Sarah Harren’s experience in Zimbabwe

Sarah Harren
Volunteer Name:Sarah Harren
Project Attended: Pre-vet Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Placement
Country Attended:Zimbabwe
What made you choose to volunteer on this particular project? I have always had a passion for working with animals and have always wanted to go to Africa. The project was the perfect fit for me!
Can you tell us a bit more about your role on the project? My role was a bit different each day. In means of taking care of the animals of the orphanage, the volunteers were split into groups with different people every Monday. Each day of the week, each group would get assigned a different section to tend to for the day: Antelope, Carnivores, Primates, Nursery, or your group would be assigned to go to the schools in Bulawayo to teach kids about wildlife. On some days, we would get a call to come collect an injured animal or a nuisance animal; and sometimes we went to Matapos National Park to conduct research on Brown Hyenas.
Having volunteered on the project, how will the project help you in your studies and your future career going forward? I believe I will have my foot in the door when it comes to pre-vet experience or even research and conservation aspects. I actually think I learned the most about conservation. I’m thrilled to have this on my resume and I’m sure it will come across that I learned a lot while I was in Zimbabwe when I am being interviewed for jobs!
What does travelling as a volunteer mean to you vs travelling as a tourist? As a tourist, you’re only in a certain area for 1-5 days. You don’t know get to know the people, the area, the animals, and the culture. Travelling as a volunteer you get to do all of this, and much more!
What would you say to others thinking of volunteering? DO IT! Yes, it may be a lot of money - but money is replaceable. Time isn’t. If you have the time to volunteer abroad - do it now!!!! I PROMISE YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. Spending the summer in Africa has humbled me immensely. I will never take my EXTREMELY blessed life for granted. Africa taught me to live in the moment, and to always be kind to everyone, because you never know what someone is/has been through.


Testimonial


In the beginning, I thought I would gain dramatic experience in the vet world – but I made much more than that! I met the most INCREDIBLE people while at the project and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I learned so much about African animals, and the culture of Zimbabwe.”