We are beyond happy to tell you all about a new project we are working with in Swaziland. With our new partners, we recently started a project to neuter village dogs, educate villagers about how to look after their pets and provide vet and care to dogs in need.
People in Swaziland value dogs for security, yet many fear their own dogs, treating them with animosity and preventing them from developing 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").
Wild at Heart Foundation have recently partnered with ‘Vusumnotfo’ a Swazi not-for-profit, community training and support organisation. Vusumnotfo’s vision is to help communities significantly improve their own social, economic and environmental conditions. We feel that their goal fits hand-in-hand with our mission, and because they are focusing on animal welfare in conjunction with communities, the match was perfect.
Working with a number of organisations, including SAWS, Waterford and the Vets Association, we have brought together a free clinic and follow-up centre to provide much needed veterinary services, including vaccinations, spays, neuters, worming and general healthcare and training. We want to be create a positive example of how best to care for your animal, in order to break the cycle of mistreatment to animals.
We have also set up education sessions for students and staff on how to care for dogs, how to develop a companionable bond, and how to appropriately discipline dogs. 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.
So far, we have funded over 120 sterilisations and educated 4,167 students and 219 staff members.