Volunteer with Simabo Onlus

Simabo Onlus

Mindelo, Cape Verde, Africa

SIMABO protects, rescues, assists, and spays/neuters dogs and cats in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde.

We are an association for the protection of animals and the environment based in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde.
Our work with animals-including running a shelter with 110 dogs, a cattery with 18 cats, a 7/12 clinic, and ambulant castration campaigns-is partially financed by the Simabo's Backpackers' Hostel, a hostel for responsible tourists.
We have spayed/neutered almost 11,000 animals so far and we are planning to expand the spaying/neutering campaigns to neighboring islands as well.

Our Activities

What We Need

The help we need varies depending on your skills. We expect someone who is a self starter and can work independently with a very high degree of motivation. Work is per shifts: morning from 7:30 to 12:30 or afternoon from 13 to 18. Transport to/from the shelter is provided for free when needed by the paid staff.

The volunteer is not required to be physically strong but must have some physical resistance to fatigue and hot climate and they also must have lots of patience. We are unable to accept volunteers with any kind of allergy or disturbance. While being used to feeling comfortable with animals around, our volunteers must have a good sense of cleanness and tidiness.

The largest area we need help in is animal care (cats and dogs). Most basic tasks (cleaning, feeding, walking) are performed by local paid staff (we have 14 local employees), but we always need help with delicate tasks such as playing with the dogs, brushing the cats, changing the beds, and taking care of ill animals. Notably, we need help with (1) working in the place of the paid staff when they are missing and (2) supervising the work of local employees so as to assure the highest possible welfare (including cleanness and safety) to the animals in our shelters. You will receive very clear instructions for accomplishing your task and you are required to apply them accurately. You will be asked not to rely on the support/advice of the paid staff.

Our work with animals-including running a shelter with 110 dogs, a cattery with 18 cats, a 7/12 clinic, and ambulant castration campaigns-is partially financed by a hostel for responsible tourists. The hostel is managed by our charity and 100% of its profits go to the animals. So, it is important to keep running and staffing costs as low as possible. That's why we need help with tourists at all levels: helping with check in/out at night, managing reservations, checking rooms and toilets for cleanness, etc.

We have an educational program involving school meetings and other activities with children, so we might need help with this kind of work as well. It will involve helping people and requires a better knowledge of the Portuguese language than the work with animals.

The running costs that are not covered by the hostel revenues or by membership fees (we have about 5,000 members on the island but not all of them can afford the membership fee of 12 Euros/year/2 animals) are covered by donations from abroad, so we have a lot of fundraising and communication work as well.

All these activities are managed with a high level of computer work, so we need help in this specific area (IT/Internet/social networks, etc.). Volunteers with programming or computer abilities would be advantageous in cases where IT projects need attention.

No vaccines are necessary to volunteer here. In 10 years of operation, no volunteer has ever had health problems.

The average temperature is 25 degrees all year long.

English is not an extensive language in Cape Verde. It will be easier to communicate in French, Spanish, Italian, and of course Portuguese. Nevertheless, Cape Verde residents are very friendly and will help you to overcome language barriers in case you speak only your language or only English as a second language.

A volunteer staying with us can perform any kind of free-time beach activity or just relax and tan in the sun. Mindelo nightlife is very famous, as is its music. Dancers can find endless opportunities to share their passion with local partners. Photographers won't get tired of taking pictures of beautiful landscapes, animals, and people of any age. From Sao Vicente there are regular ferries to Santo Antao, a green island that is very famous for trekking. Volunteers can visit this island during day trips or schedule a longer stay before, during, or after their placement. Visits to other islands are possible only by plane.

min. 2 weeks

What We Provide


To get to Mindelo, where we are based, the cheapest flights are from Amsterdam, Lisbon, London, and Paris.

Accommodation for volunteers is available in single or double rooms with shared bathroom in our volunteers' house, just a couple of meters away from our clinic, our hostel, the beach, and the main square. Food is provided in the communal kitchen at given times according to working shifts.

Advice and booking service for visiting other islands.


We can provide 3 vegan meals per day for 10 euros/day if requested.

Important Info

Suitable For


Minimum Stay

Any period of time

Staff Size

10 to 20 people


We ask for 70 euros / week as a contribution for food in case the volunteer requests to eat 3 vegan meals per day with us.


Watch Us

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Help out from Home

Social Media Help
Document Translation

Helping with the communication of the association.
Engage with the content of the association on Facebook and Instagram so that we can reach more people.
Create fundraising campaign.

Our Recent Supporters


Your Contact Person

Rua Angola 14, Mindelo, Cape Verde.
96% response rate

Our Wish List

Animal medicines, animal toys, objects no longer in use that can be sold to raise funds

What are you waiting for?

We at Simabo Onlus would love to hear from you!