Vacancies in Almere, The Netherlands

Dear partners, friends and EVS enthusiasts,
With this invitation we would like to inform you about our upcoming free
EVS positions. AAP Rescue Centre for Exotic Animals, a Dutch Animal
Welfare NGO, has experience as an EVS Receiving Organization since
2008. In 2012, we also took over the task of Coordinating Organization.
Since then AAP offers two to three EVS positions three times a year.
Soon, we will be applying again to the Erasmus+ Programme (deadline
of January 5tht, 2014) for new EVS volunteers.
European Voluntary Service as a volunteer
Animal Care at AAP, Almere, the Netherlands
How many:
How to apply:
From June 2016 till June 2017
12 months
Two EVS volunteers between 17 and 30 yrs of age
Any EU-nationality and residency outside The Netherlands
Send your motivation letter and CV to [email protected]
mentioning “EVSALM-2016R1” in the subject of your mail
Application deadline: January 5th , 2016
AAP is a European rescue center for exotic animals (see also
The animals that end up with AAP often come from illegal trade, research laboratories,
circuses, illegal zoos or directly from private individuals. The foundation specializes in the
rescue and rehabilitation of apes and monkeys. Also, small exotic mammals are sheltered by
AAP, including raccoons, skunks and prairie dogs. Prior to their arrival at AAP they often have
been seriously abused and severely neglected. At AAP the animals receive the professional
care needed for their recovery. AAP’s aim is to make the animals mentally and physically
healthy and to place them in a more natural environment, such as a natural enclosure or in a
renowned zoo.
As an EVS volunteer at AAP you will be part of a large group of volunteers who work within
AAP. The volunteer will be in close contact with employed staff, other volunteers and many
AAP is located on a recreational area in Almere, “De Kemphaan”. It is an attractive area with
different organizations working with nature. There is a biological farm, a place where
youngsters learn about nature, where children with fewer opportunities can have a free
vacation and of course there is AAP. “De Kemphaan” is located 8 km from the city center.
AAP has two guest houses, one on its own premises and one in the residential areas of the
city. Here you will live together not only with other EVS volunteers but also with other
volunteers who work at AAP but who are not associated with EVS. Tasks to be performed with
regard to the volunteer house are also part of the EVS experience. You will act as a contact
between the inhabitants and AAP, which will give you the opportunity to improve your
managerial and social skills. In general, staying in the AAP-volunteer house gives you an
opportunity to participate in social activities and learn more about the Dutch culture.
On occasions AAP also organizes meetings for all volunteers and friends of the organization.
As a Coordinating Organization AAP will also arrange for the necessary requirements, such as
language support, pocket money etc.. The staff of Animal Care Departments takes care of
thorough training and guidance in the voluntary work of all new volunteers. Moreover, as EVSvolunteer, during your project you will participate in trainings organized centrally by the Dutch
National Agency, you will come into contact with EVS volunteers from other projects and
activities of partner NGOs in Almere and the rest of the country. If you want to know more
about being an EVS volunteer, please download the Erasmus+ Programme Guide.
As a volunteer you will be working in an active and flexible organization. Despite the fixed
project description, there are many opportunities for personal growth when volunteering at
AAP. Within the EVS year, you will experience all four animal care departments of AAP, i.e.
quarantine and three rehabilitation
departments for small mammals, primates
and chimpanzees respectively. At all
departments you will actively take part in the
caretaking process of different kinds of
exotic animal species. Experienced animal
caretakers provide you with thorough
training and guidance.
AAP strongly prefers having volunteers for 1
year. The volunteers will have the opportunity
to experience multiple aspects of animal
care within the organization. There will be
fixed patterns and tasks you have to perform
but after some time there will be opportunities to change tasks, depending on your abilities,
interest and especially attitude.
Animal Caretaker
(2 long term EVS volunteers)
Works 4 days a week in a team of experienced animal caretakers and will be trained
to carry out daily activities independently.
Is responsible for cleaning the animals’ enclosures.
Assists in furnishing the animals’ enclosures, e.g. replacing floor covering of enclosures
and erecting beams and other structures.
Makes enrichment items for the animals to stimulate natural behavior and keeps an
eye on their overall behavior.
Helps to prepare food and feeds the animals.
Takes care of small maintenance.
Reports peculiarities to the experienced caretakers and takes part in writing daily
reports on the animals’ health and care.
At AAP the main focus is on the animals’ welfare so the majority of your activities will be
directly linked to this. The team leaders of the different departments will decide on what kind
of responsibilities you will be assigned; this depends on the progress you are making and the
confidence, reliability and understanding you show to the caretakers and team leaders. This
means that activities of several EVS-ers might different. How your individual responsibilities and
tasks evolve during your EVS project is largely dependent on you!
Also, all EVS-ers at AAP are involved in proper management of the AAP guest houses (for
details see section ‘Social and Working Environment’), which will challenge your social and
managerial skills.
Because this project is for a maximum period of time in the EVS project, AAP, as a Receiving
and Coordinating Organisation, has certain requirements in regard to volunteer skills.
Basic requirements: 17-30 years old, EU nationality and residency outside the Netherlands
Being able to speak good English
Clear communication is important for your own safety and that of your colleagues. As an
EVS volunteer at AAP you work with potentially dangerous animals. If the volunteer does
not speak English we will have problems communicating. During your EVS project you will
develop your English skills further by communicating with your fellow volunteers. Almost
everybody in the Netherlands speaks good English.
Being motivated
A project that lasts for 12 months needs motivated volunteers. Please let us know in your
motivation letter why you want to join the project.
Be aware that this EVS project is hard and physical work
This EVS project involves a lot of physical work. Depending on the department where you
will work, up to 60% will involve cleaning but you can enjoy the animals in the process.
Unfortunately we cannot make exceptions as to the amount of cleaning, that is why you
need to be passionate about the animals otherwise you will not enjoy this EVS
Having affinity and some experience in working with animals
AAP’s main activity is taking care of exotic animals that need temporary housing and/or
specialized care. The volunteer must realize that most animals show signs of trauma and
need to be re-socialized with members of their own species. It’s important that they are
not handled as pets. We call this the ‘hands off policy’. The interaction between the
caretaker and the animal should always be minimal. The fact that the animals develop
towards a more natural life should be the cause of satisfaction.
Having no allergies
Having allergies for animal fur is problematic as you have to be around animals on a
daily basis.
Being able to deal with strict protocols
For your safety and for the sake of the animals there are strict protocols to work by. You
must be able to work by these protocols. Mistakes can be dangerous for you, your
colleagues and the animals.
Having no problem working one day in the weekend
Animals don’t have a weekend break like we do this means you have to work one
Saturday or Sunday every week. Of course in return you will get one day free during the
middle of the week. It’s an EVS-rule, that every week the volunteers have at least two
subsequent days off. In general, at AAP we work in two work-time schedules: one team
taking care of the animals from Sundays to Wednesdays and another one from
Wednesdays to Saturdays.
• AAP operates with sending costs of 480 euro for each volunteer in all of its projects.
• In all cases, AAP Almere supports her projects by acting as Coordinating Organization
• For preparation, the SO is much advised to provide the volunteer with two books: “The
UnDutchables” (by Colin White and Lauren Boucke) and “Embracing uncertainty” (by
Susan Jeffers). These books appear to be very valuable in preparing the volunteer for
coming to the Netherlands and for being able to handle the EVS project successfully.
Preferably, the SO provides the volunteer with both books during the pre-departure
• The SO is in charge of all preparations of the volunteer prior to his/her arrival to AAP,
Almere, the Netherlands.
The SO is responsible for making sure the AXA insurance is completely in order before
arrival of the volunteer. Upon arrival we need a copy of the AXA card from the
volunteer and an enrolment form.
Reimbursement of travel costs is always transferred to the volunteer’s bank account
(or their SO in case they have taken care of advanced payment) after the first month
of the project.
• AAP provides language-support for two hours a week for at least three months. This
support is focused on basic communication skills and pronunciation in the Dutch
language. After this initial period, the volunteer can continue the language lessons in
their own time and at their own cost. Please note that for German(ic) languages
these language lessons might be too easy.
• For your transport you will receive a bike to move through the city (also in winter).
• The accommodation will be in one of AAP’s guest houses, where also other volunteers
and interns live. These houses operate on a dormitory basis. You will have to share a
room with another volunteer; it’s important that you are fully aware of this fact. If
required, moving from one house to the other, is possible.
• It is very wise to save some money before coming to the Netherlands. The pocket and
food money is decent for an EVS volunteer but won’t leave you a lot of space to
explore the country. If you really want to enjoy your EVS experience, to explore the
country and to meet up with other EVS volunteers in other cities we highly
recommend having some other resources other than the basic EVS allowance.
Another important fact is that your AXA insurance does not pay in advance. In
practice, this means that you have to pay in advance for your health care and have
to wait weeks before AXA reimburses the money to your bank account.
• If you, at the moment of applying, have a SO, please add the contact data (name,
mobile number and direct e-mail) of your SO-agent in your application letter. If you
don´t have one yet, we are willing and able to help you finding a reliable one.
• Please be aware that the automatic AXA insurance for each EVS volunteer does not
cover risks associated with travelling (such as loss of luggage), therefore, you are
advised to read the insurance conditions carefully and arrange an additional
insurance if you feel it is necessary. Your SO can provide you with detailed information
on the AXA insurance.
Please send us your CV and motivation letter to [email protected] (do not forget to
mention the code EVSALM-2016-R1in the subject of your email).
Make sure your application is received January 5th, 2016 at the latest. Do not forget to add a
photo to your CV and also mention what you hope to learn by participating in this project.
Make sure that you mention also your SO if you have one already (incl. contact details) and
your telephone number and skype address where we can reach you in case of an interview.
From the applications received we will make a selection of 6 to 9 candidates who will be
contacted for telephone or skype interview (to be expected between January the 10th and
21 January 2016. The selection will be conducted by a member of the AAP’s Animal Care
staff. With the selected candidates and their SO’s AAP will apply for the EVS grant. Definitive
approval of the project is to be expected around end of April 2016.