Canine Therapy Volunteer Projects in Bolivia
- Placement locations: Cochabamba
- Role: To work closely with trained dogs and conduct specialised therapy sessions with disabled children
- Requirements: Basic Spanish
- Type of Placement: Dog training centre
- Accommodation: Host family
- Price: From £1595
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 4 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Our Canine Therapy project in Bolivia is a unique project enabling volunteers to combine elements of our care and animal care projects. Volunteers will be working closely with trained dogs conducting specialised therapy sessions with local children of all ages who are faced with a variety of different disabilities.
Given the specialised field that you will be working in, we would appreciate volunteers with some studies or experience, either working with special needs children or working with dogs in some capacity.
Volunteering on the Canine Therapy Project
Projects Abroad works alongside a dog training centre in Cochabamba. The centre specialises in training dogs to be alert, obedient and of a non-aggressive nature. The centre is keen on increasing the work they do in the community and would like to focus on the social aspect and the benefits of canine therapy for children.
Dogs are selected and trained to work with children who have various physical and mental disabilities. It has been proven that regular contact with animals can increase the children’s mobility, and both stimulate and comfort the children. Trained staff work with the dogs and the children using a variety of different exercises and techniques.
Your role on the Canine Therapy Project in Bolivia
As a volunteer you will work alongside local staff doing outreach work with the dogs in the mornings, visiting different centres and care homes for children with mental and physical disabilities. You will be able to see a wide variety of cases and fully appreciate the positive impact this unique form of therapy has on the children.
Your role will vary each day, offering a diverse range of experiences and work to get involved in. Each child has different needs and therefore different exercises and activities are done in order to ensure that the child benefits from each session spent with the dogs.
In the afternoons your time will often be spent at the training centre itself.
Volunteers can help by looking after the dogs, including cleaning out cages and feeding the dogs. If you have experience training dogs in obedience and agility then you are welcome to get involved in the dog training for general obedience and the therapy sessions.
You will also have the opportunity to teach English to the local staff at the centre if you are interested.
An intermediate level of Spanish is preferred for this placement to ensure that you can interact fully with the local staff and the children. However, please let us know if you have experience in this field but little or no Spanish so that we can make arrangements for you to have a translator, or you could consider taking a Spanish Language Course before joining the project. You will receive guidance not only from the Projects Abroad staff, but also from your supervisor at the centre.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.