Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SPCA Malta Events + Why Volunteer If You're An Expat

As our long time readers know, we volunteer with a cause in Malta that is both special and important to us - the SPCA. The Society for the Protection and Care of Animals does great work on the island to educate the public about responsible pet ownership, advocate for animal welfare, and care for abandoned and stray cats and dogs. We are currently working with them to create a new web site and do a little rebranding, and we also lend a hand at events like the San Grigor festival in Marsaxlokk, pictured below.

A lovely fellow volunteer

La Ruelle restaurant, Marsaxlokk, Malta - sponsoring the SPCA Malta's upcoming Supper Club series!

The SPCA Malta at the San Grigor festa, Marsaxlokk, Malta

Why volunteer if you're an expat? First, it's a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people - locals and fellow expats alike. Heck, its a great way to meet new people even if you aren't an expat. As we get older making friends comes with all kinds of new challenges - especially in a world of web 2.0. Many of us are stumped about where to make valuable new connections, and volunteering is a great place to start.

Volunteering as an expat also provides good insight into the workings of non-profits in your new home country, and sometimes provides an opportunity to interact with more people than you might come into contact with on a daily basis. This is particularly true for us - a student and a work-at-home guy. Of course, it's also something to add to your C.V. But volunteering also gives a sense of normalcy to an expat life that might feel anything but. And, perhaps most importantly for us, it allows us to feel as though we are contributing to the country we love so much, if only in a small way. 

If you're in Malta there are some fantastic SPCA events coming up. We would love to see you at them and meet more of our local readers in person. Please do come out this weekend and say hello!

We'll be at the SPCA Spring Fair at Palazzo Parisio on Sunday, April 22nd from 10 am - 6 pm. There will be homemade cakes, face painting, clowns and games for the little ones, and an animal garden. Its a wonderful opportunity to do a little good and explore the palazzo and its stunning gardens. There is a small entrance fee of a €5 donation to the SPCA at the door (applicable to adults only - a regular admission to the palazzo normally costs €12) and, if you can believe it, pets are also welcome! Imagine wandering around this 18th century palazzo with your pup!

You can keep up-to-date with the SPCA Malta's other events - including an upcoming Supper Club at LaRuelle restaurant in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk - on Facebook here.

Are you an expat volunteering where you live? Expat or not, why do you volunteer and what do you get out of it?

- Jess

p.s. You can read more about our volunteer experiences with the SPCA Malta here, about volunteering at their used bookshop in Floriana here, volunteering with them at the Farsons Beer Festival here, and that time Mike rescued a bunch of one-eyed kittens here.

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