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 developmenta...
Nov 23, 2015

Ginger and Griffin - getting comfortable

Favorite sleeping spot
Favorite sleeping spot

As any person used to cats will be familiar with, it has not taken Ginger and Griffin long to decide they own the office. After their first few days at Hlanganani, they started to come out of their hiding places and explore, although they still go back into the shadows when students and parents come into the office.

This has actually been good for the students as it reduces their concerns while increasing their excitement about catching a glimpse of Ginger and Griffin. During break time the students are starting to hang around the outside of the office, asking a lot of questions about what Ginger and Griffin have gotten up to. They are starting to notice that Griffin is the explorer and Ginger likes to look pretty.

Ginger and Griffin have taken to sleeping by the computer, it is their favorite spot when students are not around.   Finding these two curled up, without a care in the world, has added a nice dimension to my day, particularly as we are all running around, getting ready for final exams.

Thank you for your support in helping make this really fun yet important project happen, and for your help in passing the message that by bringing animal care services, combined with education, to rural Swaziland, together we can teach young children how to care for and enjoy the companionship of animals, thereby promoting the development of empathy in young children

Busy playing
Busy playing
Ginger, tired out from office work
Ginger, tired out from office work
Nov 13, 2015

Meet Ginger and Griffin

Meet Ginger and Griffin
Meet Ginger and Griffin

In Swaziland, cats are often seen as pests and treated with hostility and superstitution. So aside from making available veterinary services, the challenge is how to help children learn to take care of and enjoy the companionship of cats when most of them do not have cats at home (or if they do, the cats are not well treated).

Thus was borne “The Ginger and Griffin Project” at Hlanganani School. Hlanganani is an independent Not for Profit pre and primary school in the town of Piggs Peak, northern Swaziland. In conjunction with Vusumnotfo and Swaziland Animal Welfare Society (SAWS), the school has started “The Ginger and Griffin Project” to provide a hands on positive experience for the students. Project activities include:

  • Grades rotating weekly the responsibilities of providing food and water to Griffin and Ginger.
  • Government Veterinary officer providing veterinary services, while explaining both animal care and science concepts.
  • SAWS providing Hlanganani with age appropriate educational material about animal care - and Hlanganani students will later be taking a field trip to SAWS Animal Shelter in the capital city.
  • Supporting students in a manner that allows each child to slowly become comfortable in handling and petting Ginger and Griffin.

The arrival of Ginger and Griffin at Hlanganani caused quite a stir as most children (and some of the staff!) were afraid of them. So the first few days the kitties stayed in my office. We recyled an old computer for their bed and are giving them a few days to get settled in before introducing them to the students.

Thank you for your support in helping make this really fun yet important project happen, and for your help in passing the message that by bringing animal care services, combined with education, to rural Swaziland, together we can teach young children how to care for and enjoy the companionship of animals, thereby promoting the development of empathy in young children

Ginger in the recycled computer bed
Ginger in the recycled computer bed
Nov 10, 2015

Waterford Kamhlaba - international students, actively involved in community outreach

Megan assisting Dr. Lufungulo
Megan assisting Dr. Lufungulo

The Spay Clinic was a truly rewarding experience for all of us from Waterford AWARE who volunteered to make this project a reality. It was in many ways transformative. We were able to interact closely with members of the community through caring for their dogs – animals which are often overlooked as priorities despite being valued by their owners. We had a chance to talk to people, show them how to really care for their animals and encourage them to develop a deeper bond. It was an exhausting undertaking on many levels as we worked intensively in the pre-op clinic, the surgery and the recovery unit. However, we all agreed that it was the most rewarding volunteer work we have ever done and we are so grateful for the opportunity to be involved.

These are quotations from some of the students who volunteered at the clinic:

“I thought it was an amazing day because I felt like we were making a huge difference in a community that needed it. I want to be a Vet so it was really a great opportunity. I learned so much!” Nqobizitha Claire Dixon (Zimbabwe)

“The Spay Day for me was exhausting but an even more rewarding experience. It enhanced the love I have for dogs and made me realise how precious they are in the structure of our communities” Matilda Mahne (Finland)

“I learned a lot about surgery and everything that related to it in general. The weekend was a great experience and I gained loads from it. It felt like we actually did help and make a difference” Linda Uusitalo (Finland)

“The spay clinic was an amazing and exhausting experience. I really enjoyed being able to go into surgery and talk to the Vets” Kaina Arizcurinaga (Bolivia)

“The spay Day was for me an opportunity to reach out further than what is usually possible in my everyday life. It was exhausting but very rewarding and there was a strong feeling that we were actually making a difference” Louise Nielsen (Denmark)

“I am so happy that I could be part of a great team that achieved an amazing goal. I hope that through this Spay Day a bit of extra love is spread. I learned a lot a got a whole new view of Swaziland” Joy Dekker (The Netherlands)

Matilda, answering questions
Matilda, answering questions
 
   

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