The Donkey Sanctuary’s partner in Zambia has released a catchy and popular electro-reggae song with a serious message to raise awareness about donkey welfare.

Partner Mwamfumba collaborated with Zambian musician Greg 1 on the song, entitled Donkey Welfare Awareness. It has received extensive radio play in the country, and has been performed live as a way of educating people about the value of healthy donkeys and the threat that the skin trade poses to them. The song calls on the authorities to support communities whose working donkeys are being stolen for their hides, which are then used in the production of ejiao (an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine).

“This message comes from Mwamfumba Multipurpose Cooperative for Animal Welfare Society of Chibombo district in Zambia,” says Greg 1 before launching into lyrics such as: “A long time ago, it never used to be. Animal life used to be protected… All of a sudden, things are now changing. Threat and poaching is now too much… Community members, let’s work together!”

Thanks to the generosity of supporters, The Donkey Sanctuary funds the Mwamfumba cooperative in its vital work empowering communities to sustainably improve animal care and working practices. In the last year, it has reported a considerable reduction in sores and wounds from ill-fitting harnesses and yokes as a result of its harness- and cart-making workshops. Community education projects like this have been made possible by the funding of a vehicle and bicycles for travel to villages.

Villagers with donkeys and new funded bike in Zambia
Funded vehicle and bikes in Zambia
Zambian donkey in harness

“Educating owners in good animal practice, combined with veterinary work, is the best way to reduce harm,” says project co-ordinator Samson Nyendwa. “Not only that, by talking to wider society about the value of donkeys, rural village communities have changed their attitude to donkeys, and their behaviour towards them.”

Now, Greg 1’s lyrics set to catchy music are being used to carry the message of the Mwamfumba cooporative’s work on donkey welfare even further.

Communities have been reached through radio stations, school and village meetings and discussions with politicians and government officials to find ways to solve the problem of working donkeys being stole and slaughtered for their skins.

Addressing The Donkey Sanctuary and its supporters, Samson says: “Thank you for helping to make such a difference.”

Listen to a clip from Greg 1's track Donkey Welfare Awareness here.