We are seeking veterinary student applicants to participate in our Greek America Corps animal welfare volunteer program on the Greek islands of Karpathos and Kasos from June 13 – July 13, 2020.
Volunteers will perform hundreds of spay-and-neuter surgeries to mitigate the islands’ stray cat and dog populations. The campaign will also alleviate a burden for local residents who lack sufficient resources to handle the overpopulation of strays.
Karpathos has an estimated 1,000 stray animals on the island that often suffer from neglect or abuse. The situation worsens during the winter months when restaurants and hotels close for the season.
Our team will study Karpathos’ current situation and devise and implement a viable strategy to provide long-term wellness for the animals. This may include feeding stations, a public awareness campaign and engagement with the local community.
Led by two licensed veterinarians specializing in spay/neuter surgeries, the team will follow international best-practice protocols. Such protocols include the humane trapping of animals from their natural habitats, surgery preparation, microchipping, surgery and post-surgery recovery. Finally, treated animals will return to their original habitats.
The majority of the month-long program will take place on Karpathos. But our team will also make a 4-day trip to nearby Kasos, an island that also has an alarmingly high number of strays.
In addition to volunteer duties, participants will enjoy numerous cultural immersion experiences such as excursions to historic, religious or otherwise significant sites — as well as local celebrations and festivities. Such activities will bring participants closer to contemporary Greece in a unique way during the program.
Karpathos Mayor Yiannis Nisirios and Kasos Mayor Michalis Erotokritos have fully embraced our program and agreed to officially welcome our group. We will work under the auspices of their offices, which are legally responsible for the care of the islands’ stray animal population. Nisirios and his office will also offer space for our volunteers to work.
Up to 12 spots are available and students with financial aid may apply for scholarships that cover the cost of housing, program expenses such as cultural excursions, local transportation and various group meals. Airfare to Greece is not included.
Applicants who do not require financial aid may also opt to pay for themselves. Regardless of application type (scholarship/paid), participants must first apply and be accepted into the program to participate.
For an additional fee of $840 USD, students have the option to accrue college credit that can be applied to their studies at their home institution via our partnership with the Hellenic American University, a U.S.-accredited institution of higher education in Athens.
Students are responsible for checking with their home institutions about transfer of credits. A counselor at Hellenic American University will be made available to assist, as will a curriculum and coursework. Applicants may specify in their application if they wish to receive this credit.