This week, The Donkey Sanctuary was thrilled to hear how a young boy in Egypt has learnt to prevent his donkey suffering from wounds using skills acquired from the charity’s harness maker.
The Donkey Sanctuary operates mobile units that visit rural communities in Egypt, providing donkeys with veterinary treatments and training owners on how best to care for their animals. One of the units was recently visited by 11 year-old Yehia who had learnt how to make his own working donkey’s halter via demonstrations from the charity’s harness maker, Farid.
Farid’s sessions focus on teaching communities how to make harnesses that fit well and do not cause the wounds that are typically seen on working donkeys. The team sources materials that are easily and cheaply available in each particular region and then teaches communities to make harnesses from these materials so that they are able to replicate the good practices that they have learnt.
When Yehia visited the mobile unit in April to obtain treatments for fly bites to his donkey’s legs, the team was amazed to see the quality of the harness that he had made for his donkey, Toto. Yehia had come up with the innovative idea of using reinforced strips of edging material from sacks along with the metal rings that are used for sealing the sacks.
Sanctuary harness maker Farid says: “When we saw the quality of the harness that Yehia had made we were amazed that he had produced it all by himself. The care he has taken in choosing the materials shows that he has really concentrated on the importance of keeping his animal safe from wounds. I was able to show Yehia how to improve the fitting of Toto’s halter to make it even more comfortable. He is a shining example of how our training sessions enable people to make equipment from locally available resources for themselves and then go on to teach others to do the same.”
With Toto’s fly bites treated by vets at the clinic, Yehia was able to lead his donkey back home where he encourages other donkey owners to take good care of the animals that contribute so much to their lives.
The Donkey Sanctuary has been working in Egypt since 1993, assisting local communities to improve the lives and health of their donkeys through a combination of veterinary treatments and education programmes.