VBB VetMatch volunteer Amy Readthorn, an A&E vet nurse at Woodcroft Veterinary Hospital in the UK, enjoys travelling and discovering unique places around the world and learning their cultures.
Amy also visited many poverty-stricken places which motivated her to do something to help -volunteering for Vets Beyond Borders. “I feel this is a brilliant way of utilising my skills to help the villages. I’m excited to be able to experience a different culture and way of life!” she said.
Last year, Amy travelled to Sikkim, India to volunteer in VBB’s Sikkim Anti-Rabies and Animal Health (SARAH) program, the first state-wide rabies program which has demonstrated successful near elimination of this nearly 100% fatal dog-mediated disease*.
“Sikkim is such a beautiful place with amazing views of the Himalayas everywhere you look. The clinic itself is doing an amazing job run by such dedicated vets and nurses and I loved working alongside them,” said Amy.
“We spent a lot of time in villages as well as in the clinic with the maximum neutering in one day being 42 with an additional 38 vaccinations. The villagers are made aware of our arrival and so they knew to attend. The turnouts were really good, sometimes we were operating into the night, so I definitely felt we made a huge difference.
“Having the opportunity to visit the villages was a very unique experience. Getting to experience real Sikkimese life, how people live and seeing the beauty away from the city, as well as eating real local food cooked by the locals themselves! Also, the endless flasks of chai they would bring to look after us. I will never forget the bonfire karaoke parties to relax after long shifts with such a brilliant team.”
Amy recommends volunteering in Sikkim not just to help make a difference but also to enjoy the travel experience.
“It takes a while to reach the clinic from the airport due to roads, but it was worth it!” she laughed. “Having the opportunity to work with an established team in a completely different environment and experiencing their lifestyle. I would recommend a trip north to see the snow topped mountains! The tour guide was brilliant and trips very reasonably priced.”
Thank you, Amy, for volunteering for VBB. We hope to see you again!