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Visit the beautiful island of Sicily and help us improve the lives of the many strays we care for in our shelter. Our non-profit association has been working for years to care for the strays of Sicily by taking them in, sterilizing and providing medical care, and finding them loving homes.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Sicily has a rich culture and plenty of history. Travelers will have the opportunity to learn Italian and the local Sicilian dialect. They will also have the freedom to explore by foot the small historic town of Calatafimi Segesta, located in the Western province of Trapani.
On a more emotional level, working daily with animals is illuminating and fulfilling in ways that will surprise you. There’s nothing like caring for someone whose only way to repay you is complete love and adoration.
Volunteers will help us with the dogs in our care, perform general maintenance on the property and enclosures, and assist with general housekeeping activities. Please do not contact us if you are unwilling to give 100% effort while working with us. While Sicily is a beautiful place to be, and you will be given free time, we are not hosting volunteers to be on vacation. When it's time to work, we need you to give your best. We also welcome any talent you may have to offer to help us in our mission of improving the lives of strays in Sicily. Maybe you know a lot about Social Media campaigning, photography, organizing and logistics, graphic design, bureaucracy. We welcome people who are willing to work for our dogs with passion and creativity.
Over the years of hosting volunteers, we have come to realize that there is no regular schedule, but in general, we start work (cleaning the enclosures, giving the dogs food and water, walking them, and so on) around 8 in the morning and finish around 13. Caring for our dogs is time-consuming and unpredictable though, so daily work will also depend on the weather as well as the needs of the dogs.
Please be aware that cleaning up after dogs involves removing dog poop from their living area. Please do not contact us if you are not willing to work hard and get dirty. We also try to walk and provide as much individualized love and attention as our manpower allows.
The general maintenance will include tasks such as mending fences and maintaining dog enclosures. Sometimes the dogs will damage their enclosures in an attempt to escape so we have to regularly ensure that they are safe and not able to escape or injure themselves on damaged materials. We will also need help with yard work. Picking up branches, clearing brush and debris, etc.
General housekeeping activities are common sense and everyday practices: cooking and food preparation, washing dishes after eating, sweeping and mopping regularly, and maintaining a tidy and sanitary inside environment in the main house as well, as your accommodation. General housekeeping is everyone's responsibility as a human being and does not count towards your daily 5 hours of work.
Unfortunately, it has become necessary to add: If you are afraid of dogs and will not be able to perform all of your duties due to this fear, please do not contact us. If you are just looking for a fun vacation and are not willing to work hard with passion and a desire to improve our association, do not contact us.
If your idea of working at a shelter is mostly cuddling puppies and going on walks in the countryside, you will be disappointed and waste your time as well as ours. We are a non-profit association that cannot afford to host volunteers who do not give back to our association, so please consider all of this, before contacting us. Thank you for understanding.
This host offers a language exchange
We speak many languages at the shelter. While you're here, you will hear Italian, Sicilian, Romanian, and English amongst the other languages spoken by the volunteers at the time. Since Nelly and Franco speak English only a little bit, helping them organize and communicate with volunteers through workaway is Dalma. She will be the one answering your questions before your arrival. Nelly and Franco have years of experience hosting volunteers even without a common language, they understand a bit of everything and can explain the most important things easily, but if you are only used to communicating in a shared language and feel like you don't have the experience/confidence/spirit of adventure for more creative ways, this might not be the place for you.
Accommodation is in the countryside (4 km from the town of Calatafimi-Segesta) right next to the shelter in a rustic little cottage. It is shared with other volunteers, can accommodate up to 7 people and is co-ed, so if having your own room while volunteering is a priority for you, this is not the place for you.
Food is not provided, only a simple, traditional Sicilian breakfast including milk (normal and vegetable in case needed), cereals, and bread or toast with butter and jam. You will have the opportunity to go to the supermarket in town to buy food for your lunch and dinner whenever needed.
Since we live in the countryside 4 km from town, be aware that without a car, it is difficult to be independent. That said, we go to town often and are happy to give you a lift to the nearest station whenever we can.
How to reach us:
1. Palermo airport or city: there is a train that leaves directly from the airport (Punta Raisi station) to the Palermo central station.
There you can catch the bus in front of the New Bus Bar (Via P. Balsamo, 32). There are no signs or indications that the bus stops there, but it does, usually around 5-10 minutes after leaving from the main bus station at Via E. Basile, depending on traffic.
You should get off at Calatafimi Segesta Sasi. On the website, it says you have to have your ticket printed but you can also just buy it on the bus, it's never full.
You can check the connections on the Autoservizi Tarantola e Cuffaro website.
2. Trapani: bus directly to Calatafimi.
What can you do in Sicily on your days off? There’s plenty to do, and even though Sicilian public transportation can be complicated, with a bit of an adventurous spirit, you can easily get around by train and bus. Just ask us a bit in advance to see if you can get a lift to the nearest station.
We are located in Calatafimi Segesta in the province of Trapani in western Sicily.
Segesta Temple and archaeological park
Segesta Hot Springs
Castellammare del Golfo
Zingaro Nature Reserve
Agrigento: The Valley of Temples, The Turkish Steps
Castelvetrano: Selinunte Archaeological site
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have hosted digital nomads in the past. There is a constant internet connection and a space for working in the kitchen, but for those who need long hours of peace and quiet for work, our set-up might not be ideal.
You can park your campervan/motorhome outside of the shelter, and you are welcome to use our bathroom for showering and washing clothes, along with all the rest of our facilities.
More than two
5 hours per day, 5 days a week
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