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As of January 19, we are looking for volunteers for March 15th and beyond.
We request a minimum 2 month commitment* as it takes several weeks to truly get to know the animals and their care. We like to get a mixed group of volunteers - some with experience in animal care taking, vegetable gardening, weed eating and/or general on-site farm living or working. If there are folks out there with all of the experience that is even more awesome. We don't expect experts - we know that part of why you are coming to the farm is to get more in depth knowledge but having some experience or exposure means that you have a true interest in the types of things we do here on the farm and that will make everyone's overall experience much more meaningful.
The Sanctuary is a 4 and 1/2 acre organic farm located in Kealakekua on the west side of the Big Island of Hawaii. It is managed by Mom, Maria, a 4th generation farmer and daughter Shawna, a fifth generation farmer. Our primary mission on the farm is the Animal Sanctuary. We also have 2 greenhouses in which we grow vegetables . Our pastures get organic fertilizing and weeding via geese, sheep, and goats. We have multitudes of chickens and roosters to assist with insect patrol. We have a whole host of other 2 & 4 legged, furred, haired, feathered, or scaled friends who also share our farm so anyone volunteering on the farm MUST LOVE CRITTERS! Our farm really is a sanctuary for animals. (all of the larger animals are rescues- we are a 501 3(c)). Everyone who comes to the farm, enjoys the animals best of all - you will learn much about their emotional and social lives and we hope you will take this knowledge back out into the world with you to make the world a better place for all creatures.
Volunteer time is spent feeding and caring for the animals, working in the greenhouses, lots of weeding and animal related projects. (ie lots of repairs - goats can be quite naughty. Adorable, with great personalities, but challenging at times) The volunteer week is 5 days with 2 days off, 25 1/2 hours.
You must have medical insurance and you should be able to lift 50 lb feed bags.
Kealakekua is very rural. Kainaliu Town is a quaint little village .7 miles from the farm. There are second hand shops and some decent coffee shops and a dynamite gelato shop. (with a vegan selection every day).There is a very nice grocery within walking distance also. We are vegan and so the pantry we provide reflects this. Vegetarians are welcome also! There is a bus stop in Kainaliu that can take you to Kona and the beaches in Kona or all the way around the island.
*Maximum stay is 6 months
Program participants wanting to improve their English language skills will have ample opportunity to do so. - The Big Island is one of the most wonderfully diverse (we have 11 of the planet's 13 climate zones; immigrants from many diverse backgrounds settled here and are settling here still) and interesting islands on the planet. Did I mention beautiful as well?
If you haven't had the opportunity to be a team player, this can be that opportunity. While our volunteer team is small - generally (ideally) comprised of 4 individuals, you will hopefully benefit from being part of a small community dedicated to a worthy cause. Many of our volunteers are still in contact with us and with other volunteers from their team, years later.
Program participants will learn the challenges of being organic and trying to be as sustainable and responsible stewards of the planet as we can be. Program participants have the opportunity to grow food that they can then consume. And most importantly, they will learn how to share the planet with a wonderful array of critters- most of which, no one else wanted - which is unbelievable when you get to see and interact with them. And we hope that our volunteers go back into the world and share the knowledge and love of animals they get here with others - to make the world a better place for all of us - furred, feathered, haired, and fleshed.
All year - We have geese, sheep, goats, pigs, dogs, cats, and a whole flotilla (50 or so) chickens and roosters. We need help feeding/caretaking the critters in the mornings and evenings. This is the primary mission - providing a safe, comfortable forever home for the animals with whom we share this magical place.
All year - we live in the tropics in the Kona coffee belt. We get lots of rain and sunshine. It is not only perfect for growing coffee and a whole variety of wonderful fruits but weeds as well. We do a lot of weeding. We are organic so we mow, weed eat, and hand weed. A lot. Some days involve up to 2 hours of weed eating or cane/California grass removal. It can be challenging.
All year - we have a greenhouse where we grow vegetables for farm occupants to eat. This involves daily watering, monitoring for bugs, weeding....and of course, harvesting and eating what you grow. (We do not participate in any farmers markets. There are no commercial enterprises conducted on the farm. )
Having prior experience with one of the following is a plus plus: weed eaters or vegetable gardening or animal care (preferably farm animals). Our ideal group consists of persons with one or more of these different experiences. Animals are always the priority, though, regardless of the experience/skill sets you bring to the farm.
Female program participants have sleeping accommodations in a spacious loft area on the second floor of the carport. In the Gathering Place there is a kitchenette and provisioned pantry, dining area, and two large sofas to accommodate everyone. . There is no live TV but we have a monitor, Roku, and many, many movies. . There is an outside bathroom (lantern lit) with a hot shower about 100 feet from "The Gathering Place" and 15 feet from the sleeping loft. All other living spaces have electricity. Cleanliness is a must. Being a team player is important. Neat and clean!! Our 4 1/2 acre farm is completely fenced and we have 8 dogs which are a great alarm system so volunteers can feel totally safe. The food we provide is vegan. We generally cook 1 breakfast weekly (Vegan) for our volunteers and provide a pantry (Vegan) so volunteers can then prepare the rest of their workday meals on their own.
If you think the Sanctuary might be a fit for you, please send us an email with as much info as you can as to why you feel you would be a good match. If we think you would be a good match too, we will send you a detailed packet with photos, weekly schedule samples, and a lot of other info. We provide more info than most as we want everyone's expectations to match up as well.
We are located 1/10 of a mile above the main road which circles the entire island so bus transportation is readily available for days off and activities abound. Swimming, snorkeling, and hiking are probably the most popular activities but if you interested in immersing yourself in the culture and diversity of Hawaii, this island is a great destination. If you are a vegan foodie, surprisingly, the West Side of Hawaii Island is becoming a wonderful place given the small population. We will also provide transportation into town weekly for any items you may need/want. We look forward to sharing our knowledge of organic farming, animal care and about this unique community.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
25.5 hours per week. Our farm is different than most in that you have to return for the evening feed on your volunteer days.
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