It was really difficult getting these senior managers to stay in one position long enough to take a photo, they were too interested in talking to each other and the donkeys! They headed to our headquarters in Devon recently for training and to exchange ideas about improving donkey welfare across the world.
On the far left is Dr Shaaban Farahat, Programme Development Manager - Donkey, who was sharing with the team his experience working with donkeys for the Egyptian Society for the Protection and Welfare of Working Animals (ESPWWA). Egypt is growing fast and the donkey is at the centre of it all in brick kilns and across the country. “The donkey is building new Egypt,” Shaaban says.
Next to him is Dr Bojia Endebu, The Donkey Sanctuary’s Country Representative in Ethiopia, a country where donkeys are mostly used in agriculture. Often seen with a big smile on his face, Bojia was very enthusiastic about the visit, saying: “Everything is learning for us when we meet because we have a common goal.”
Standing on either side of the donkey are Dr Mariano Hernandez-Gil (to the right of the donkey), Country Manager for the Donkey Sanctuary Mexico-UNAM and his deputy Dr Eduardo Santurtun. Mariano described how visiting donkeys in Egypt affected his work with communities in Mexico. “We want to change the attitudes of people towards their donkeys so we need to understand the people first.”
Next to them is Dr Ramesh Kumar, who has many case studies to share about his work as Veterinary Coordinator for Donkey Sanctuary India. Despite the vast variety of work donkeys do across the world, Ramesh says: “At the end of the day most of the welfare issues are the same”.
On the right is Dr Solomon Onyango, Programme Development Manager-Donkey for The Donkey Sanctuary Kenya. "Sometimes their work is hard to bear," he says, "but talking about it together really helps. “Sometimes you think the challenges you face are in seclusion but you hear people talk and then you realise that there’s a lot of similarities."
How can donkeys in Egypt help donkeys in Mexico? Listen to the podcast to find out.