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

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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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Dec 31, 2019

Animal care - a small reflection of our humanity

The headlines throughout 2019 highlighted many challenges throughout the world. For this reason the BBC article “The Syrian town with more cats than people” by Mike Thomson caught my eye.

After months of intensive bombing by Syrian and Russian forces, the town of Kafr Nabl in Syria's last rebel-held province is now home to more cats than people. Humans and felines now provide comfort to one another in hard times, writes the BBC's Mike Thomson. https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-50856274

Crouched beneath a table in the corner of his rubblestrewn basement, a man shelters from the barrage of bombs above. But 32-year-old Salah Jaar is not alone. Huddled beside him are half a dozen assorted cats, all as petrified as he is.  

"It's comforting when the cats are close," he tells me. "'It makes the bombardment, the demolition, the suffering, seem much less frightening."

And even though people like Salah can no longer be sure of staying alive, never mind where their next meal is coming from, it seems there is always a place at the table for his four-legged friends.

"Whenever I eat, they eat, whether it's vegetables, noodles or just dried bread. In this situation I feel that we're both weak creatures and need to help each other," he says.

On a much less intense level, this underlying companionship is why Vusumnotfo uses animal care as a tool to promote responsibility and empathy in young children.

As 2019 ends and 2020 starts, this message is an appreciation for your support towards this objective.

My wish for you is the joy and gratitude that arises from positive companionship with all living things - a small reflection of our humanity. 

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