EUROPEAN VOLUNTARY SERVICE: PRIMATE MATTERS Dear partners, friends and EVS-enthusiasts, With this invitation we would like to inform you about our upcoming free EVS-positions. AAP Primadomus, a Spanish Animal Welfare NGO, is accredited since 2013 to welcome EVS volunteers as EVS Receiving Organization. Soon, we will be applying again to the Erasmus+ Programme (deadline of February 1st, 2016) for new EVS volunteers. Therefore, AAP Primadomus is looking for four EVS candidates for 2016-2017. What: European Voluntary Service as a volunteer Animal Care taker at AAP Primadomus, Villena (Alicante), Spain When: From June 2016 till June 2017 (12 months) June 2016 till November 2106 (6 months) December 2016 till June 2017 (6 months) Duration: Full 12 months and 6 months How many: Four EVS volunteers for Animal Care Age and residency: 17-30 yrs, of EU-nationality and with residency in the Netherlands How to apply: Send your motivation letter and CV to [email protected] mentioning “EVSPD-2016R1” in the subject of your mail Application deadline: January 5th, 2016 BACKGROUND ON RECEIVING ORGANISATION AAP Primadomus is the Spanish auxiliary branch of (Stichting) AAP, a European NGO that works as rescue and rehabilitation center of exotic animals as well as in prevention and education (see also www.aap-primadomus.org ). The animals that end up with AAP Primadomus often come from illegal trade, circuses, illegal zoos or directly from private individuals. The foundation specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of primates. Prior to their arrival at AAP Primadomus they often have been seriously abused and severely neglected. At AAP Primadomus 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. SOCIAL AND WORK ENVIRONMENT As an EVS volunteer at AAP Primadomus you will be part of a group of volunteers who work within AAP Primadomus. The volunteer will be in very close contact with employed staff, other volunteers and interns. AAP Primadomus is located in Villena, a small city in Alicante province. It’s a place with a lot of history since the marquesado of Villena exists from the medieval period. It is a land with strong traditions, the influence of the Moors and Christians periods is still visible in the main festivities of the city. Villena is not far from Alicante and its beaches and Valencia, one of the most important cities in Spain. Villena is well connected by train and motorway with these cities. Despite not being a big city (35.000 inhabitants), Villena has everything that a big city is supposed to have; a library, theater, a lot of shops in the city center, and the cinema located in House of Culture, as well as many cultural activities. With this project we hope to support young people coming from all over Europe to get acquainted with Villena and its inhabitants. Furthermore we hope to inspire local young people by meeting volunteers from other cultures to think about their position in Europe regarding animal welfare. We would also like to point out that AAP has one volunteers’ apartment in the residential area of the city. Here you will live together with other EVS volunteers. Tasks to be performed with regard to the volunteers’ apartment are also part of the EVS experience. You will act as a contact between the inhabitants and AAP Primadomus staff, which will give you the opportunity to improve your managerial and social skills. In general, staying in the AAPvolunteers’ apartment gives you an opportunity to participate in social activities and learn more about the Spanish culture. On occasions AAP Primadomus team also organizes informal meetings, where all volunteers are welcomed to join. AAP’s headquarters in Almere, The Netherlands are well experienced in implementing EVS as AAP Almere has hosted EVS-volunteers since 2008. They will facilitate Primadomus in this project by acting as Co-ordinating Organization (CO) and – if needed – also as Sending Organisation. The staff of Primadomus takes care of thorough training and guidance of all new volunteers. Moreover, during your project you will participate in trainings organized centrally by the Spanish National Agency, which will enable you to come into contact with EVS-volunteers from other projects in Spain. ACTIVITIES 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 Primadomus. As Animal Care EVS volunteer, within the EVS year you will experience a variety of tasks. It is possible to rotate between the four animal care departments of Primadomus, i.e. kitchen and diets, quarantine, socialization and long term care for primates and chimpanzees. At all departments you will actively take part in the caretaking process. In general, as AAP-EVS-volunteer, you will be able to learn from working in a field with a low power-distance. If there are changes in the volunteer work you are doing that you think could benefit the organization then you are more than welcome to share your opinion with your tutor or team leader. AAP Primadomus prefers to have 2 volunteers for 1 year and two volunteers for half a year. Period is standard and not negotiable. The volunteers will have the opportunity to experience multiple aspects of animal care and communication fields within the organization. Especially in the animal care, there will be fixed patterns and tasks you have to perform but after some time there will be opportunities to change tasks as well. To a large extent, this is also dependent on your abilities, interests and especially attitude. WHAT KIND OF EVS ACTIVITIES AAP PRIMADOMUS OFFERS Animal Caretaker (2 long term EVS volunteers from June 2016 till June 2017) • • • • • • • Works 36 hours 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. (80% of the daily activities) 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. Animal Caretaker (1 volunteer from 1th of June 2016 till 30th November 2016) (1 volunteer from 1th December 2016 till 31th may 2017) • • • • • • • Works 36 hours 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 (80% of the daily activities) 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 when being an EVS volunteer the majority of your activities will be directly linked to this principle. 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. This means that activities of several EVSers might different. How your individual responsibilities and tasks evolve during your EVS project is largely dependent on you! In addition to your work at your department, at Primadomus an EVS project also offers the possibility to acquire some experience at other departments of this growing NGO. Depending on your abilities, interests and attitude, you may be able to assist in other related work. If you are an Animal Caretaker volunteer these might be behavioral or veterinary issues. Also, all EVS-ers at Primadomus will be involved in proper management of the Primadomus volunteers’ apartment (for details see section ‘Social and Working Environment’), which will challenge your social and managerial skills. In the second half of your own EVS-project (by then you are a ‘senior’) you will assist the staff in welcoming new junior EVS-ers, guide them during introduction to Primadomus and the volunteers’ apartment organization. PROFILE OF THE EVS VOLUNTEER Because this project is for a maximum period of time in the EVS project, AAP Primadomus, as a Host Organization, has certain requirements in regard to volunteer skills. Basic requirements of an EVS: 17-30 years old, EU nationality and residency in the Netherlands • Being able to speak good English Good communication is important for your own safety and that of your colleagues. As an EVS volunteer you work with potentially dangerous animals. In Spain general use of English is not common. However, all staff members (volunteers and workers) at Primadomus are required to have good English skills. You will develop your English skills further by communicating with your fellow volunteers. If the volunteer does not speak English we will have problems communicating. Spanish is not required but a plus; if you are interested to improve Spanish you will have the opportunity to do so. • 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 working around animals it is hard and physical work Animal Care involves a lot of physical work; depending on the EVS position and specific department your work will up to 60% 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 experience. Please note that the combined position of Animal Care & Communication can be physically demanding as well. • 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 the animals are not handled as pets. We call this the ‘hands off policy’. The interaction between the staff and the animal should always be minimal. The fact that the animals develop towards a more natural life should be the cause of satisfaction. • Be able to live in a remote area Primadomus is located in a remote natural area, so you need to be able to work in these conditions. Foreigners can sometimes have a vision of Spain that differs from reality. Villena is a nice small city in the mainland, which offers you a good range of activities to enjoy the countryside. However, despite the fact that Villena citizens are very welcoming and warm people, few of them excel the English language, which means you will have to do extra efforts to enlarge your social network. A part from that, AAP Primadomus is placed in a natural area, which also means things can require more efforts than if it would be placed in the city. All this requires that EVS volunteers need to show high levels of initiative and motivation. Being aware of these conditions will make your volunteer period meet with your expectations. • 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 while being involved in animal care you have to work one Saturday or Sunday every week. For the combined position it’s important to know that public visits take place on Saturdays. 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. TASKS PERFORMED BY SENDING ORGANISATION • AAP operates with sending costs of 480 euro for each volunteer in all of its projects. • In all cases, AAP Almere supports this project by acting as Coordinating Organization (CO). • For preparation, the SO is much advised to provide the volunteer with the book “Embracing uncertainty” (by Susan Jeffers). This books has proven to be very valuable in preparing the volunteer for going abroad and for being able to handle the EVS project successfully. • The SO is in charge of all preparations of the volunteer prior to his/her arrival to AAP Primadomus. • 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 volunteers’ bank account (or to their SO in case they have taken care of advanced payment) after the first month of the project. IMPORTANT NOTICES FOR VOLUNTEER • Erasmus+ Programme plans to enable each volunteer to learn Spanish through an online learning course. If not yet available at the starting date AAP Primadomus will arrange for linguistic support by other means. This support is focused on basic communication skills and pronunciation in the Spanish language. After this initial period, the volunteers can continue the language lessons in their own time and at their own cost. • For commuter traffic of all it’s staff (transport to and from work) Primadomus has a car available. At the volunteers’ apartment there is a bike you can use to move through the city. • The accommodation will be in the AAP Primadomus volunteers’ apartment, where also other volunteers and interns live. This house operates 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. • It is very wise to save some money before coming to Spain. 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, explore the country and meet up with EVS volunteers in other cities we highly recommend having some other resources other than the basic EVS allowances. Another important fact is that your AXA insurance does not pay in advance. This means in practice 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 Sending Organization (SO), please add the contact data (name, mobile number and direct e-mail) of your SO in your application letter. If you don´t have one yet, AAP Almere is willing and able to provide you with proper assistance and support. • Please be aware that the automatic CignaHealth 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. HOW TO APPLY& FURTHER SELECTION PROCEDURE Please send us your CV and motivation letter [email protected] (do not forget to mention the code EVSPD-2016-R1 in the subject of your email). Make sure your application is received on January 5th , 2016 at the latest. Do not forget to add a photo to your CV and preferably also mention what you aim 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 (mobile) 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 8 to 12 candidates who will be contacted for an interview in Almere, the Netherlands (to be expected between January 10th till January 21th 2016). The selection will be conducted by someone from the Animal Care staff of AAP Almere respectively from their Communication Department, depending on interests expressed in your application. Distant interview with Primadomus staff (by telephone or skype) will be included as well. The final selection decision is to be expected between September 8th – 15th. 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.