When donkeys and mules need our help, one of our approaches is to ‘step into’ the community in order to create vital links, gain trust and convince people to partner with us.
Alex Mayers and our staff in Kenya spent a day with the people of Kagoto village in the Rift valley. We work with this community to help reduce the suffering of donkeys being used to carry water to and from the village.
Alex joined some of the locals on their journey to see how their lives and those of their donkeys are interwoven. He said: “During the trek from the water point up the steep hill to the village, I talked to the locals. One of the ladies, Joyce, told me about her two donkeys. Together they make the trip to the water point up to three times a day to fetch water for her family.
She communicates well with her donkeys and the stick she carried was only used to tap the jerry cans and never the donkeys. Her harnesses were made from the material she could get hold of locally and she was keen to hear ways which could help make them more comfortable.
Unfortunately other donkeys we saw were clearly uncomfortable from ill-fitting harnesses. By walking with the locals, boundaries between the team and this community fell away, stories were shared and the welfare issues for these donkeys could be teased out and put right.”