Nonprofit farm animal sanctuary on Hawaii's Big Island



 Min stay requested: 1 month or more



  • Description


    Please note: We cannot accept couples or friends traveling together and prefer volunteers who are 21+. We require our live-in volunteers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (including boosters if eligible) before arrival at the sanctuary.

    We are a nonprofit farm animal sanctuary located in Laupahoehoe on the beautiful east coast of Hawaii's Big Island. We were founded in 2018 and are now home to over 90 animals who were saved from slaughter, rescued from neglect, have special needs, or were orphaned or injured in the wild.

    We are currently staffing a number of work trade positions at the sanctuary. We are looking for experienced volunteers who are open to committing 2-12 months, depending on the role. This is to ensure you have time to get oriented, get to know and connect with the animals and team, and provide continuity on projects. Here are the roles we are currently staffing for. Please let us know in your message which one you are applying for:

    - Animal Care Intern: 2-month minimum commitment; focused on feeding, cleaning, and enrichment, plus a special project based on your interests and experience; accommodation in a shared yurt
    - Facilities Intern: 1-month minimum commitment; focused on property maintenance and building/construction, working under our Property Caretaker; accommodation in a shared yurt

    We look forward to welcoming you!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We think we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, on the Hamakua coast of Hawaii's Big Island. On days off you can explore the lava fields, black and white sand beaches, swim with turtles and manta rays, go on breathtaking hikes with hiking groups in the area, or connect with our wonderful local volunteers to explore with.

    We are a nonprofit animal rescue and sanctuary. We are a small team, completely volunteer-run, and are working to grow the organization. We would love your involvement in all areas such as practicing your social media marketing skills, learning to lead sanctuary tours and other outreach programs, learning or putting to use grant writing skills, and other projects you might want to explore. You will also have the opportunity to help alongside me and learn how to care for all aspects of a farm animal sanctuary including pasture management, veterinary healthcare, enrichment, and other ways we holistically care for the animals.

    Our sanctuary is founded on a profound compassion for all animals, and we aim to provide the most loving safe haven possible for these truly special beings. We do not keep livestock or breed stock, nor do we employ working animals. We love sharing this special opportunity to connect with farmed animals in a totally positive way, where their personalities and natural behaviors are encouraged to shine. We feel confident that these animals will enrich your life as they do ours.

    We are originally from Sweden and have traveled extensively. We will love sharing travel stories with you and hearing about your adventures!

  • Help


    Thank you for considering volunteering with us! A little more about us and what a day in the life at the sanctuary looks like...

    Animal care is centered around feeding, cleaning, and enrichment from 7am to 6pm, with long breaks in between shifts. Alternating shifts include babysitting for our special needs animals. Animal care interns also contribute to special projects such as supporting outreach programs, managing our social media presence and external communications, providing veterinary care, or helping on construction and property maintenance projects. The help is physically challenging (lots of walking and moderately heavy lifting) but very accessible.

    Our Facilities Intern works with our Facilities Manager on property maintenance and building/construction for the sanctuary, collaborating on larger projects like building/renovating volunteer accommodations and shelters for our animals, or working independently on smaller projects like mowing pastures, repairing fences and hoses, gardening, etc.

    You will need to be able to get things done independently, but we all work closely here as it is our home as well as the sanctuary, and we want to be with the animals all day every day too! We are in a rural area so volunteers should be excited for the opportunity to totally immerse with the animals and team here on our beautiful property for the duration of their stay, with the exception of your two days off each week.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Swedish: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Five volunteers (typically four interns and our animal health manager) live in a shared yurt. The yurt is a fully inclusive living space, with solar power, hot water shower, and outdoor kitchen. For our Directors, we have two new tiny homes on the property that have solar power, hot water shower, and kitchen. Volunteers use the WiFi connection at the main house/office, though cell phone service (including data) works well elsewhere on the property. We do not allow any smoking or excessive drinking, and no animal products onsite out of respect for our rescued dairy cows, pigs, chickens, goats, etc.

    Everyone lives and helps together close to the main house (our home), and it is important that we find volunteers with similar lifestyles to ours to ensure a good fit. We are quiet and respectful, and we enjoy working together during the days and having peaceful time on our own in the evenings once the work day is finished. We love getting to know our volunteers and sharing this beautiful life together, but we are also looking for individuals who can be independent in their off hours. The property (and Big Island in general) is a peaceful place of stunning natural beauty, but very little nightlife or social activities, so volunteers should be okay with a small network of people to connect with and of course quiet time with the animals.

    Food is not provided with this position, and will be one of your only expenses while staying with us. We do receive frequent food donations to the sanctuary, so almost always have basics like rice, pasta, tofu, and canned beans, fruits, and veggies. We don't always know what or how much will be donated, so recommend those donations be supplementary to what you buy at the grocery store each week. We do ask that all volunteers maintain a vegan diet while on the property, out of respect for our rescued dairy cows, pigs, and other farmed animals. You will have tons of resources and support in this here if needed.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Please note: We cannot accept couples or friends traveling together, and prefer volunteers who are 21+. We require our live-in volunteers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (including boosters if eligible) before arrival at the sanctuary.

    We are looking for volunteers with prior experience who are mature, responsible, and professional, willing to work hard, interact with visitors and oversee local volunteers, and have the patience to overcome challenges that may arise (knowing that we will be right alongside you finding solutions together!).

    Volunteers must be appropriately licensed to drive a car in the U.S. We make the sanctuary vehicle available for volunteers to grocery shop and explore the island one day per week (schedule permitting, as sometimes it needs to remain onsite for sanctuary chores or in case of emergency). Volunteers will be responsible for the fuel costs for personal use of the sanctuary vehicle, and we also ask for a donation of 10 cents/mile driven in order to cover vehicle maintenance costs. Both of these costs are usually split between two volunteers who are off together.

    We are a completely volunteer-run organization and there are no paid positions available. We sincerely appreciate the time our volunteers generously donate to caring for the animals and supporting our cause, and hope that you feel well compensated by the love they will shower you with every day.

    Note that we don't have many recent reviews on Workaway since we have largely been staffing our volunteer positions through Indeed. But you will interview with a former or current live-in volunteer, so you'll still get the inside scoop and an honest opinion!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 652779239118

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