Sep 14, 2020

#44 - Permission Granted

Nkamanzi Libandla meeting
Nkamanzi Libandla meeting

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our original date for the spay day in June has been put on hold until restrictions are lifted. However, we decided that since the situation has lasted for longer than we had all thought possible, we would focus on the preparations that we could within this crazy reality.  

Nkamanzi community was selected.  This community is 20 Km down a gravel road. There are three dip tanks with a total of 765 dogs (278 owners), so this community is truly in need of a spay day! Both cattle and dogs are registered specific to a dip tank, cows for tick dipping and dogs for annual rabies injections.

As Vusumnotfo is in the process of drilling 5 boreholes at Nkamanzi for domestic water supply, we have been driving the gravel road into Nkamanzi often. The high number of scrappy looking dogs on the road is striking. 

We presented the "what, why and how" of the spay day to Nkamanzi Libandla (chiefdom council) for their permission. I found it particularly rewarding that Libandla members had already heard positive results from friends and family members whose dogs had been operated on at the 2019 spay day at Mkhuzweni Primary School (25 Km away). 

We also carried out a site visit with Swaziland Animal Welfare Society to view the buildings at Nkamanzi Primary School. This was to ensure that the required basic infrastructure is available (or if need be can be brought to the school). 

Prior to this the head teacher from Mkhuzweni Primary School called the head teacher from Nkamanzi to explain first hand the practicalities of the day as they relate to school operations.  

As is protocol, we left the permission form with the Libandla for their final consideration. We have since received written permission from both Nkamanzi Libandla and the Head of Nkamanzi Primary School, so this critical step in the process is completed. 

Our annual spay day is part of Vusumnotfo's early childhood training programme "to increase knowledge of early childhood development and learning, including factors that influence this".  Specifically we use the spay day as an example to show how animal care can demonstrate responsibility and empathy to children.

For updates on our related activities, go to Instagram handle Vusumnotfo.Eswatini. 

Your continued support makes this possible. Please note that all donations made up to $50 on September 14 to 18 will be matched by GlobalGiving at 50%.

Scrappy dog
Scrappy dog
So in need of Vet Care
So in need of Vet Care

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Aug 17, 2020

Puppy power in the time of COID-19

Girl power Puppy power
Girl power Puppy power

The new normal of Covid-19 around the world has had an incredible affect on the emotional needs of many. Eswatini is still living under a national emergency with many restrictions in place. As everyone across the world knows, the restrictions needed to keep us safe mean that we are also missing out on some of the simple joys in life.

A few weeks ago I chose to give a happy home to two beautiful puppies!  Of course I got the puppies from Swaziland Animal Welfare Society, our partner in this project. 

Last week I had two children from the Vusweni community come and visit, to entertain the puppies and have some fun in this dark time we are living in. I am always amazed at how positive companionship with animals affects children.

Khosi, Siyamthanda and the puppies were a joy to watch together. Having the time with these puppies not only enabled the girls to get social interaction in a time where we are expected to socially distance, but also gave them an outlet for physical touch, loving communication and comfort, all of which will benefit their emotional wellbeing in the future.

Both girls have gained a friend and new social skills, while their families have also seen how positive companionship with animals can benefit all involved.

Your support is what makes these positive outcomes possible! Please support if possible, or just share our link around. Your actions truly allow us to continue to create positive examples of how to use animal care to motivate responsibility and empathy in children in rural Eswatini. Thank You!

Khosi, with Chaco and Rocky
Khosi, with Chaco and Rocky
Siyamthanda and Rocky
Siyamthanda and Rocky

Links:

Mar 30, 2020

#42 - Animal-care and child-care go hand in hand

Hand-in-hand
Hand-in-hand

No need to remind you of the extra challenges from COVID-19 being experienced by people throughout the world. Eswatini declared a national emergency with partial lock down now being enforced. Although Eswatini has nine cases to date, the government is well aware of the threat, so nation wide preventative measures are in place.

In these challenging times we need to remember to see the good things that are still happening around us. I took these photos at a community session at Emfasini where we were discussing the requirements for drilling a borehole for a hand pump to improve domestic water supply.

This father caught my eye for several reasons; his attentive interaction with his son was a pleasure to observe, and his dogs were so content and loyal to him.

For those of you who have experienced positive companionship with animals, you know that animal-care and child-care go hand in hand. Particularly during social isolation, the companionship from animals provides comfort to our emotional wellbeing.

Planning for the upcoming spay day on June 20 is in full swing, although we are aware that the date may need to be reset due to the COVIC-19 situation. We have selected a location that is 20 Km on a gravel road. The three cattle dip tanks in the area have a combined total of 765 dogs (278 owners), so this community has a very high need for a spay day.

What I find heartening is that doing the spay day as an annual event has created momentum that is really taking hold. Through out the year, people ask us about this event. The planning flows now because people have heard about it or know someone whose dog is now so much healthier.  When I walked into the Mayiwane Ministry of Agriculture Office, I was greeted with “so, its time for the spay day again right?”

Your support is what makes this momentum and the positive results from this project possible. Thank you.

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