Today’s blog comes from the National Council of SPCAs, a South African animal-welfare charity that receives our support for the work they do with donkeys. To honour Mandela Day, they recently helped a small community in Limpopo Province to improve the welfare of their working donkeys by replacing unsuitable harnessing. Here the manager of the charity’s Training Unit Morgane James tells us more…
“Mandela Day is a call to action for all of us to do something to make the world a better place. This day was launched in 2009 via unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly. Nelson Mandela was our patron and every year we honour his call to action by doing something meaningful for people and their animals in under-privileged communities.
This year, the day marked the official start of our Donkey Upliftment Project in Bela Bela, where we are working to improve the lives of donkeys used to transport water, wood and sand for the construction industry. We are doing this through community education, training and skills development, which will ensure a more long-term improvement to donkeys’ lives. On Mandela Day, we helped 27 donkeys in Bela Bela by working with their owners to exchange inappropriate bridles and breastplates for more comfortable ones and administering first aid for injuries sustained using the old harnesses. We have since returned to do follow-ups and are pleased to say that all the donkeys are progressing very well. Humane harnessing is our starting point but good welfare, kindness and respect will be our end point.
On behalf of the South African donkeys, their owners and those of us who serve them we thank YOU for making this work possible and hearing the call to action.”
‘What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.’ – Nelson Mandela