Donkey Bullo is a highly valued member of this Ethiopian family, and it is thanks to an ongoing initiative by The Donkey Sanctuary that he is regarded in this way.
Bullo supports husband Woyessa and wife Workit, and their two sons and three daughters, by transporting everything they need to survive and make a livelihood, including a weekly trip to a timber market over 25-kilometres away.
They live in southern Ethiopia in a small remote farming village called Remeda, and are closest to our Awassa project where the Sanctuary operates a mobile team to alleviate the suffering of working donkeys.
As well as treating injured and sick donkeys, the Sanctuary’s work engages with donkey owners, like Woyessa and his wife, to help them understand what their donkeys’ needs are and how a little love and respect can go a long way.
Woyessa was one of the first donkey owners in his village to accept the advice of the Sanctuary. While free vet treatments gave immediate relief to Bullo, Woyessa saw the longer term benefits when he started providing Bullo with proper access to food, rest, shelter and water and became mindful of the loads he expected his donkey to carry each day.
He is now the Sanctuary’s voluntary donkey-welfare club leader for his village, which has a population of 180 donkeys. He facilitates the Sanctuary’s veterinary clinics at his homestead and provides training to other donkey owners, including how to treat donkeys, identify illness and disease and improve pack saddles and harness.
Woyessa and his family have embraced a new way for caring for Bullo and as a result, he is a much happier, healthier donkey with the strength to work more comfortably. The positive impact this has on the whole family, and donkey, is clear to see.