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...
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
May 31, 2014

#3/Early Morning Education at the Dip Tanks

Mhlambanyoni Dip tank
Mhlambanyoni Dip tank

On May 26, 27, and 28, my friend Tengetile Freemantle and I had to get out of bed way before the sun came up to help James Tsabedze (Vusumnotfo) and Simon Mamba (SAWS) visit Mhlambanyoni, Ntfwalamkhona, Mkhubane, and Mkhiweni dip tanks.

This was the first round of community education at the dip tanks, to explain about the basics of dog care, the June 21 clinic, and to answer questions. 

The Swaziland Ministry of Agriculture Veterinary Officers Gezile Sikhondze and Khansyisile Dlamini, whose job it is to oversee cattle dipping, were very supportive and helpful. Their involvement gave people confidence that this project would benefit their dogs, which was important when people asked “will my dogs die because of the operation?”.

The plan was to carry out education on this first round of dates, and to register on June 2, 3 and 4 and again June 16, 17 and 18 - however at each dip tank, people asked to register so already 20% of the 200 slots have been taken.  

Other men said they are interested but "they have to discuss it with their wives first!"  The Vet officers are now reporting that after the May 26-28 sessions, people are coming to their houses to ask to register.  We are very confident that all of the 200 slots will be taken after the June 2 - 4 sessions. People really want the veterinary services!

As a boarding student at Waterford Kamhlaba and a member of Community Service AWARE, I helped with the Spay/Neuter Clinic that SAWS ran just outside the capital city in 2013. Because I grew up in the rural area, I wanted the same opportunity to be brought to community people. 

June 21 is fast approaching and we really appreciate your support in making this project a reality.

Question and Answer at the Dip Tank
Question and Answer at the Dip Tank
Early registration for June 21!
Early registration for June 21!
Gezile Sikhondze, Government Vet Officer
Gezile Sikhondze, Government Vet Officer
SAWS and Vusumnotfo team (and Ziggy too)
SAWS and Vusumnotfo team (and Ziggy too)
May 30, 2014

#2/Swaziland Animal Welfare Society (SAWS)

Babe Mkhonta with a rescue kitty at SAWS
Babe Mkhonta with a rescue kitty at SAWS

On May 13, Vusumnotfo staff traveled to Mbabane to visit Swaziland Animal Welfare Society (SAWS). SAWS is one of the partners helping Vusumnotfo with this project, along with Swaziland Veterinary Association and Waterford Kamhlaba/Community Service AWARE.

This visit served the purpose of ensuring that Vusumnotfo staff are well versed in the common issues around animal care in Swaziland.

SAWS is a Swazi registered Not-For-Profit that was formed more than 50 years ago. We run 2 ‘open admission’ shelters – one in Mbabane the capital, and the other in Manzini the commercial hub.

In 2013, SAWS Mbabane shelter had a daily average of 30 welfare & stray dogs/cats and over 200 pets were adopted during that year.

In the course of our general work we assist the Government Vets with ‘man-power’ when they run a Rabies vaccination campaign and support the local Municipalities & Police when requested to do so.

This is the second Spay/Neuter Clinic we have run and our aim is to sterilize at least 50 dogs/cats on the day. We have the capacity to vaccinate, de-worm and treat a further 150. 15 of our local Vets have offered their time FREE of charge to help Mshingishingini community who have little or no access to veterinary care locally.

Combined with the clinic we hope to achieve some basic animal care education in the community to ensure that the work done at the clinic is sustained.

Please donate towards this project and help both the animals and their humans to achieve a better wellness status.

Vusumnotfo staff learning from Simon Mamba of SAWS
Vusumnotfo staff learning from Simon Mamba of SAWS

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