We started this project with Bruce, a dog we came across in one of Malawi villages. It was clearly evident that he was malnourished. The animal shelter, which does exist in Lilongwe, was not prepared to receive him, as they cannot house more animals to care for in a shelter with its modest capacity.
In general, there is little understanding of the help to animals by the natives. Animals in Africa are treated primarily as property, a kind of object, not as living beings with their own needs. Recently, in the village where we found Bruce, a dog that, according to the sisters, was only bone and skin, was starved to death. Nobody even tried to help the poor animal.
When we, together with our sisters, were thinkimg about how Bruce could be helped in such circumstances in the long run, we came to the conclusion that it could be done in such a way that the care of a particular animal was taken over by one of the locals who would receive a monthly payment of about $ 20 for it. Caring for a dog will therefore be a kind of “part-time job” for him. From this money, the caregiver will also pay for the dog’s food and, if necessary, visits to the vet, and the dog will also receive his own solid ‘house’ in the caregiver’s yard.
Sister Chinyere stressed that this was a way to help socially deprived people at the same time. In Malawi, where the unemployment rate is very high, it is difficult to get a job. Single mothers with young children and the elderly, who often have great difficulty in getting through the month, would be very grateful for such work. Caring for a dog would provide them a small, but steady income to feed the family.
This is how our ‘human-canine’ project was born to help animals and humans alike. All of you who have a heart for animals – and who are willing to make life easier for people at the same time – are invited to join. Each of your gifts will be of double help in this project.
Thank you very much in advance on behalf of animals and humans!