AKI Partner Organization-Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society (LAWCS)
AKI's Partnership with Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society
LAWCS started in 2004 when the founder, Morris Darbo (picture above, in the middle), and some other concerned animal lovers in Lofa County, Liberia, began to campaign about the lack of care of domestic animals, especially cats and dogs.
By 2004, the number of dogs on the streets in Liberia's cities and towns had increased at an alarming rate, with most Liberians referring to the dogs jokingly as "citizens." Street dogs and cats were abused, were hungry and sick.
Liberia suffered years of exceptionally violent and traumatic civil war. The country is still recovering. Liberia not only faces rampant animal abuse and abject poverty, the younger generation, because of the country’s traumas, is exhibiting dysfunctional behaviors. LAWCS is committed to Liberia’s recovery with a clear message of non-violence, character building, ending animal suffering and creating a just, caring, and socially responsible society.
LAWCS is headquartered in the town of Voinjama, 6 hours (in the dry season) to 9 hours (in the rainy season) from Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. LAWCS is best known for their Humane Education Program, which reaches about 35,000 students/year! At each school in the HE Program, LAWCS trains a designated, volunteer humane ed teacher. Teachers move from classroom to classroom teaching humane education lessons to all students at the school. LAWCS provides ongoing mentoring to the teachers.
Each HE teacher forms two Animal Kindness Clubs composed of about 25 of the most promising students in the school, who feel the most passion for animals. The Animal Kindness Clubs then become advocates for animals in their communities.
LAWCS also holds Community Animal Care Clinics, offering free, basic animal care in Lofa County, where there is no other vet care. As a matter of fact, the only small animal vet in Liberia is hours away, in Monrovia! LAWCS volunteer, Abraham, received training to become a community animal healthcare worker, and vaccinates, de-worms, and provides other basic pet care.
After helping (advice, technical support, and visiting LAWCS, taking part in their Humane Ed and basic animal care clinics) over a 2-year period starting in 2013, we at AKI knew we wanted to contribute more to the work they're doing and to help them financially. So we made LAWCS an AKI Partner Organization in January 2016.
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Photos above: Community Animal Care Clinics; Community Humane Education with LAWCS HE Specialist, Aminata; Haja, LAWCS's Finance Manager holds up HE material; Emanuel, Humane Ed teacher at Kids Connection School; Humane Ed group at Japan Cooperative School; Alahai, Humane Ed teacher at Japan Cooperative School; and the LAWCS Team at their Voinjama office, showing Humane Education material donated through AKI.