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!

SYCR volunteers commit to a six-month stay. Through December 31st, 2021 three-month stays are available; a $1,000 fee applies. (Length of stay is negotiable for veterinarians or vet techs and fees are waived.)

Under the direction of a Volunteer Supervisor, 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 fruit, 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
  • Commitment of six (6) months
  • Must be fluent in French or English; if fluent in English conversational French strongly preferred; if fluent in French, conversational English strongly preferred and must be able to apply to volunteer in English
  • Physical stamina and good overall health
  • Adaptable and agreeable to changing work requirements/schedules and basic living conditions


  • University degree
  • Experience living in a developing country, preferably Africa, for at least several months Previous experience working with chimpanzees or great apes
  • Work experience as part of a group or project team

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

There is a one-time applicant processing fee of $300 when you are accepted as a six-month volunteer. Volunteers are responsible for round-trip air travel, immunizations, visas, etc. Accommodations and vegetarian meals are provided while at the sanctuary. SYCR does not provide stipends, internships or research opportunities.

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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