Veterinarians without Borders / Vétérinaires sans Frontières
Vets without Borders based here in Canada?
Still relatively unknown to most, “Their mission is to work for, and with, communities in need to foster the health of animals, people and the environments that sustain us.”
Even more impressive is that I am lucky enough to have as my own wonderful veterinarian Dr. Enid Stiles, the President and co founder.
VWB/VSF Canada started up in 2004-2005 by a small group of veterinarians from across Canada with experience and interest in building capacity and improving livelihoods around the world.
Says Dr. Stiles “We started off with a few conference calls and meetings at coffee shops and have since grown at an exponential pace! Our first partners, the Beyond Miles Program from Aeroplan MADE it possible for us in the beginning and are still key partners today. So much of the expense of working in other countries is getting there”
Vets without Borders Canada is not the same type of organization as Medicins sans Frontieres. Each country has its own independent Vétérinaires sans Frontières organization. There is VSF Suisse, VSF Germany, etc. They all work together sometimes on a joint project but are independent of each other.
Dr.Stiles: “Personally, most of my work is done in Canada so my recent work abroad has been pretty limited. I helped build and coordinate our work in Todos Santos Guatemala which is truly amazing. One of our few dog projects. Very well received by the people of the community. What I find incredible about our organization is we do not simply "fly in and out". We don't go and spay-neuter-vaccinate and then leave a community with nothing more than before. We try and help them build their own capacity by sharing knowledge, training local community members to be animal health workers, education programs for children, etc. Our goat project in Uganda has a pass-on program which allows for the entire community to benefit.”
When asked what we can do to help, Dr Stiles was quick to respond, “As more and more cuts are being seen in the recent Canadian government toward international programs, VWB/VSF is increasingly dependent on public support. Donating Aeroplan miles through Beyond Miles Program, becoming a monthly donor, purchasing our e-cards, running a fundraising event like a dog walk, charity dog wash, silent auction, etc. Or simply volunteer your time to help us spread the word about the amazing work we do!”
Some other ways you can make a difference I found on their website;
Join the Red Bandana Project. Purchase bandanas for the dogs in your and help support programs around the world. If you work at a veterinary clinic you can help by selling Red Bandanas!
Help raise awareness by inviting a Vets without Borders speaker to present at your organization, business or school.
Keep an eye on volunteer opportunities for upcoming field positions.
Go online now and check out their E Card campaign in time for the Holidays.
Read all the blogs, they are fascinating!