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Virtual Volunteers take part in an online training session for Meru Animal Welfare Organisation

Volunteer stories
19 Feb 2021 Leaya Slater

In February BEVA Trust virtual volunteers supported a bespoke online training session for Meru Animal Welfare Organisation’s small veterinary team in Tanzania.

The session was held at 2pm Tanzania time, which covered donkey care and management, behaviour and handling and cart and harness in three lectures held via Zoom. Volunteers Joanna Gillingham, Violette Cassiers and Alex Thiemann prepared and presented their lectures the small team of vets, para vet, vet nurse and director of the small charity in Tanzania. There were plenty of questions and audience participation helping make the session a great success.

Joanna shares her thoughts on taking part; I first noticed the BEVA Trust Volunteer advertisement on Instagram. It was a straightforward application process via email. I enjoyed meeting the other volunteers, via zoom, prior to the event to discuss ideas. The training event was well organised and it was really fulfilling to engage with our veterinary peers in Tanzania. I presented a lecture and we discussed improvements to donkey care, management and welfare. I would definitely recommend volunteering with BEVA Trust!

Violette shares her experience of virtual volunteering; Last week, I had the opportunity to be part of an online Zoom training session for the MAWO organization. In a world where COVID has made travel difficult it was overwhelming to be able to connect with people living on the other side of the planet. It was weirdly fun and interesting to listen to their issues with working donkeys in Tanzania and even hear that donkeys are playing a role in preventing COVID was so interesting. Indeed, donkeys are essential allies to bring water in some regions of Tanzanian then used for hand hygiene, for instance. Giving a talk on the subject of safely handling donkeys, to experts, especially without having been in their environment, was a challenge. Yet, it was also a pleasure to see how easily it was done and how many questions were exchanged. Hopefully, the session was useful for everyone.

I find it amazing to think that even from the comfort of one's houses, we can be in contact and help colleagues from all over the world.