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AKI's Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program-2021

This year we received 52 proposals, the most we've ever received (last year, we received 50).  We selected nine grant recipients for 2021: Nairobi Feline Sanctuary, Sauvons nos Animaux (DR Congo), HorseSafety (Ghana), Tikobane Trust + Humane Africa Trust (Zimbabwe), Welfare for Animals Guild Rwanda, Mthatha SPCA (South Africa), Nyendwa Mobile Veterinary Clinic (Zambia), Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe, and Matabeleland Animal Rescue & Equine Sanctuary (Zimbabwe). ON THIS PAGE, WE'LL BE POSTING PROGRESS UPDATES AS THE GRANT RECIPIENTS IMPLEMENT THEIR PROJECTS.

Our Grant Program reaches worthy Africa-based organizations, beyond our Partner Organizations, and supports them to implement high impact projects aimed at improving the lives of domestic animals. This is the 4th year that we've been able to hold the only grant program that specifically targets animal welfare organizations in Africa and that is 100% donor-funded!

2021 Grantee Progress Reports

AKI's 2021 Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grantees

The Nairobi Feline Sanctuary, Kenya - Construction of Individual Secure Cat Sleeping Units and Quarantine Structure

NFS provides shelter for all cats that need it; educates on the importance of spay/neuter; and provides medical assistance to cats in low-income households. They operate in Nairobi Eastlands area, but receive rescues from all over Nairobi and environs.

Cat kennels for Nairobi Feline Sanctuary in Kenya Africa.

With the AKI grant, NFS will construct 40 stand-alone units (similar to those pictured left) that will be used for cats in recovery, nursing cats, and new cats that have completed the three-day quarantine period and have been vaccinated.  These units will prevent fights while still letting the cats interact via scent, visual, and vocal contact. NFS will also construct a small simple structure to hold new ferals for three days for observation. Once satisfied that they don’t have clinical issues, they will then vaccinate and move them into the units. Those with clinical issues will be treated and moved to an existing detached recovery area.

This is the 2nd year we've supported a grant to NFS; the previous was in 2020.

Nyendwa Mobile Veterinary Clinic-Zambia - Tackling the Terrible Suffering of Dogs and Cats Ward by Ward during the COVID-19 Crisis

NYEMOVEC works in remote rural communities to help animals and the people who depend on them "by giving all animal species the respect they so need and deserve." They work closely with village community leaders to motivate, unify, and empower them to become village level advocates for animal welfare.

Community outreach vet care in Zambia Africa.

With the grant from AKI, NYEMOVEC will work in the remote villages of Chamuka Chiefdom in Chisamba district, where there is a great need to help animals (it is very poor and there is no other animal welfare organization or veterinary help in the area). The mobile clinic will treat 2000 cats and dogs by providing rabies vaccinations, anti-parasite treatment, wound treatment, and other care during the 6-month grant period (usually the cats and dogs in this area are in such poor health and are so emaciated, they aren't able to withstand spay/neuter surgery). NYEMOVEC already has volunteers in these villages standing by to help. (Photo: Annie, Program Manager, giving a rabies jab). This is the 2nd time NYEMOVEC received an AKI grant, the 1st was in 2019.

Horsesafety Ghana - Healing, Care, and Health for the Horses at the Kingdomstable (while raising awareness and providing positive impulses for other horses around us)

Horsesafety is dedicated to the welfare of horses in Ghana, where most horses suffer from mental and physical abuse, due to limited financial means and lack of professional care. Animals are mostly treated with dominance and violence and therefore face constant mental stress.


Mostly, horse caretakers live a life without dignity, in wooden shacks or horse rooms, living from hand to mouth. The horse owners, many of whom bought their horses to race them, use them for polo, or at traditional festivals, only see their horses for special events and shy away from the responsibilities of an animal owner. Often, horse caretakers in Ghana treat their horses themselves, without veterinary assistance, resulting in bad side effects and sometimes death.


To earn a living, the caretakers at Kingdomstable (as at many other stables) take tourists and locals on beach rides, where the horses are often over-worked, suffer injuries, and usually are not provided with adequate nutrition and water. (Photo below: Kindgdomstable caretaker Wisdom and some neighborhood boys out with the horses)

Horse riding and learning good horse and animal welfare in Ghana Africa.

With the grant from AKI, Horsesafety will provide veterinary care for 5 currently injured horses at Kingdomstable and keep 7 of the horses at the stable in good health. Horsesafety will give regular, nutritious feeding, with supplements of necessary minerals and vitamins, based on the expertise of a nutritionist, who is currently volunteering with Horsesafety. However, their work will go beyond these horses. By inviting vets and horse caretakers to the stable, Horsesafety will raise awareness of the crucial importance of professional care and good nutrition. Given the hardships endured by the caretakers (as well as the horses), select Kingdomstable caretakers will be given stipends for providing good care to the horses, which will help make them proud of their work and their profession-and result in better care of the horses.

In the longer-term, Horsesafety intends to establish a ranch in Ghana, The Six Freedoms, that will introduce a new way of thinking about horse care and training (they will collaborate with the Monty Roberts network) and create the only ranch in west Africa to showcase natural horsemanship.

Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe - Rural Animal Welfare Clinic Sterilization and Rabies Vaccination Campaign

VAWZ focuses on Rural Animal Welfare Clinics, where they perform sterilization and rabies vaccinations; investigation into reports of suspected animal cruelty and abuse; and inspection of service animals, security dogs, pet shops, abattoirs and chicken slaughterhouses, livestock transportation, wild animals kept in captivity. They have a Donkey Health and Welfare Clinic in Beit Bridge and a Community Animal Health and Welfare Centre in Victoria Falls.

The AKI grant will allow VAWZ to sterilize 40 dogs and give them a 5-in-1 vaccine and vaccinate another 200 dogs against rabies, as well as treat walk-in clients during the rural animal clinics. The clinics will take place in Mugura and Blue Ridge areas, Christon Bank, chosen because VAWZ has successfully carried out campaigns at these locations and there is still a need to continue to work in these areas. Also, they have volunteers there who are great at communicating with the local dog owners to ensure they are aware of the campaign, guaranteeing a good turnout.

Animal shelter in South Africa.

Mthatha Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (South Africa) - Dividing and Re-Fencing of Grazing Land for Livestock

The Mthatha SPCA will fence off their grazing area (photo below), where cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys are kept that are rescued from neglect or are brought to the SPCA by the Traffic Department, after being found wandering on the national roads or having been knocked by vehicles. According to the SPCA Administrator, Mr. Mlotshe, "The Animal Protection Act mandates that the SPCA protect these animals, but without proper fencing, we cannot perform our job well." The fencing will also allow the SPCA to section off injured and sick animals or those about to give birth, so that the staff can protect them and provide optimal care.

Animal shelter in South Africa with impoundment for livestock that will be repaired with Animal Kind International funding.

The fencing will also prevent stock theft (cattle is wealth in the Eastern Cape); "animals that are stolen are by no means treated well – they are stolen for slaughtering, which is not done humanely."

The Mthatha SPCA "sees to a huge area, with almost no money coming in."

Although the Mthatha SPCA runs the dog and cat "pound," for local government, "local government is not playing its part by regularly supporting the pound, which we run on their behalf. When they pay for the service, it is piecemeal and always behind.  We need to lead by example, and therefore have focused on reaching out to every animal in need that is brought to our attention. We never refuse a call-out."   

Welfare for Animals Guild Rwanda - Outfit Shelter Manager to Establish a Public Network for Dog Support

With funding from the AKI grant, WAG will:

(1) outfit their Shelter Manager with a computer, bicycle, and updated phone to access and communicate with the local community on issues relating to dogs. WAG hasn't been able to afford these essential items due to their small cash reserves; and

(2) develop an innovative active digital community network of vetted local dog owners and lovers who can support one another. Rwanda is very tech-focused and the use of online platforms to communicate is widespread, even for those living in underdeveloped neighborhoods. The community network will help foster a love of dogs and a community-based response to  challenges promoting good welfare practices, reporting sick or stray dogs to local sector veterinarians or WAG, reporting animal cruelty cases to local leadership or police, and reporting dog bite cases to local leadership for further investigation. This increased community engagement will make a significant difference in the lives of many community dogs in Kigali. 

WAG began in 2014 as a grassroots initiative to help stray dogs in Rwanda find homes. Using foster care homes and a recently established small shelter space, WAG dogs receive food, veterinary care, love, and socialization until they are adopted. Every dog, regardless of age, breed, or sex receives equal investment of resources and care. In addition to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming street dogs, WAG provides emergency assistance to dogs in crisis (severe injuries, rescue from abusive situations, etc.) and advocates for better animal welfare.

Sauvons nos Animaux (Democratic Republic of Congo) - Sterilization Pilot Project

SnA has the only shelter for dogs and cats in eastern DRC, which has a population of over 87 million. The SnA shelter takes in stray, abused, and homeless animals. "The dogs and cats are welcomed at the shelter, where they are rehabilitated and grow up in a family environment without suffering." In addition to the shelter, SnA carries out dozens of neglect and abuse investigations in the city of Bukavu and in villages, resulting in advice, support, or removal of animals. SnA has created a youth club to train and educate youth to respect and protect animals. SnA was a 2020 AKI grant recipient.

The vet clinic at the animal shelter in Congo in Africa.

The 2021 grant from AKI, will fund the salary of a full-time veterinarian and her part-time assistant for 6 months, and purchase medications needed to treat incoming and sick animals and to spay and neuter animals at the shelter. The shelter hasn't been able to afford regular veterinary care, which is so critical given that many of the animals entering the shelter are sick or injured. Males and females have to be separated since many are awaiting sterilization. The grant will allow the shelter's female and male dogs and cats to mix, and the dogs will have more time outside their pens without the concern of pregnancies and fights.

New harnesses for donkeys demonstrating good donkey care and welfare in Zimbabwe in Africa.
Poor donkey welfare in Zimbabwe Africa using wires to try to fit a poorly fitting harness.

Matabeleland Animal Rescue & Equine Sanctuary (Zimbabwe) - Education and making of humane cost-effective harness and yokes for donkeys

With the AKI grant, MARES will focus their donkey welfare work in Old Pumula, where previously they have only been able to rescue donkeys and therefore, the need is great to educate owners to reduce the number of donkeys in need of rescue. In this area, MARES is in regular contact with park rangers and police, who request their help when there's an injured or confiscated donkey.


MARES will make 50 harnesses, swingle trees, and yokes - a big undertaking that will take 6 weeks (top picture shows the humane/correct harnessing). They will host a clinic with up to 60 donkey owners, police, and park rangers during which they will explain correct harnessing and hitching-using and providing these humane harnesses and yokes to owners. MARES will also provide information about donkey care and they will check the donkeys for wounds and injuries and de-worm the donkeys.


MARES has seen huge changes for donkeys whose owners use this system. Humane padded harnesses have reduced harness wounds by 90% and adding swingle trees to scotch carts (no scotch carts had them before, see picture left, the "old" method) has reduced rub wounds by 100%. As advocates for compassion and empathy, MARES has seen donkey owners become more knowledgeable and inclined to identify early any illness or injury and come forward for assistance.

Tikobane Trust & Humane Africa Trust (Zimbabwe) - Five Animal Freedoms in Action

In 2020, Tikobane was an AKI grantee and this year we're supporting a project that's a partnership between Tikobane and Humane Africa Trust. Both organizations work in Matebeleland North; Tikobane in Hwange District and HAT in Lupane District. They have overlapping interests and complementary strengths, which is what really attracted us to this partnership. Plus we believe that working together, we can accomplish more for animals.

With the 2021 grant from AKI, Tikobane-HAT will promote and educate rural communities on 5 five freedoms of animals by putting the freedoms into actions, demonstrating practical activities and outcomes over a period of five months, targeting one freedom per month: 1) Freedom from hunger and thirst, 2) Freedom from pain, injury, and disease, 3) Freedom from stress, 4) Freedom from discomfort, and 5) Freedom to express normal behaviors that promote well-being.  This is a true community-based project, involving everyone in the target communities: the Department of Veterinary Service; hotels and lodges; animal owners; children; traditional leaders; and humanitarian organizations.

Over the five month period, Tikobane-HAT will:

  • Educate 600 dog and cats owners on the five animal freedoms (300 from each district)

  • Train 100 young boys and girls to make resting places for cats and dogs using old tires.

  • Feed and provide food and water for 500 dogs and 100 cats 

  • Spay 12 dogs and cats 


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