The Mona Foundation's mission is to end the exploitation of primates in captivity. The foundation has established a sanctuary near Girona in Spain
... which provides a home where rescued chimpanzees and other primates can live in a natural environment and where people can be inspired to understand and respect wild animals.
The Mona Foundation depends heavily on volunteer helpers to continue its work. Volunteers are responsible for many of the tasks involved in the day-to-day care of chimpanzees at our sanctuary.
They usually stay for a period of six months and live at the centre. Other helpers who live locally give a day or more of their time each week to undertake tasks such as publicity, school visits, fundraising and maintenance.
Volunteers keepers stay for six months at the project and take part in all aspects of caring for our primates. This includes, collecting and preparing food, cleaning indoor quarters, maintaining structures in the outdoor enclosure, organising enrichment activities, feeding primates and collecting data on the re-socialisation of primates. Once volunteers have gained two or three months experience at the project they will take on a considerable degree of responsibility in the daily care of primates. Other duties undertaken by volunteers include gardening, attending to visitors and helping at fundraising events.
The working hours at Mona are long and the duties can be physically demanding. A full-time head keeper is only duty each day to supervise volunteers and is assisted several days per week by the project director. Three to four people are involved in animal care duties each day. Local members of the Foundation assist with other duties such as maintenance and organising educational visits. The working languages at the Mona Foundation are Spanish, Catalan and English. A communal lunch is prepared each day with which everyone helps out on a rota basis.
Volunteers are required to work five days per week, which is organised on a rota system. On occasions volunteers may be asked to work six or seven days in a row. The hours are usually from 8.30am till 1.30pm and from 3.30pm till 7.30pm. These hours can be longer in the summer or when new primates are brought to the centre. Volunteers living at the project are required to stay on site up to five evening per week.
Previous experience in a primate centre or other type of animal care centre is desirable but not essential. Equally important is that volunteers can demonstrate that they are committed to the aims of the Mona Foundation, that they are available to work full-time for a period of six months.
The Mona Foundation provides accommodation on site, consisting of two bedrooms with bunk beds. A kitchen, living area and bathroom are attached. There are usually between three and four people staying at the house on any one day.
Period of stay
Staring dates are flexible and can be at any time of the year. Volunteer keeper are requested to stay for six months.
The Mona Foundation ask the volunteers to be a supporting member. Otherwise volunteers contribute to a weekly food kitty, which is approximately €10 a week .
Getting to the Mona Foundation
The project is situated in the town of Riudellots de la Selva , 10 kilometres south of Girona in Catalonia, Spain. Barcelona is just over one hour south by train or car. Girona airport, which has excellent connections to the UK and elsewhere in Europe, is just ten minutes from the project.If you come by car you can take the N-II road or the AP-7 motorway -exit 8 .
How to apply
If you are interesting in volunteering at the Mona Foundation, please write, giving details of when and for how long you are available and what experience and qualifications you have that is relevant to Mona’s work. Please enclose a copy of your CV.
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