Volunteer Spotlight: Elise

"I would definitely recommend this project! It’s a once in a lifetime experience."

Elise is a primary school teacher from the UK who volunteered for two weeks at the Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary. Here she talks about her special experience with the elephants.

Choosing Globalteer
I chose to volunteer with Globalteer as after looking around online at various other organisations, the work that Globalteer does sounded the most beneficial for elephant conservation.

Globalteer’s goal of improving both the welfare and living conditions of the elephants whilst providing a sustainable income for the mahouts and their families was something which I wanted to be a part of.

Getting to know the elephants
My favourite elephant changed nearly on a daily basis! I think if I had to choose it would be a tough call, but I’d probably say Sambo. Sambo was such a sweet elephant and even after everything she’s been through in her life she was still so gentle. Her relationship with her Mahout was so lovely to be able to witness too.

Working at the sanctuary
The volunteering aspect of this project was something I really enjoyed. I did so many things that I never thought I’d be able to do! Some days we would be chopping down banana trees and carrying them to the elephants for them to eat, and other days we would be watering hundreds of tree saplings in the sanctuary’s nursery. We also helped out around the sanctuary base, including constructing a wooden platform from scratch which we later named Pearl’s Perch (after the beautiful elephant Pearl down in Heaven Valley!). We also mounted a blackboard to go up in the communal part of the base for notices.
One of my favourite aspects of my placement was being able to see elephants happy in their natural environment. It was so lovely to see these beautiful creatures enjoying life as they always should have done. It was also amazing to see the bond between the elephants and their mahout.  

For people thinking of volunteering …
I would definitely recommend this project! It’s a once in a lifetime experience. I stayed for two weeks, but would have happily stayed for longer had I of had the time