It’s probably true of every genuinely 3rd World Charity, driven and run on location, (as opposed to overseas based NGO’s, with corporate or governmental backing) that month end is dreaded. I have said it before, but it bears a second mention that when we first wrote to Global Giving (GG), we had $43 in the bank. We had 3 men in full time employ, and 50-60 or so dogs and cats to feed, medicate and care for, not including the day to day community work. We were in despair. So before this report even begins, THANK YOU ALL. Our GG Appeal is just over one year old, and it has been an exciting and worthy experience for us in many ways. In a small country, it’s hard to think beyond the borders, but through some coaching and coaxing, we are Just Doing It, Nike-style!
We have come through some hard times, but between this forum and our own efforts, we have survived, and we even have a very small nest egg in Global Giving for when things get even tougher in Zimbabwe. This will cover us for just 3 months of absolutely no income. A breathing space as it were, if we do need to shut our doors.
Mutare SPCA has had a busy time of late. African summers bring a positive flood of pups with struggling mother-strays, and roving lads. Global Giving helps us with our costs, but a neutering programme would be the ultimate sub project, I think. We are delighted and excited to have a VOLUNTEER vet Mark, who has joined us, and fills us with ideas and hope, humour and faith in what we can achieve. We also must acknowledge the kindness and efforts of Dr Innocent Chabanga, who handles our medical cases and neutering at a low cost, and often given us some time to pay our bills.
Our Global Giving 2nd Rabies Vaccination Programme went very well, and we did 2 further outreaches, one to Chishakwe, one to Rowa, south of Mutare. A further 630 dogs have been vaccinated FOR FREE (thank you Global Giving!). We treated all the dogs for parasites, injuries, and skin conditions too. Two dogs were neutered in a makeshift theatre under a shady tree, and one was driven home, up the mountain on a stony and rigorous 4 wheel drive track, in style, when it was deemed too ill to walk home. Sadly a puppy that we took back to the SPCA for further treatment did not survive. These exhausting outreaches are worth EVERY CENT THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN US. For the rest, we did A LOT of counselling, and sent off many happy owners and relieved dogs
In our last report, we wrote of the Donkey Sanctuary, and that our roving inspectors travelled there to participate and learn. Inspector William Nyawengu has sent in a report, which I include here, exactly as submitted: (We are proud of his report, very slightly edited, and hope you will be too.
From 12 to 16 March, 2018, we were posted to Bulawayo Donkey Sanctuary owned by Mrs Claire Einhorn. My Mutare SPCA management. We learned quite a lot as from paddock management, stable management, which includes feeding, hove (hoof) pick, wound cleaning using water and betadine, fly protection using fog fidge, flymask, dipping by means of spraying with triatix dip, brushing, grooming, checking of ticks lumps and wounds. Also horse equipment, eg reins and halters, I also learned that horses use body language as a means of communication. We further joined the donkey outreach programme sponsored by Bulawayo community. They offered vaccines, vehicle, and one of the most experienced staff among others. He (Mr Phiri) kindly showed us how to inject donkeys and give oral medication and handling. We covered Siganda area in Bubi District, Bulawayo North. We de-wormed a total of 200 Donkeys in 3 days. However, the training was an eye opener to me and I am well equipped to help sick and rescue stranded animals both urban and rural. Education is the backbone of every sector. I thank EVERYBODY on financing of this course. "I FEEL GREATLY HONOURED." said iInspector William Nyawengu.
With the men having attended this programme, we feel our charity is better equipped to educate in our own Province.
Our next aim is to send the two Roving Inspectors to Harare for a course on domestic animal care to be given by Dogs Trust Worldwide. We are very privileged to be included as the invited guests, and we believe that one of the most important things we can do for our wonderful staff is to equip them well with education and confidence. They are good men, and are well respected, even loved, in our community.
So what do we do for ourselves? From Fairs to Fetes, Lawn Bowls, or Travel, business or scientific talks for the public, to High Teas and Open Garden Days, we are always busy. BUT - our biggest fundraiser is on the horizon. The SPCA team LOVE this country, with its radical highs and lows. We were all born here, we have no other roots. We must make this charity work. Right now, we are doing the ground work for our annual and biggest Fundraiser.
The SPCA Blue Cross Ultra Distance Event. Early August sees several teams walking solo or in a relay, Cycling or for the first time ever Enduro Biking 500kms from the lowest to the highest points in the country. The heavy rains have washed away some of the rural roads so the entire track has to be revisited and repaired by ourselves. The Mutare SPCA team will do the relay and will walk for 9 days, self-supported, sleeping some nights roughing it under the stars, some with a bed and shower. This extreme effort not only helps Mutare SPCA, but ALL the SPCAs in the country, as we forward disbursements to them too. Visit us, Sponsor us on GlobalGiving, and JOIN US?? The website explains it all. Watch as this extreme event is put more and more on the worldwide map.
Re-homing is still our biggest difficulty. If I could trade, I would give it all for good and loving homes. But Thank YOU, The Global Giving Community, thank you ALL for considering us for donations, which take the OTHER difficulties away. Every cent is treated as the Lottery Won by THIS team of volunteers!
An Old African Proverb says it all:
"If you think you are too small to make a difference, you have never spent the night with a mosquito."