animal kind international

Animal Kind International Partner Organization: Tanzania Animal Welfare Society (TAWESO)

AKI’s support to TAWESO during the first half of 2013 supported workshops where participants learned to make humane halters for their donkeys.  See pictures here



(click photos above: January 2013 donation (from Project Vets): AKI donated supplies and funds to TAWESO in September 2012 and again in January 2013, which will help them to continue their donkey welfare, spay/neuter, community vet care, and humane ed programs. Click on September 2012 donation photos below.





TAWESO at work: Discussing the importance of sterilization and vaccination against rabies before TAWESO starts spay/neuter surgery and rabies jabs in Mpigi Magohe village of Dar es Salaam.

On 18 April 2008, the Tanzania Animal Welfare Society (TAWESO) was registered in Tanzania to promote animal welfare country-wide to companion, working, and farm animals. TAWESO is run by a group of dedicated veterinarians, teachers, agricultural workers, and others who care about animals. 

TAWESO Activities

TAWESO has three active programmes--Dog and Cat Population Control, Donkey Welfare Programme, and Humane Education, and they also run some advocacy works. TAWESO’s Dog and Cat Population Control Program spays and neuters street dogs and cats, and at very low cost, also provides this service for pets owned by poor people.

TAWESO combines this program with delivery of general animal health care for stray animals and other animals in need. They provide veterinary treatment for various diseases and wounds, washing and dipping for mange, fleas, and ticks, vaccination against rabies, and de-worming.

They mainly provide these services in the rural poor village areas of Dar es Salaam and in one upcountry district, Mpwapwa in Dodoma some 700 kilometers from Dar es Salaam.

Photo (left) shows Executive Director Dr. Thomas Kahema spaying a dog in Mpigi Magohe village of Dar es Salaam.

TAWESO’s Donkey Welfare Programme raises awareness of humane donkey care and handling, and provides basic veterinary treatments for working donkeys.

The program is best described by Tina and Emily, two vets who volunteered with TAWESO during October-November 2010: Donkeys were mainly brought to us for de-worming, but presented with a number of concurrent complaints, all of which involved wounds across the withers and backs from poor harnessing. All working donkeys had evidence of chronic skin changes and a significant proportion had ulcers.  One particular case had a large abscess measuring ~10cm in diameter!  Whilst donkeys are a necessity to the villagers, veterinary care, attention to injuries and rest of affected animals is overlooked. TAWESO addresses this mindset through organized community meetings to educate donkey owners, not just about care of their donkeys and the provision of this care, but their perceived value and the importance of healthy, happy donkeys: “Mtunze Punda Akutunze” (Take care of the donkey and the donkey will take care of you.) 

Dr. Thomas adds: The working donkeys in rural areas are not treated and when they are terminally sick they are left to die on their own in bushes or eaten by hyenas leaving alone that they are overworked, overloaded, and beaten and have many wounds.  All this made us see the need of helping these neglected and really suffering animals, all of it came because of compassion as the animals feel pain and need to be cared regardless the owner is financially able or not.

Photo (above): UK volunteer vets, Tina and Emily, assisting TAWESO’s Donkey Welfare Programme.

Community Humane Education: Through this program, TAWESO creates an increase in pet ownership responsibility and love of animals. They develop humane education leaflets for communities and schoolchildren. Click on the photos below.


Photo: As part of TAWESO’s Humane Education Programme, UK volunteer vets Tina and Emily conducted humane education classes with primary school pupils.


Photo: Two volunteer Canadian vet students, Jennifer and Stacey, help TAWESO conduct humane education classes to standard six pupils at Anniny Nndumi Nursery and Primary School in Dar es Salaam.

TAWESO is an all volunteer organization with 20 members in various parts of the country. All members are employed in other work, and support the organization in any way they are able.  As Executive Director, Dr. Thomas told AKI, “No one is paid as our resources are very limited and all focus on reaching the suffering animals.” The most active volunteers are:

1-William T.Kwalazi (Chairman ) - He is a retired, long-serving teacher of mathematics and education in secondary schools and universities.  He was much involved in the country’s curriculum development.  He continues to write books for nursery school to university levels.  He is the head of the Humane Education Programme, and designs the training leaflets for schoolchildren and community members.

2-Henry J. Msigwa (Vice Chairman) - He is an agricultural and livestock officer and is the head of the Donkey Welfare Programme.

3-Thomas W. Kahema (Executive Director) - He is a vet for 13 years and is TAWESO contact person, head of the Dog and Cat Population Control Programme, and works on all administrative matters and oversee all the programmes.

4-Evelyn Nyanginywa (Treasurer) - She is the controller of all TAWESO funds, including member subscriptions, donations, and small grants.

Country Representatives

1-Richard Itaba - Coastal zone, he is a para-vet and the assistant head of the Dog and Cat Population Control Programme.

2-Neema Simon - Central zone, she is a para-vet and assistant head of the Donkey Welfare Programme.

3-Mrs Youze Pauline - Lake Victoria zone, she is a secondary school teacher and assistant head of the Humane Education Programme.

AKI asked Dr. Thomas, “what does the future hold for TAWESO?”

Dr. Thomas-Tanzania being a country with an area of 940,000 square kilometres with about 120 districts and 90% are in the rural areas, needs more effort to reach more districts. So far we have three representatives in three zones out of six zones the country has.  We plan to have six representatives and when we have resources these representatives can use more local media (TV, radio, newspapers) which are very useful to disseminate humane education to the public, but through local approach as the cultures vary from one zone to another.  We also hope to expand the dog and cat population programme and donkey welfare programme, but this depends on funding and supplies available to us.  Now that the Animal Welfare Act 2008 has passed, with support from TAWESO, we will work to make sure it is implemented.  Also, I am happy that I am appointed by the minister to be a member of the Animal Welfare Advisory Council representing animal welfare organizations in the country because I think this will help us expand our outreach. 

In response to our question about what Dr. Thomas hopes to gain from the TAWESO-AKI partnership, he replied: The AKI partnership will help us to have a great positive influence on the welfare of animals which are in need in the country. The situation for animals is terrible as most people are poor and the animals are in distress, to some extent the food animals are considered by their owners but majority of the dogs, cats, and working donkeys live in agony. AKI’s partnership will help us to change peoples’ behaviour towards building more compassionate and kindness attitude to animals and also reach many more of the neglected animals in the country.


AKI asked Executive Director, Dr. Thomas Kahema, to elaborate on the difficulties in fundraising for animals in Tanzania:

“Here in our country it is a bit difficult because animal welfare is a very new thematic area and people are faced with other life challenges like hunger, extreme poverty, and street children. TAWESO has been doing our works through members’ subscriptions, donations, and few small grants. When we conceive a project we write a proposal and try to send to some people and organizations. Whatever we get we use for the works planned or we scale back depending on the funds we receive. Sometimes we do not get the funding, thus we use our own expertise for the little urgent works which need the most attention.” TAWESO receives no government support.

AKI asked Dr. Thomas why the founders started TAWESO:

Having worked as a vet practitioner for more than ten years, I and other people in the community saw the need of having an organization which could help animals which were very much neglected and others posed a health risk to the community. The policy here is that all the veterinary service is done by private vets/para-vets and you can see that only people who are able can meet the costs of veterinary care to their animals, and Tanzania is a very poor country and most people are very poor and hardly they can meet their basic needs, you can see many animals in this situation are not taken care of, the dogs end up being poisoned or brutally killed.

One of TAWESO's veterinary volunteers wrote this complimentary and informative article about her time spent with TAWESO: click here


One of the lucky recipients of TAWESO’s Dog and Cat Population Control Programme: This dog is one of many street dogs that TAWESO volunteers have captured and treated for mange, given a rabies vaccination, and later, when well enough, he was castrated.  He was kept at a TAWESO member’s home and a permanent home was found for him—he will no longer be scrounging in the garbage.  Click on the photo for a larger image.