It goes without saying that COVID-19 is affecting almost everything about our lives. But how is it affecting our Partners and their efforts to help animals in Africa and beyond? You don't hear much about that on the nightly newscast!
In Honduras (Helping Hands for Hounds of Honduras), Pilar said, "it's almost impossible to get dog and cat food and no fruits are available for one of my rescued birds [in tropical Honduras, with normally an abundance of fresh fruit!]. They will not allow seniors to leave home. The military will not allow non-residents into neighborhoods." In response to a curfew announced by the Government of Honduras, all grocery stores, gas stations, banks, and pharmacies are closed. Honduras has 26 confirmed cases as of today.
In Ghana (Ghana Society for the Protection & Care of Animals), all schools and universities are closed. Ghana SPCA's Humane Ed activities are on hold (including their work aimed at helping communities deal with the donkey hide and meat trade, photo below showing hands-on learning about the importance of donkeys). GSPCA volunteers are discussing how the organization can help animals in the meantime and the work they will have ahead of them once schools reconvene. As of today, there are 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ghana.
Uganda Society for the Protection & Care of Animals is bracing for a potential crisis situation. Many of the volunteers that the USPCA relies on and many of the in-country donors are expats working for aid organizations or multi-national companies and some are being sent back to their home countries. More worrying, we expect that some expats will leave their pets behind (some may be given no choice in the matter). We hope that most will find willing, kind caretakers to keep them until owners return or are able to send for their pets. But we expect a surge of intakes at The Haven, already overflowing with unwanted, abandoned, neglected cats and dogs. On March 21, Uganda confirmed their 1st coronavirus case.
Thanks to our recurring and other dedicated donors, we can fulfill our commitment to stand by and continue to support our Partner Organizations through this global crisis. We're so grateful to all of you who continue to stand with us during this very difficult time. Always, when things are bad for humans, we expect things to be even worse for animals, and this crisis is no different. Thank you, we need your support now more than ever.
Photo: How will the USPCA Team deal with "social distancing" when they continue to be called on for rescues and community support?
At the very end of every year, we give an indication of how much money we hope to send our Partners (based on designated donations, the amount is subject to change). This helps them plan for their year ahead. There's no other animal welfare organization that they can rely on for funding year-in, year-out. As we all know, it's important for all organizations to be able to budget and plan; that's the only way to grow and become stronger voices for animals. This is our commitment to our Partners: We are here for you during the crisis. You can count on our support.
We also made a commitment to sponsor the 3rd annual AKI Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program: see information about our 2nd annual grant program. We intend to keep that commitment as well, and with your help, I'm sure we will. In the April newsletter, we'll have more news about our 2020 grant program.
The AKI Blog & Requesting a Volunteer
If during this time when your normally busy life may have quieted down and you're looking for something to read-other than about pandemics, we have 192 AKI Blog posts to keep you busy and interested! The AKI Blog has articles from and about our Partners and Grant Recipients and from other animal welfare organizations around the world that we know and love. Our most recent articles (March 2020) are:
From our Partner Organizations
USPCA & AKI together: a successful 2019, but what will 2020 bring? Read about how the USPCA uses your donations and some of their activities at the end of 2019 and early 2020.
Ghana SPCA: Donkeys Better Alive-With the help of Humane Ed students, GSPCA's Humane Ed volunteer Aluizah made fun videos about donkeys.
From our Grant Recipients
Giving is Living unchains dogs 8-17-our grantee in South Africa completes their unchaining project.
AKI Grant to Nyendwa Mobile Vet Clinic brings animal care to the most vulnerable in Zambia-our grantee completes their mobile operations, where they worked in drought stricken, then flooded, and always food-short parts of Zambia.
From an AKI Friend
Clean Water for Developing Countries by John Dracup-an important book for people and the animals they care for.
If you're looking for something more to do while "sheltering-in-place," AKI is in need of a volunteer to help us create videos. Our Partners and Grantees send many short videos that tell only partial stories about their work. We're looking for a volunteer who can piece together videos, add voice, music, captions, and still pictures to tell a more full story. Our immediate needs is a for a video for Uganda SPCA to help get the word out that the USPCA needs donations to purchase land for a larger Haven.
AKI donors support our 10 Partner Organizations in Uganda (2 partners), Tanzania, South Sudan, Namibia, Liberia, Ghana, Armenia, Jamaica, and Honduras; and AKI's Grant Program for Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organizations (2019 grant recipients are located in: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Mozambique, and South Africa.)
Help us spread the message, Kindness to Animals has no Boundaries
Karen Menczer, Founder & Director
the AKI Board