Josie Du Toit grew up in England and has been passionate about helping animals since a young age. She studied an HND in Animal Management amongst other courses to pursue her dreams of making a difference to the lives of animals. She worked as a veterinary nurse and became a veterinary technical advisor in nutrition prior to moving to South Africa. In 2005, Josie volunteered at the Vervet Monkey Foundation for one month which changed her life and fulfilled her purpose and passion. She had a burning desire to help the monkeys after seeing how they were perceived in South Africa so she sold her house in England and moved to South Africa 3 months later with her dog Rubin to take on the voluntary position of Volunteer Co-ordinator then Animal Manager. Josie still continues her journey at the Sanctuary as Co-Director / Rehabilitator after the sudden passing of VMF Co-Founder Arthur Hunt in 2009.
Josie remains committed to the VMF vision of the Vervet Forest, a place where monkeys and other wildlife will be able to run free from human harm and habitat destruction. Josie was raised vegetarian and now lives a fully plant-based lifestyle which fits perfectly with her values and ethics around helping animals, their habitat, people and the planet. As an additional benefit, going vegan for the animals helped her make a full recovery from a chronic illness that doctors told her was incurable. Josie’s vision for animals led to her being recently nominated as an inspiring animal advocate for Joanne McArthur’s Unbound Project.