but is 100% vaccine preventable. This is amazing opportunity for vets, students, nurses and novices to take on the challenge of mass vaccination; providing lifesaving protection for stray, owned and roaming dogs and the human communities that they live alongside!
You'll be based in lovely Salcete, in Southern Goa, working in teams across assigned wards to achieve the 70% vaccination coverage needed to create herd immunity. You will be trained to use our state-of the art epidemiological Mission Rabies App, used to collect vital vaccination and dog population data and ensure that our work is scientifically robust. Working alongside an experienced local team, you'll see beyond the tourist beaches and use your skills at the heart of communities.
No experience is required - just a desire to get stuck in and help make Goa a ‘rabies free’ state.
|Suitability:||Vets, Vet Nurses, Vet Students, Vet Nurse Students, Non-Vets|
£410 for two weeks campaign participation + £350 fundraising contribution
Please contact us for rates should you wish to stay for the full four weeks on the programme.
There will be the opportunity for optional overnight Goa Experience trips*
*please note the trips are paid directly to the in-county operator and include transport, accommodation, food and some activities. More information closer to the project date.
The campaign participation fee covers the cost of accommodation, soft drinks and meals, project related travel and your airport transfers. On application you will be asked for a deposit of £200 to secure your place, this is deducted from the overall campaign participation fee. We ask all of our volunteers to raise a minimum of £350 to support the work of Mission Rabies. This fundraising contribution supports the operations and sustainability of our programmes. Please read our Fundraising Guidelines, Volunteer Information Pack, and Terms and Conditions in the resources section to get more information about fundraising and volunteering for Mission Rabies.
You will be responsible for covering the costs of your visa, flights, insurance and travel vaccinations.
Select the project block you wish to apply for
Volunteering in India
India is made up of 29 states, each with their culture, identities and often own language. 1.2 billion people live here, in a country with a well-deserved reputation for extremes – wealth juxtaposed with poverty, modernity right next to antiquity. Many have written about the way in which all of one’s senses seem to be overwhelmed as soon as you arrive in an Indian city. The country is a wealth of incredible food, culture, colour, sound and activity. If you have not been to India before – or have not travelled to similar countries – it can be a challenging place to travel and work. That said, the deep history here – artistic, architectural, religious, musical, scientific, political, medical, and much more – often creeps out of the chaos in subtle and beautiful ways that will make you smile and leave you awestruck every day. India definitely gets under your skin and travelling to this part of the world is an experience you will never forget! Many of our past volunteers have returned to work with us again and again!
You’ll be working in Goa, a tourist friendly state known for its beaches, beautiful forests, and relaxed ways of life. Formally a Portuguese province, the surviving architecture is distinctly Goan and many of the old churches are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Goa is famously summed up by the Konkani word ‘sussegad’, meaning ‘laid-back’ and is much less chaotic than many images of India! Despite being well set up for tourists, with a good range of food available, internet access and western standard amenities, care must still be taken to ensure safety particularly in the popular tourist areas.
In terms of language, English is commonly spoken in cities, as are the state’s two languages Konkani and Marathi. Learning a few choice phrases before you come out is a great way to be a part of the city and get the most out of the unique culture here; even learning simple phrases such as “hello” and “thank you” can be extremely helpful for connecting with the local people that you will be meeting and working with. Plus, the children will love it.
As is always the case when travelling and working in an unfamiliar place, challenges are bound to arise and your flexibility and ability to ‘go with the flow’ will make all the difference.
As someone who has devoted a considerable amount of time and resources to come join us, you most likely have a particular passion for animals. Many of the dogs you will encounter will be in surprisingly good condition, having learned to evade the speeding cars, find shelter from the elements, and forage for food amongst the rubbish. Still, there will be plenty of things that are potentially upsetting; it is not uncommon to encounter animals with broken legs, in thin body condition, and/or covered with parasites. Depending on the circumstances and severity, we aim to provide basic treatments to alleviate suffering, but we will not be able to do so in every case. In addition, owned dogs do not tend to hold the same position in the “family” as is often found in western countries. It is common to find owned dogs that live much of their lives outside the house — possibly tied up. While we will always work to educate people about basic husbandry and welfare requirements, we do not feel it is our place to tell people, say, to allow their dogs inside if people do not wish to do this.
Euthanasia carries a lot of weight no matter what the circumstances. It tends to be a very weighty issue in India and is not nearly as commonly performed as it is in most western countries. Mission Rabies believes in the appropriate employment of euthanasia for the purpose of ending suffering in animals for which reasonable treatment options are not available. Euthanasia decisions are handled on a case-by-case basis and local organisers are always involved in these decisions.
As mentioned above, each state has its own language. This can make communication challenging not only for those visiting India, but for people from different states who are working together for the first time. Mission Rabies will work to be sure that coordinators on the team will have — at minimum — a working knowledge of English so as to be able to communicate effectively with volunteers. On the flip-side, you are strongly encouraged to work to learn some basic words and phrases to communicate with non-English-speaking members of your team and the community members who you will meet. You will definitely get more from the experience if you do and local people will be delighted that you made the effort!
General Health Considerations
India is generally a safe place to travel and the majority of tourist visits are trouble-free. Just as you would do when travelling anywhere, following certain rules will help to ensure your safety. Never travel alone, if you are going somewhere make sure you have company and make sure you inform your team leader and the volunteer coordinator. You will sometimes be working in areas where people may not be used to seeing tourists so you will probably attract a lot of interest from local people – you’ll get used to being asked to pose for photos! Make sure that when you’re out and about that you keep an eye out for the rest of your team and stay together – the bright yellow Mission Rabies t-shirts are helpful for spotting your team members.
While there will always be crimes and problems that make the headlines, these are extremely rare, given the size of the country and the population living here. In our survey of previous volunteers, they answered almost unanimously that they felt safe at all times while working and that the Indian team members had made every effort to prevent problems. The Indian teams are very proud to have you visiting and working with them, so they will really look after you!
General Health and Safety
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have contacted a medical professional and/or travel clinic at least 6-8weeks before the date of the project. You must ensure you have all the necessary vaccinations, that they are up to date and that you get any boosters in sufficient time. Please also inform us of any medical conditions you have, or in case you have any questions about your ability to participate, so that we are aware of them, can discuss them with you and can make any necessary provisions. The NHS has a helpful website for travelling, http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk, that can provide you with advice but this should only be used in conjunction with, and not instead of seeking medical advice from your medical practitioner/local travel clinic. You must ensure you have suitable travel insurance for the project and for any additional activities you that you may choose to do.
Mission Rabies carries out a risk assessment ahead of the project. You shall be informed of the important aspects prior to departure and will have an in-country briefing about general health and safety, as well as more information about the nature of the work. Medical facilities are unlikely to be/may not be of the same standard that you are used to and are often less accessible than at home. As part of our risk assessment, we identify suitable hospitals and medical facilities prior to the project starting in case we need to use them.
Food and Water Safety
Yes, it’s true! People who are not native to India certainly have a greater chance of catching various “bugs” from the water and from certain foods. As a rule, we recommend that you stay away from tap water and rely instead on bottled and/or purified water (which will be provided). With regard to food, we will provide clean, safe food for each of your meals. We recommend consulting your physician to discuss treatments that you can bring along and signs to look out for when travelling. Many people have said that steering clear of eating meat will go a long way in preventing illness; anecdotally this does appear to have been true for many of our previous volunteers so far.
Transport and Accommodation
You will be collected from the airport by Mission Rabies and we will arrange any work-related travel for you. Don’t worry if you are delayed, you will still be collected. If you are delayed on your return home, where possible we will attempt to accompany and assist you, however this may not be possible as many of our staff will also be returning to the UK.
The standard of the roads, vehicles and driving in India may be less than you are used to. We conduct vehicle safety and driver checks for all the vehicles we use but this is something you should be aware of. The accommodation, although not luxurious, is clean, comfortable and safe and our previous volunteers have been very happy there.
Vaccine Requirements and Recommendations
In order to participate with Mission Rabies, we require proof of rabies vaccination within the past two years or proof of adequate titre within the last three months. Proof of current tetanus vaccination is required as well. Regarding other vaccines, we strongly recommend that you consult with your physician or a travel medicine clinic prior to coming to India and decide whether additional vaccinations or preventatives are indicated.
India does have endemic malaria. We strongly recommend that you consult your physician and/or travel clinic to discuss options and indications for an adequate anti-malarial while you are in India. We also advise you pack a mosquito net, repellent and wear long sleeves and trousers in the evenings to reduce the chance of insect bites.
Dog Bite Protocols
Mission Rabies takes dog bites and potential rabies exposure very seriously. We follow strict protocol in line with the latest WHO recommendations in the case of dog bites. Post-exposure prophylaxis is readily available in India so injections can be obtained if they are needed. You will be briefed before you travel and in-country on our procedures for your own protection and there will always be a member of Mission Rabies staff to help.
You are not alone!
Mission Rabies is well aware of the fact that travelling to India can be an overwhelming experience even for seasoned travellers and we want your volunteer experience here to be as rewarding and comfortable as possible. Our staff are more than happy to answer any questions that you have before you travel and there will be the Mission Rabies Leadership Team from the UK Head Office and from India on the drive to be your point of communication in-country. All of the Leadership Team have the competencies as required by our policies, including experience in similar environments, knowledge of rabies and specific training.
Be a part of an amazing 10,000 dog vaccination drive to aid in the elimination of rabies in the whole state of Goa!
Join us in delivering life-saving vaccines, heading through the back-streets of beautiful Goa to help us protect generations from rabies!
|Suitability:||Vets, Vet Nurses, Vet Students, Vet Nurse Students, Non-Vets|