Donation Options

Using Animal Care to Promote Empathy in Children



With your support, an education campaign and free, veterinary clinic will be conducted at Mshingishingini community in Northern Swaziland. This clinic will provide much needed veterinary services to 200 dogs. Combined with community wide education, it will support the care of, and companionship from, dogs - and how to use these to promote the development of empathy in rural Swazi children. Over time, the goal is to contribute to a reduction in Swaziland's high rate of domestic violence.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

People in Swaziland value dogs for security, yet many fear their own dogs, treat them with animosity, and do not develop a companionable bond. Children who regularly witness dogs being kicked or hit will mimic this behaviour. In Swaziland it is a daily occurrence to see children with sticks in hand, playing the game of "shaya" ("to hit"). It follows that 87% of reported abuse in Swaziland happens by family members - and that 58% of this abuse is emotional/verbal and 14% is physical.

How will this project solve this problem?

Bringing a one-day free clinic and follow up to Mshingishingini, a community in rural Swaziland without veterinary services, will give needed care to animals, and be a positive example towards breaking this cycle. Education sessions on how to care for dogs (even when resources are limited), develop a companionable bond, and discipline dogs appropriately, will be conducted at the three primary schools and four dip tanks. The clinic will provide vaccinations, spays, neuters, and de-worming.

Potential Long Term Impact

Swaziland's pattern of domestic violence suggests that mimicking behaviour is the driving force, instead of the intent to do harm. With 70% poverty, 40% unemployment, 26% HIV and a life expectancy of 49 years, families struggle daily to meet their basic needs, and this stresses their relationships. Bringing animal care services, combined with education, to a rural community will help to support care and companionship for animals, promoting the development of empathy in young children.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $1,170
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $4,830
Total Funding Goal: $6,000

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).

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Piggs Peak, Swaziland

Project Leader

kathy gau

Piggs Peak, Hhohho Region Swaziland

Where is this project located?

Map of Using Animal Care to Promote Empathy in Children
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