How to be a volunteer

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31/05/2021
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How to be a volunteer in Tenerife Horse Rescue

How can I volunteer at Tenerife Horse Rescue? What do I need to know to volunteer? How long does the volunteering last? These and others are some of the most frequent questions we receive on Social Media. That is why today we decided to dedicate this week’s “How to with Lola” as an article especially to how to be a volunteer in our sanctuary, what it implies and the different ways that there are to collaborate. We also share the experience of some of our volunteers so that you can receive first-hand information. And you, would you like to volunteer at Tenerife Horse Rescue? Keep reading!

In the last decade, volunteering has become very fashionable especially for travelers, who can get to know different places and people around the world without spending on accommodation or food. But in addition to these benefits, being a volunteer can be an extremely enriching experience, especially if you contribute to a project in which you feel connected to. Fortunately, in the world there are many animal lovers who write to us often to volunteer on our farm. Requests come to us through all our social networks! And this fills us with pride. This post is dedicated to you. Here you will find the answers to many of your questions.

How to apply to volunteer?

For organizational reasons, from Tenerife Horse Rescue’s office, we prefer to unify all requests in 2 place’s. For this, we designed a simple form on our website with which you can apply to be a volunteer in our shelter. In it, you will be asked things such as: your personal data, the sector you are interested in collaborating with and your experience in it. It is very simple and it will only take you a few minutes to complete. You just have to go to this link But for those who do not follow us in networks and do not know about the existence of this place, we are also present in different volunteer applications such as Workaway and Worldpackers. For those who do not know, these applications offer a wide variety of volunteer options around the world. For this, you must create an account and search our name. This method is very effective and safe. It will also give you access to the previous experience of our volunteers.

What tasks can you do as a volunteer?

As some of you already know, Tenerife Horse Rescue has several areas to explore since we are not only a refuge for horses but also for other animals and, at the same time, a sustainable community. There are many jobs to develop such as: animal care, cleaning, cooking, construction, gardening and another very important, our office, from where I write these lines. The area in which you will collaborate will depend on your experience and your interest. It is always good to receive people with experience in the sector, but we also give people the opportunity to learn different jobs. Being a volunteer, what we demand the most is a good will and attitude. 

Types of volunteering

In our refuge we have different types of volunteers depending on the duration, location or commitment. On the one hand, we have resident volunteers, those who work and live on site. For this we provide all food and accommodation for 25 hours a week working. In this case, the commitment is bigger since it implies being part of the project 100%. The duration of the volunteering is up to you, unless a specific duration is required for a specific role. We have volunteers who have stayed from 4 weeks to three years. That depends on the personal situation and the commitment of each person to the project.

In general, we prefer when people commit for a longer time, since it always takes time to learn and internalize the tasks. We also like to work with confidence creating a family environment so as long as the commitment and motivation are intact, we are very happy that the volunteers stay for a long time. But, as we said before, we receive many travelers who are passing through the island, so we are very used to “good bye”.

We also have volunteers for a day. This is special help from people who already have their work or personal commitments, but who still like to come visit the site and give a hand to our permanent volunteers. We have already talked about this topic in another post, and if you are one of those who is interested in coming to help for a day, I really advise you to read it.

Finally, we have occasional volunteers, people who help us sporadically from their homes, contributing with their knowledge. Very frequently we ask for advice about Marketing strategies or social networks, for example. Any contribution is welcome as long as it is destined to grow our refuge.

The experience of being a volunteer at Tenerife Horse Rescue

In general, from Tenerife Horse Rescue we receive very good reviews from our volunteers. Most of them leave very happy and some others return after a while, which fills us with satisfaction. But this part we prefer that they tell you:

“Half a year ago when I came to Tenerife Horse Rescue I didn’t know what to really expect as it was my first volunteering and being part of a community experience.  I used to work with animals before so working with them was pretty natural, but all the rest I needed to learn. First thing you need to learn about being here is simple sharing. We share everything. Also love for animals. A lot of volunteers have their favorite animals here, but as we don’t own them, we learn how to take care of them together. We all are here just for some time so it’s good to master your jealousy as the good of animals is more important. The next thing you can master here is working with people you live with, and a lot of them are simply your friends so it is not always easy to share the common tools or working attitude. But this is a good preparation to practice your patience and communication skills, as being part of Tenerife Horse Rescue gives you the opportunity to meet and work with people from all over the world.”

Adriana- Small Animals 

“I’m really proud to become a volunteer at Tenerife Horse Rescue. From the first moment I knew that this is a place to be. Such a nice energy is around. Happy animals and happy people. I will never forget this experience. I learned here that all of us can have a good life, if we start to share again.”

Richard- Horses

“Being a volunteer at Tenerife Horse Rescue is a great experience for me. In this place you learn to connect with the simplest and most important things. You forget all those superficial things and spend your time helping and sharing with others. You also have the possibility to contribute your knowledge and at the same time learn from other volunteers. It’s a great exchange! ”.

Lola- Social Media and blog writer

Tips for volunteering at Tenerife Horse Rescue

Although it was a great experience for our volunteers, the truth is that we have also had a person who came and left on the same day because the place “was not for them”. That is why if you are thinking of being a resident volunteer, I advise you to be clear about what that implies.

Living in our farm implies adapting to the comfort conditions typical of a farm. By this I mean, for example, being willing to spend most of your time outdoors, in the sun and probably enduring wind or other weather conditions. Although in general the communal areas are roofed, most of the work is outside. For this reason I recommend good sun protection, sunglasses and a cap.

You must also take into account the type of accommodation that we offer. Many of our volunteers live in converted caves or in dormitories built by themselves from recycled materials. This, while for many it can be a great experience, for others it can be a little bit strange. That is why we always prefer to say it beforehand. Do you like living in nature and building spaces with natural materials? Then it is the perfect place for you! But if insects or strong winds scare you, then maybe you should think of somewhere else.

Another point to keep in mind is that we are a community. And being a community implies sharing with other (30) people. Here we share everything: the kitchen, the bathrooms, the common areas, the food and our time also. So respect and teamwork are two essential aspects to be a volunteer and have a nice experience on this site. As in any family, coexistence problems can also occur here. But everything is solved with good communication and openness to change or improvement.

I hope that all this information has been useful to you. If everything I told you makes sense for you, come and try your own experience! Send your request in this link

And don’t forget, in addition to your labor, our shelter is supported by donations. Without them we cannot grow. In this link you can find all the options to make a contribution to our refuge.

And if you can’t contribute due to financial reasons, we understand. But you can still help us by sharing our posts on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter) This makes our content reach more people who may be able to help us with a donation for our animals. The more people we reach, the more animals we can rescue. Thank you!

picking out horse feet

2 Comments

  1. Sandra+Puskas says:

    Well done Lola,great blog and lovely pictures?

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