Mar 27, 2019

#32/Growing demand -

A positive example!
A positive example!

We originally conducted our first spay day as a once off event. Because of the positive response at community level, we have continued to do one a year.

Due to this consistency, it is now common for people to ask Vusumnotfo staff questions about caring for their dogs and cats, and to inquire about when and where the next spay day will take place. For this reason, we have now set the spay day as an annual event on the second Saturday of June.

The spay day is related to Vusumnotfo’s activity 1.1. Parenting - train in early childhood development and learning, including factors that influence this.

As part of our education sessions prior to the spay day, and in our parenting training, we raise awareness of how every day animal care practices contribute to the social norms that young children absorb. Currently in rural Swaziland these every day practices tend to be negative, setting up a negative cycle of unhealthy animals, and thus fear and animosity towards dogs and cats.

Our annual spay day, by providing much needed veterinary services, results in healthy dogs and cats, which is key for family members to develop healthy companionships with their dogs and cats. This in turn contributes to children absorbing positive social norms. We are now gearing up for our 5th annual spay day.

With your continued help, we will conduct this on June 8, 2019.

Waiting line for removing stitches
Waiting line for removing stitches
Waiting line for surgeries
Waiting line for surgeries

Links:

Dec 26, 2018

#31) Community service - 11 students from 11 countries

Orphan puppy care
Orphan puppy care

Our community veterinary clinic in 2018 had some pretty impressive results:

  • 151 dogs and cats were provided with veterinary services (60 were spayed or neutered; additional 91 received a full range of clinical services).
  • 15 education sessions were conducted at community level (1 preschool with 31 parents and 50 children; 9 schools with 234 staff and 4,198 students; and at 5 dip tanks for surrounding community members).
  • 2 radio sessions shared personal testimonies from participants to national audience.

These results are only possible working in partnership - with yourself and Wild at Heart, who provided the financial resources to make this clinic happen; with the Swaziland Veterinary Association, who donate their services; with Swaziland Animal Welfare Society, who coordinate all technical requirements; and with Waterford Kamhlaba’s community service group AWARE.

As part of United World College, students at Waterford Kamhlaba (www.waterford.sz) are actively involved in community service. Their AWARE group plays an important role in our community veterinary clinic - they assist the vets and oversee the recovery room, and help with all the not so glamous tasks needed to set up and clean up.

Eleven students from eleven countries assisted us in 2018:

Elshaddai (Malawi) - I think it was an eye-opening experience because I actually thought it was easy to operate on animals but after seeing operations first hand, it changed my mind. It made me more aware of the well being of animals and I am glad for that.

Lisa (Netherlands and Tanzania) - I’ve always known that when it comes to domestic animals, not a lot of attention is given, but after seeing all the dogs and cats under weight, it made me realize how important our service is to not only them, but their owners. I really enjoyed helping out at this clinic, even if there are still thousands of dogs without any care.

Mona (Belgium, Mozambique) - This weekend, no matter how much work it was, I felt like I was making an actual difference to the community we were working in.

Stephen (Irish) - It was a fine job we did and I feel that the service we helped provide has had a profound effect on not only hygiene and safety, but also on the trust between the community and service providers such as us. It’s good.

Sarvesh (Nepal) - I was very grateful to be part of this event. I learnt a lot and had the opportunity to use and showcase the abilities I have learnt. I really loved the things all of us did and even to get out of our comfort zones and contribute the most we could. Everyone loved the opportunity where we could make some contribution like this (humanity, helpful, aware). I would be ready to help again.

Sedt (South Africa) - I was impressed that most people in the community made such an effort to bring their animals to the clinic. It was also interesting to observe the vets and learn a few things about operating on dogs. The weekend was hard work but very enjoyable and a valuable experience.

Sameel (Pakistan) - I enjoyed the experience, although bit overwhelming at times. I feel as if I have achieved something special and I believe that this clinic is making the lives of the pets and owners easier.

Abigail (Canada) - These last few days I have been able to get out of my comfort zone and enjoy myself while doing so. I’m very grateful for the encouraging people and the adorable animals that helped me do so.

Kandi (South Africa) - It never fails to amaze me how humanity can gather together and perform great feats of kindness, in order to help our in their community. My faith for humanity is restored when I participate in community services such as these.

Iyara (South Africa) - I felt and still feel a great sense of achievement after this clinic. I learnt new things and overcame a few challenges. I would definitely do it again.

Bobbie (eSwatini) - One phrase to describe this weekend: eye opening! Animal welfare in Swaziland is something that needs a lot more funding and attention

We are already receiving requests from community members as to when the next clinic will be. With your help, we are planning for June 8, 2019.

Assisting the vets
Assisting the vets
Post op clinical services
Post op clinical services
Monitoring vitals
Monitoring vitals
Recovery room
Recovery room

Links:

Sep 27, 2018

#30/Puppy power

Bottle feeding
Bottle feeding

During Vusumnotfo’s June 30 spay day a mother dog was operated on, leaving her 5 puppies without milk. So Vusumnotfo staff took on the duties of feeding the puppies by syringe.

The following week, when the puppies were about 4 weeks old, Vusumnotfo staff Nomcebo and Sbonile took the puppies to Hlanganani Primary School for sharing. It was an amazing experience for the students, as captured in the photos and comments from below:

Mapule - It was incredible to see puppies fed from syringes, and to know that its possible for them to bottle-feed just like human beings, so all in all it was a learning experience for future vets in our school.

Thobile - It was a good, fun and educational experience for the kids. It was good for the kids to see the puppies live because some of our students have only see puppies on TV.  Dogs tend to be kept for security only so puppies to play and hold are not the norm at all. 

Sithembile - The learners enjoyed having the puppies in their hands and it was the first time for some of them to see puppies as young as these ones.  A few were afraid to touch the puppies but after some time, even they started to come closer. 

Busi - Its was a great experience for our kids to just hold the puppies & play with them, and to learn that they can be fed with a bottle! 

Princess - It was a great experience for both learners and teachers; the kids asked a lot of interesting questions like “since they are so small, can they be called a puppy?”

Gentle
Gentle
Friends
Friends
Curious
Curious
Cuddles
Cuddles
Lots of interesting questions
Lots of interesting questions
 
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