L-R Jessica Schmid & Dagmar Demandt.
By TAGIMEUCIA KOROIVUKI
Projects Abroad Fiji animal lovers Ms. Dagmar Demandt (23) from Belgium and Ms. Jessica Schmid (20) from Germany are enjoying their volunteer work at the animal project, West charity Trust for Animal Welfare in Nadi.
They both were interested in volunteering in other countries but changed their decision once they heard about Fiji.
“There were two Projects that involved dogs which were in Europe and Fiji and because I’m from Europe I chose to come to Fiji to learn another culture, another climate and a whole other experience,” Dagmar shared.
“Well I actually wanted to go as far away as possible from Germany. I was first interested in Samoa but then I thought I’d do something different and come to Fiji for the Animal Care Project and I love it,” Jessica added.
The two young ladies feels there is much needed attention towards the Projects Abroad Fiji animal Care Project.
“I do feel there could be more attention towards the animal care project or even have a Project day to help with the animals because it is definitely a need,” Dagmar remarked.
They strongly believe that more volunteers must be encouraged to join the animal care project.
“Well I think they need more help from volunteers because it is a small organization and sometimes they have a lot to do and I think they need all the help they can get,” Dagmar opined.
Dagmar says their everyday tasks would begin with “cleaning the cages and the animals, then we help with feeding them particularly to some dogs who are unable to walk. After, we assist with de-ticking and sometimes we get surrenders which are full of ticks which can take up to four hours de-ticking them,” she enthused.
“Apart from the cleaning and feeding we are usually given responsibility to give the dogs and cats their medicines and assisting with operations, not directly but just handing the equipment’s to the vet during the operation, which is actually pretty cool,” Jessica added.
There are many things that these ladies have gained from their experience one in particular is to “know how a dog or cat is dehydrated and how to spade a dog, of course we never did it but we watched the whole operation,” Jessica shared.
“I’ve learnt how to put a syringe in a dog’s mouth to give medicine,” Dagmar added.
Jessica feels that as a team they have accomplished a lot.
“I feel like as a team we make a difference although we have different roles to play, as a team we make difference for these animals and at the end of the day that’s what matters,” she enthused.
To conclude their advice to future Projects Abroad Fiji volunteers are to be as active as possible during their volunteer work.
“Don’t be afraid of animals. Always ask where you can help, go to the staff and vet and don’t worry if you get dirty because it’s quite normal here and remember to never hold back,” they both concluded.
We hope that great stories like these inspire others to help Projects Abroad to make a difference and, in doing so, to learn something themselves along the way.
(Tagimeucia Koroivuki is the Information Coordinator for Projects Abroad Fiji).