Our founders Kate and Nina Hosali started working in Morocco in 1925 and since then our clinics and activities have flourished.
Morocco at a glance
• Population: 33 million
• Area: 710,850 sq km
• Location: Most westerly country of north Africa
• Capital City: Rabat
• Estimated working animal population: Two million working donkeys, mules and horses.
• 5 SPANA centres in Casablanca, Chemaia, Had Ouled Frej, Khemisset and Marrakech
• Nine mobile clinics reaching animals in remote communities from the edges of the Sahara to the Atlas mountains.
• Special projects such as setting up a licensing scheme for Marrakech’s caleche horses, which pull tourist carriages.
• SPANA also monitors their welfare and builds and maintains water troughs on main routes to give working animals access to water.
Teaching children to care
• SPANA believes the only way to ensure a better future for working animals is to educate children about animal welfare at an early age. Our extensive education programme in Morocco will teach more than 28,000 children this year.
• Children visit all of SPANA’s centres where they take part in animal welfare classroom activities and get to tour the clinics to see working animals being treated. They also get the chance to experience handling rabbits and guineas pigs which helps to develop positive attitudes and empathy towards animals.
• 12,000 children and their teachers visit the SPANA education programme at Sidi Bou Ghaba nature reserve to learn about animals in their natural environment.
• Later this year a new educational bus will tour schools in rural areas.
• SPANA has a riding centre in Casablanca which gives children with disabilities the opportunity to take part in riding activities.
MEET THE VET – Hamid Belemleh
Hamid trained in veterinary sciences in Lyons, France, before returning to Morocco to gain his PhD. After his studies, Hamid taught as a professor in the veterinary school at Rabat. In 1986 Hamid started working part-time for SPANA, modernising the programme with the help of a close-knit team and has now been working for SPANA for over 25 years.
“What I like most about my job is the pleasure you get from saving an animal or ensuring its welfare through education. Since I’ve been working for SPANA, I’ve seen great changes in people’s attitudes towards their animals. When I first started working for SPANA, we would have to go out and persuade people to get their animals treated. Now they come to us, and I think that’s a huge achievement for the charity.”