P.O. Box 2743, Portland
OR 97208

Volunteering At SYCR

Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue in Cameroon, West-Central Africa needs help from highly motivated, mature volunteers who are committed to the conservation of great apes and are willing to live in an isolated, challenging environment to help save an endangered species. This incredibly rewarding, life-enriching experience provides the exclusive opportunity to live in Africa, learn from our highly skilled staff and care for our beloved resident chimpanzees!

Under the direction of the Co-Manager, volunteers are responsible for helping with the day-to-day operations of the sanctuary. Tasks include working with Cameroonian staff (who speak French), helping with chimpanzee care and feeding, kitchen duties, washing & preparing fruit/vegetables, cleaning cages, assisting with facilities and fence maintenance, overseeing use of project equipment, painting, buying food and supplies in town, and other manual tasks. Volunteers pitch in wherever most needed, though efforts are made to match individuals with their specific talents and skills. Please note: contact with juvenile and adult chimpanzees occurs during daily feedings and enrichment activities. Hands-on contact with baby chimpanzees is limited and not guaranteed.

Volunteer Staff

Qualifications and Experience Required

  • 21 years or older and paid work experience
  • Must be fluent in French or English; if fluent in English, basic conversational French preferred; if fluent in French, basic conversational English preferred and applying to volunteer in English is required
  • Physical stamina and good overall health; able to lift up to 40 lbs
  • Adaptable and agreeable to changing work requirements/schedules and to basic living conditions in an isolated setting


  • University degree
  • Experience living or spending extended time in a developing country (preferably Africa)
  • Prior experience working with chimpanzees or great apes
  • Work experience as part of a group or project team

We are seeking qualified applicants who are available for 6-month stays. Fees are waived and qualifications or length of stay can be negotiated for applicants with professional veterinary or medical training, or mechanical, electrical or construction skills and experience. SYCR continually seeks experienced veterinarians, veterinary technicians, doctors and nurses, mechanics and engineers.

Expenses and Funding

Volunteers are responsible for their own round trip airfare to Cameroon, bus travel to/from the project, medical insurance, and various pre-departure costs such as visa, immunizations, etc. If accepted, there is a one-time applicant processing fee based on length of stay:
US$300 for 6 month stays
US$600 for 5-6 month stays
US$800 for 4-5 month stays
US$1000 for 3-4 month stays

This reflects our strong preference for 6-month stays and the increased work that shorter stays require. The project does not charge any other fees to participate and provides all meals and lodging at the site. Please note that there are no stipends or internships available and no opportunities to conduct research.

For the right person, volunteering at SYCR is a unique and wonderful opportunity to live and work in rural Africa, in close proximity to some of the most incredible animals in the world!

To learn more about our volunteer program or to request an application, please email Rebecca Pool at rebecca@sanaga-yong.org.


Email: info@sanaga-yong.org
Phone: 971-544-7772
Address: P.O. Box 2743, Portland OR 97208

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