Over the past year, SPANA has helped to fund the P.E.A.C.E Foundation’s ‘Donkeys for Development’ project in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
The project aims to offer unemployed donkey owners a sustainable livelihood through waste collection and recycling, resulting in social, economic, environmental and animal welfare benefits.
SPANA provided the project with a grant of almost £5,000, which went towards purchasing specialised donkey carts, water and feed troughs and educational materials.
The donkey owners were trained in donkey husbandry and basic first aid and as part of the training each produced a suitably fitting harness for their donkey using locally available materials. Following an induction they were each given a recycling cart to enable them to collect waste locally and deliver it to a central recycling buyback centre, which has also been set up by the P.E.A.C.E Foundation.
The donkey owners are paid per kilogram of waste they deliver to the centre; with strict penalties should they overload their donkeys. Staff at the buyback centre sort recyclable material and sell it back to the market, creating a sustainable system of waste management, with donkeys at the heart of the project’s success, reflecting their vital working role to the community.
Whilst at the centre, the donkeys are monitored carefully by the Centre Manager for any signs of injury or illness and they are given free access to food and water on site.
Thanks to the project, the donkey owners now have access to a steady stream of income to help support their families as well as their donkeys and know how valuable a healthy and well looked-after working animal is.
The P.E.A.C.E. Foundation are now hoping to expand the project to include more local women and young people in order to improve even more lives in the Limpopo province.