Vusumnotfo

Vusumnotfo - meaning "to restart the economy" - is a Swazi, Not-For-Profit, community training and support organization formed by eighteen chiefdoms in northern Swaziland. Our vision is that communities will be able and willing to improve their own social, economic, and environmental conditions. To build the human capacity needed to do so, Vusumnotfo's programming involves each of the community structures that touches the lives and development of children - the schools where they learn, the families where they grow, and the communities where they live. Using sustainable methods, Vusumnotfo's goal is to help communities, help their children, to reach their full developmental potent...
Oct 6, 2014

Report #6 - Mshingishingini Spay Day - some more photos

Mshingishingini Primary transformed into a clinic.
Mshingishingini Primary transformed into a clinic.

Here are some more photos from the Spay day at Mshingishingini Community that took place on June 21, 2014. 52 dogs (plus 1 cat) were sterilized and a further 30 dogs were vaccinated against rabies, de-wormed, and received free medical examinations. The photos below show each step in the process of making this happen.

I am happy to report that the follow up day on July 5th went very well. People brought back their dogs (and one cat) for medical check ups and to take the stitches out. All animals were healthy and happy. Photos from that day will be in the next report.

The feedback from the community has been very positive. People who did not bring their animals are regretting that they missed out. This is often the case when implementing an activity for the first time at a community. Now that we have gotten the ball rolling with this first project, Vusumnotfo hopes to be able to carry out one community Spay Day each year. Swaziland Animal Welfare Society is currently planning to carry out a second community spay day in another part of Swaziland soonest. Details of that will follow.

The required medical supplies
The required medical supplies
Surgery in the classroom
Surgery in the classroom
Childhood curiosity
Childhood curiosity
Waiting for recovery
Waiting for recovery
Project partners - and you!
Project partners - and you!
Jun 26, 2014

Report #5 - Spay Day #1, June 21, 2014

Arriving early
Arriving early

On June 21, 52 dogs (plus 1 cat) were sterilized at the Mshingishingini Spay Clinic, and a further 30 dogs were vaccinated against rabies, de-wormed, and received free medical examinations.

On June 20, Waterford Community Service project AWARE (Animal Welfare and Rabies Education) students, Swaziland Animal Welfare Society (SAWS) and Vusumnotfo staff transformed Mshingishingini Primary School into a community clinic.

On June 21 community folk came very early on a cold morning to start the process, which included a pre-op clinic, to determine if their dog was well enough for the operation. The pre-op also vaccinated against rabies, de-wormed, and provided any other medical services. Importantly, community members were given specific advice on how to improve the well fare of their dogs.

15 vets from the Swaziland Veterinary Association soon had surgeries underway. The Veterinary Surgeons were generous both with their time (donated) and their patient explanations of how procedures were being carried out, while Waterford AWARE students watched and listened intently, gaining new knowledge and insight.

After surgery, dogs were kept in the recovery room for several hours until they were medically discharged. During recovery, each dog received one on one observation and care. Although we finished well after dark, everyone was filled with a sense of enormous satisfaction and accomplishment.

For me, it was very impressive to watch the project team and volunteers transfer a local community school into a clinic. I loved the Head teachers look of awe when she first saw the Grade 7 classroom being used as surgery! I very much appreciated community member’s comments about the care that their dogs were receiving, this itself made an impression. 

I will be posting additional reports with more specific information and insights on the day, but I wanted to let you know what we were able to do so far with your support. On July 5 we will provide follow up support. 

We hope that this is the first of several Spay Days and we really appreciate your assistance in helping us make this happen, and in passing the word so that we can make more Spay Days happen.

Make Ceko and her dogs
Make Ceko and her dogs
Waiting for surgery
Waiting for surgery
Recovery room
Recovery room
Jun 1, 2014

#4/Getting the project message to young children

Asking questions
Asking questions

On May 26, 27, and 28, I James Tsabedze (Vusumnotfo) together with Simon Mamba (SAWS) visited the 3 primary schools within Mshingishingini chiefdom - these being Mshingishingini Nazarene, Ekujabuleni and Phophonyane Primary Schools (combined enrollment of 1,244 students). 

In each presentation, we went through the basics of animal care. After that, I asked students three key questions - 1) Have you seen someone kick a dog at your home? 2) Have you kicked a dog at your home? and 3) How do you feel when you are hit by an adult? It is really sad to see how many hands went up after question 1 and 2. 

However, this gave us the opportunity to discuss the link between these three questions.  It may seem unusual for people who grew up with pets but in Swaziland people are pretty harsh with their dogs, so this seems normal to young children. 

These sessions gave us the opportunity to raise awareness that the "normal" behaviour many of these children see towards animals can be inadvertently reflected in their lives in ways that are not positive. Our aim is that with this awareness, children can break the chain of mimicking violent behaviour towards living things. 

On May 21 I also shared the project message with 60 community preschool teachers who attend in-service training at Vusumnotfo.  These teachers can help the 1,344 young children attending their preschools to develop positive attitudes and behaviour towards animals. 

We at Vusumnotfo feel strongly that this project has two benefits - that of the veterinary services, and that of the community education about animal care and how it relates to domestic violence.

Thank you so much for helping us pass this message around.

How many of you have seen someone kick a dog?
How many of you have seen someone kick a dog?
Have you kicked a dog?
Have you kicked a dog?
Sharing Vusumnotfo
Sharing Vusumnotfo's dog Ziggy
A bit nervous but I am holding Ziggy!
A bit nervous but I am holding Ziggy!
Sharing the message with preschool teachers
Sharing the message with preschool teachers

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