SPANA has been running a veterinary outreach programme for the past 20 years. The programme invites small registered organisations around the world to apply for grants of up to £5,000 to implement a project that will benefit working animals.
In villages around Grahamstown, South Africa, we are funding a project to train four ‘Working Donkey Champions’ (WDCs) in donkey welfare, basic first aid and community engagement. Partner organisation ‘Farm Animal Centre for Education’ select these volunteers from the community for their proven commitment to donkey welfare. Following their training, they will provide advice, care and support to donkeys and their owners in their villages, as well as teaching children in local schools.
WDCs are provided with a first aid kit to allow them to treat basic injuries, as well as infestations and infections. They will be mentored for six months following their training, allowing them to build confidence and receive advice.
The success of the project will be judged by changes in owners’ practices, knowledge and attitudes towards their animals, gauged through a series of workshops and continued direct monitoring of the donkeys’ health and welfare.