VSF operates in remote areas in Africa. Our Dutch branch has projects in Malawi. In this country, there is a shortage of veterinarians; if an animal falls ill, then the farmer often cannot treat it. If the animal dies, then an important source of manure, food and income is lost. That’s why we train community animal health workers who can look after the health of livestock within their communities.
VSF’s mission is “healthy animals, healthy people, healthy environment”. We work in remote areas in Malawi where agriculture and livestock are the most important sources of food and income. If the animals are healthy, then this helps the people as well.
VSF-NL supports remote communities in Malawi. We support farmers and we train animal health workers. Furthermore, we strive to strengthen the position of women within the community. This is why we aim for half of the farmers who are trained to be community animal health workers, to be women.
At VSF, our main focus is farm animals such as cows, goats, pigs and poultry. We also have a yearly “Run4Rabies” campaign, to raise funds for rabies vaccination campaigns in dogs.
VSF-NL provides training to motivated farmers to become animal health workers. Together with our local partner, we give lessons in animal husbandry, feeding, health and disease treatments. The animal health workers communicate with government officials in order to monitor animal diseases and set up vaccination programmes. Furthermore, we promote the position of women by actively involving them in our projects. For more information on the project, please visit https://dierenartsenzondergrenzen.nl/malawi/
In 2019, we trained 15 animal health workers, who then proceeded to train 1.814
farmers in different aspects of animal husbandry. This helps vulnerable people to
keep and sell their own livestock. For instance women, young and elderly people,
and those who are affected by hiv/aids. Furthermore, our animal health workers
vaccinated, dewormed and/or treated 13.500 animals in 2019. If you would like to
read more about our achievements in 2019, then please have a look at our activities
reports under News.
The projects’ developments can be followed via our social media.
On Instagram, we are @ dierenartsenzondergrenzen.nl . On LinkedIn and Facebook, you can find us @Dierenartsen zonder Grenzen
Nederland. We will regularly post updates on these platforms. You can also subscribe to our
newsletter. It will reach your mailbox 3 times per year.
VSF-NL operates in the North of Malawi, around Rumphi and Mzuzu. Previously a group of 15 animal health workers received training in the Rumphi area, via the Matunkha Centre. In 2018, a new project was started, the Participatory Action for Sustainable Animal Care and Livelihood Improvement Project (PASACLIP). At the end of 2019, another project was launched, namely the Enhanced Community Animal Health Services (ECAHS). Both projects aim to increase the income and food security of smallholders, by improving animal health and veterinary services.
Thank you for being interested in supporting VSF-NL! You can either make a one- time donation, or become a recurring donor. It is also possible to help us as a volunteer, veterinarian or student. For instance by doing fundraising (which is possible through Facebook and other platforms), or by participating in our activities and campaigns.
The donations will be used to support our projects in Malawi as much as possible. However, some funds are needed for our organisation, to cover employee’s salaries and promotional activities. If you would like to read more about our finances, then please find our most recent financial report under news.
Unfortunately, we cannot alter your donation amount. We can stop your recurring donation however, which will then allow you to resubscribe with your chosen donation. In order to do so, please contact VSF-NL’s coordinator Ms Sarah Farrand, via firstname.lastname@example.org .
VSF-NL has the so-called “ANBI status” with the Dutch tax department. This means that VSF-NL is a “public benefit organisation”, and that donations are tax-deductible. With one-time donations, there is a minimum and a maximum amount in order to be eligible for tax-deduction. However if you become a recurring donor, there is no minimum or maximum. During a period of minimally 5 years, you will be allowed to deduct taxes based on the entire donation. The percentage of tax deduction depends on your tax rate. For more information, please visit the following page: here for more information.
Great that you want to raise funds for us! Please contact our coordinator Ms Sarah Farrand, via email@example.com .
There are several possibilities. Firstly, your practice can join the Vaccinate4Africa campaign. This means that during one week per the year, a sum of 2,50 euros per vaccinated animal is donated to VSF-NL. Secondly, your practice can donate a goat, or even a herd of goats, to a family in Malawi. Thirdly, some practices make monthly or yearly donations to us, via the donation form. Lastly, if your practice has surplus materials or instruments, then we can pass them on to organisations that need them. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , if you would like to donate surplus materials or instruments.
No, VSF-NL doesn’t send Dutch volunteers or veterinarians abroad. For the implementation of our projects, we work with local people and partner organisations as much as possible. However it is possible to do veterinary volunteer work abroad via other organisations, such as www.dierenstages.nl . Furthermore, on the website of the veterinary student’s department of VSF-NL, you can find a list of foundations that you can volunteer for: https://dierenartsenzondergrenzen.nl/stages/.
The Dutch branch of VSF, VSF-NL, employs one person as a coordinator, for two days per week: Ms Sarah Farrand. Sarah takes care of daily management. She also does fundraising for, and communication with, our projects in Malawi. Another aspect of her job is to hold meetings with VSF-NL’s board, and with VSF-NL’s student department, called DzG-student.
Since 2018, Mr Gilbert Banda is our programme manager in Malawi. Gilbert has gained extensive experience in training animal health workers, through his previous work for Heifer and other ngo’s in Malawi. He divides his time between VSF and a social enterprise called Ziweto. Gilbert helps to design and implement new projects for VSF-NL, trains animal health workers and connects them to existing veterinary infrastructure. He also monitors and evaluates our projects.
We also work with interns for fundraising and communications.
Yes, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières-NL is a foundation. We have a board that gives direction to the organization, lays out new strategic plans and provides leadership and feedback to the coordinator.
The board members of VSF-NL in 2022 are:
- Sarah Farrand, secretary
- Janke Maat, general board member.
- David Speksnijder, general board member.
We have various sources of income. Many people donate via our website. Some do birthday fundraising via Facebook. Numerous veterinary practices support us via the Vaccinate 4 Africa campaign. Each fall, people can donate a goat to family in Malawi for 50 euros. This is our Give a Goat fundraiser. We also submit project proposals to private equity funds and family foundations in order to obtain larger donations.
VSF-Student is part of VSF-NL and was formerly known as Stichting DIO. Stichting DIO was founded in July 1987 and was run by students who organised various activities and projects. Nowadays VSF-Student has a board consisting of 6 veterinary medicine students. It also has various commissions, which organise educative lectures, and activities to raise funds for VSF-NL.
It is correct that livestock production can have a large ecological footprint. However, this is the case for voor large-scale, industrialized systems. This intensive animal rearing causes climate change through high methane emissions, deforestation and fossil fuel use.
The farmers we support in Malawi work in an entirely different manner. It is much friendlier towards the environment. They don’t have more animals than they need to support their family. In this small-scale system, the people, animals and environment are at the center of the attention, instead of maximizing profits.
It is often thought that goats eat all the vegetation, but this is not the case. Goats are strong animals that can survive desert-like landscapes for extended periods of time. Apart from grass, they also feed on bushes. When other animals such as cows and sheep have left an area due to lack of grass, goats can survive there. This can give the impression that the goats have munched through all the greenery!
Overgrazing can occur when too many animals are kept in a relatively small area. It is unlikely to occur with the small-scale farmers we support. Furthermore, goats often feed off areas that aren’t used otherwise. Apart from free grazing, they also eat locally harvested grass. In our projects, we provide education on sustainable use of natural resources, such as grassland.
In Western countries, many people consume too much meat. This meat often comes from large-scale, intensive and industrialized farms, which are an important cause of climate change. VSF-NL supports small-scale farmers, with a small amount of livestock, that is sufficient to support their family. Furthermore, communities in remote areas of Malawi do not have many vegetarian options. Conditions are often dry, making vegetable production difficult. Malawi is becoming even drier as a result of climate change, caused in part by overconsumption of meat in Western countries.
For many African families, goats are important animals. They produce milk to drink and manure to fertilize the land. Every year, goats can give birth to kids. These can then provide even more nutrition. The sale of goats creates income for education, medical care and good nutrition.
In many areas in Malawi, families rely on their livestock for food and income. We donate goats and provide training in their husbandry, to support families in Malawi!
We are member of the Vétérinaires Sans Frontières International network. This network consists of thirteen different non-profit organizations in Europe, Canada and Australia. Together we work towards improving livelihoods of small-scale farmers globally, and strengthening local initiatives for animal health and animal welfare.
Within this network we exchange knowledge and combine resources in order to achieve the biggest impact possible. Would you like to know more about VSF-International? Please have a look on their website: http://vsf-international.org/
How does the One Health principle work? VSF-NL is an advocate of the One Health principle. One Health means that the health of people, animals and the planet are firmly linked to each other. This is why we believe that optimalisation of the health and welfare of animals, should always be seen in relation to people and the planet. Please find more information on the One Health principle in our policy brief: One Health policy brief.