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Pipeline reduces donkeys’ burden

‘Welcome to Mlolongo,’ said Amos, Harness Officer at Donkey Sanctuary Kenya, as we turned off the Mombasa Road.

I was visiting the small but burgeoning township of Mlolongo on the edge of Nairobi to meet with Daniel, a donkey owner who you may remember from our Winter Newsletter last year. Along with many other workers, Daniel and his donkeys transport water from the nearby Syokimau Dam to town to facilitate building work.

Donkeys struggle along the uneven terrain with their heavy load of water

Donkeys adopt a school in the Rift Valley

Now, I’ve heard of schools fostering donkeys and I’ve heard of schools which ‘Adopt a Donkey’ through the Sanctuary’s scheme but up until today, I had never heard of donkeys being the ones to start such a relationship.

On my last full day with the Donkey Sanctuary Kenya team for this trip, I drove with Josiah to Kumpa School on the outskirts of Kajiado town (towards the Tanzanian border from Nairobi).

The pair of donkeys have made the school their home

Proudly supporting good welfare

At a community event in Kenya this week, I met Joseph, whose story highlighted how donkey and human welfare are very much linked when donkeys and people work together. Joseph is from a remote, rural area of Kenya where he struggled to make ends meet. He saved up as much as he could and moved to Nairobi five years ago where he used his savings to buy two 10-year-old donkeys from a friend. Without knowing much about the animals, he started a business transporting water by cart.

Joseph and his donkey

The Tale of Toto, the Inflatable Donkey

Thought you’d seen it all? Meet Toto, the inflatable donkey who has recently joined The Donkey Sanctuary Kenya (DSK) team as an exceptionally obedient harness training model. Wounds caused by ill-fitting or badly made harnesses are all too common in some parts of Kenya. When a harness causes a donkey pain, donkey-users can sometimes misunderstand their behaviour and, believing the animal to be stubborn or lazy, resort to beating it to try to speed it up.

Meet Toto, the inflatable donkey

Making education fun in Kenya

I thought I had worked with some big groups of children in my teaching and training days but Wednesday’s school visit last week in Nairobi was a new personal record – an audience of over 1,700!

I recently joined The Donkey Sanctuary’s international team to work with the overseas projects’ community partnership and education work and am visiting our project in Kenya to explore their current and past work, to learn from the teams and to start building the relationships that will be essential in the future.

Children at Nakeel Primary School


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