Young Volunteer Program | Veterinarians Without Borders
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Join Our Young Volunteer Program (YVP)

YVP participants in Kenya

Veterinarians Without Borders/Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (VWB/VSF) was founded in 2005 to facilitate volunteer work by Canadian veterinarians in developing countries around the world. Since that time, volunteers have played a very important role in our work — including students and young professionals!

2024 YVP Application is now closed

What is the Young Volunteer Program?

As part of VETS (Volunteers Engaged in Gender-Responsive Technical Solutions — long acronym!), the Young Volunteer Program provides university students and recent graduates strongly supported international volunteer placements. These placements contribute to the mission of VWB/VSF and offer participants additional guidance throughout their assignments — such as ongoing training from experienced technical advisors.

The Young Volunteer Program helps improve food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Global South. To achieve this, participants contribute to activities that help strengthen the skills, knowledge, and capacity of our partners, and participants gain opportunities to learn and grow in a cross-cultural setting!

See Positions 

Young Volunteer Program Details

So what does the Young Volunteer Program involve?

  • Fully-funded volunteer placements of 8-12 weeks from May - August 2024
  • Join a YVP Team and work together with other students and young professionals
  • Volunteer with one of our VETS program partners in Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Senegal, or Vietnam!
  • Take part in pre-departure orientation in Ottawa in May
  • Receive ongoing technical support, training, resources from a Canadian technical advisor
  • Engage the Canadian public during and after your placement to raise awareness about Canada's involvement in international development
  • Participant eligibility:

    • Able to commit to the duration of the program
    • Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
    • Studying and/or recent university graduate in animal health, nutrition, dairy management, health risk assessment, horticulture, monitoring and evaluation, disease management, veterinary medicine, gender equality, communications, and more (this list will be updated based on identified partner needs) 
    • Vaccination against COVID is recommended by VWB. International volunteers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as per airline or assignment country requirements and must be able to provide proof should the airline or assignment country immigration authority require proof of vaccination.

Young boy holds a goat while a volunteer administers a vaccination.

"This placement has really helped me think about which path I intend to follow in the future. Working in international development is definitely on my radar, and I would love to stay involved in One Health initiatives."

— Inès Petard,  2022 YVP Alum, OVC Class of 2024 — 

Young volunteer placements are fully-funded — thanks to Global Affairs Canada

VWB/VSF will cover the cost of predeparture training in Ottawa, round-trip airfare to placement country, visa/permit costs, required vaccinations, and overseas emergency travel health insurance. Further, participants receive a monthly living allowance designed to cover basic housing, food, and typical monthly living expenses.

GAC and VWB logo

YVP Group Shot 2022

In the past, YVP participants have provided additional support for remote vet clinics, vaccination campaigns, research and data collection, and much more. Young Volunteers contribute to healthier communities around the globe!

Young Volunteer Program Placements

Interested in joining a YVP Team? We'd love to hear from you!

You can indicate which locations / positions you are interested in on your application form. VWB/VSF will determine placements based on the applicant's background and experience, together with the needs of our local partners. Take a look below.

GHANA - Ghana Poultry Network 

KENYA - Wakulima Dairy

KENYA - Meru Dairy

LAOS - Health Poverty Action 

Click Here to Apply!

Application deadline: October 23, 2023

What makes an effective volunteer?

International volunteers often experience new and challenging circumstances. It's hard to know how we will react until we face those challenges. However, there are personal and professional qualities that help to identify people who will be effective working and living in another country.

It is important to be flexible. International volunteers often need to adapt to unfamiliar circumstances. At times you could experience inconvenience or discomfort. Volunteers need the self-confidence to take action on their own. The most effective volunteers also thrive as collaborative team members, overcoming cultural and language barriers to share accomplishments as part of a team.

International volunteer work is an opportunity to develop and strengthen skills and abilities that will last a lifetime.

If you would like to contribute to the health of animals, people, and the planet, then a volunteer assignment may be right for you.


Got questions? Email Megan at volunteer@vetswithoutborders.ca and we'll be happy to help!

Cows in Kenya

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  • I have seen first-hand the benefits of capacity building and gender empowerment for smallholder livestock farmers, and stakeholders in the livestock sector.
    - Dr. Shauna Richards

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